Category Archives: Marques

Porsche Cars

When I think about a Porsche, I first think about the 911 design that started back in 1964 and which has been continually updated and improved. It’s astonishing that a basic exterior design can last so well.

You can also think about the 911 as the middle Porsche.

Below it are sports cars like the 914, the 924 and 944, the Boxster and the Cayman.

Above it are Porsche’s only real attempt at a luxury GT, the 928 and their supercars, the 911 Turbo, the 959, Carrera GT and the 918 Spyder. Continue reading Porsche Cars

Lotus Cars

This article looks at the contribution Lotus Cars have made to classic car development.

The marque started as Lotus Engineering Ltd in 1952. It was founded by engineers Colin Chapman and Colin Dare and the factory was in Hornsey, North London.

Lotus_logo

If you look closely, you can see the letters in the middle of the logo stand for Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman.

The company set up Team Lotus for various categories of racing including Formula 1 but quickly split it from the main car company. Between 1962 and 1978 it was extremely successful, winning seven Formula One Constructors’ titles, six Drivers’ Championships and the Indianapolis 500 race in 1965. Continue reading Lotus Cars

Alfa Romeo

I feel a special emotional attraction towards Alfa Romeo and I don’t really understand why.

There was a dealership close to my school when I was a teenager but, in the 1970s, Alfa had two reputations:

  1. great handling cars with a poor driving position with the Alfasud and Alfetta.
  2. they were rust buckets

Cars In The Marque

There are plenty of saloon cars that I’m not interested in but the following have something special about them: Continue reading Alfa Romeo

Maserati

This classic Italian car company celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2014.

The Maserati Car Company

Name – Maserati S.p.A.

Started – 1 December 1914 in Bologna by Alfieri Maserati and his brothers Bindo, Carlo, Ettore, and Ernesto

Location – Modena, Italy.

Ownership – Fiat since 1993. It has previously been owned by the Orsi family, by Citroen in 1968 until 1975 when De Tomaso bought the company until it sold to Fiat who also own Ferrari and Alfa Romeo.

Maserati trident logo
Maserati trident logo

The Maserati Cars

1946 – 57 = A6
1957 – 64 = 3500GT
1959 – 64 = 5000GT
1963 – 70 = Mistral
1963 – 70 = Quattroporte
1965 – 69 = Sebring
1966 – 72 = Mexico
1967 – 73 = Ghibli
1970 – 75 = Indy
1973 – 80 = Bora
1973 – 83 = Merak
1974 – 78 = Quattroporte 2
1974 – 82 = Khamsin
1976 – 90 = Quattroporte 3
1976 – 83 = Kyalami
1981 – 90 = Biturbo
1988 – 93 = Karif
1990 – 96 = Shamal
1992 – 97 = Ghibli 2
1994 – 01 = Quattroporte 4
1998 – 01 = 3200GT
2001 – 07 = Coupe
2004 – 2012 = Quattroporte 5
2004 – 05 = MC12
2008 – current = GranTurismo
2013 – current = Quattroporte 6
2013 – current = Ghibli 3

Maserati lost their way under De Tomaso and under Fiat’s ownership are effectively a brand positioned between Alfa Romeo and Ferrari rather than a natural rival for Ferrari and Lamborghini.

The Model Development Structure

GT cars

  • 6 cylinder 2 seat GT – A6 – 3500GT – Mistral
  • 8 Cylinder 2 seat GT – 5000GT – Ghibli – Khamsin
  • 6 cylinder 4 seat GT – Sebring – Ghibli 2 –
  • 8 cylinder 4 seat GT – Mexico – Indy – Kyalami – Shamal – 3200GT – coupe – Gran Tourismo

Mid engined cars

  • 6 cylinder mid engine – Merak
  • 8 cylinder mid engine – Bora
  • 12 cylinder – MC12

Other

  • 4 door – Quattroporte 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6
  • Executive – Biturbo – Ghibli 3
  • SUV – Levante

It’s all a bit of a middle really that shows that successive owners couldn’t agree where Maserati should be positioned in the marketplace.

What Makes Maserati So Special?

  • Like Lamborghini, the four syllable Italian name that sounds so exciting and exotic.
  • The early grand tourers produced up to and including the Khamsin.
  • Their commitment to producing a four door luxury Italian sports saloon.

Jaguar

Jaguar is a world famous brand of luxury and sports cars and is part of Jaguar Land Rover, a company owned by Tata Motors since 2008.

The business was started by William Lyons and William Walmsley to make sidecars for motorcycles in 1922  and was called the Swallow Sidecar Company. It started to produce cars as the SS Car Ltd and produced such lovely cars as the SS 100 before World War 2.

Jaguar SS 100 produced between 1936 and 1940. A childhood favourite of mine because of the Panther J72. Attribution GTHO
Jaguar SS 100 produced between 1936 and 1940. A childhood favourite of mine because of the Panther J72. Attribution GTHO

Continue reading Jaguar

Lamborghini

There’s something that stirs my blood when I hear the name of Italian sports car manufacturers like Maserati, Ferrari and Lamborghini and it has done since childhood.

The Lamborghini Car Company

Name – Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A.

Started – 30 October 1963 by Ferruccio Lamborghini

Location – Sant’Agata Bolognese Italy.

Ownership – Volkswagen Group since 1998. It has previously been privately owned and between 1987 and 1994 it was owned by Chrysler.

The Lamborghini Cars

1964 – 66 = 350GT
1966 – 68 = 400GT 2+2
1966 – 72 = Miura
1968 – 69 = Islero
1968 – 78 = Espada
1970 – 76 = Jarama
1973 – 79 = Urraco
1974 – 90 = Countach
1976 – 79 – Silhouette
1981 – 88 – Jalpa
1986 – 93 – LM002 (a massive, ugly SUV)
1990 – 2001 – Diablo
2001 – 2010 – Murcielago
2003 – 2013 – Gallardo
2008 – 2010 – Revention (limited edition supercar based on the Murcielago)
2011 – to date – Aventador
2012 – 2012 – Sesto Elemento (limited edition lightweight car based on the Gallardo)
2013 – 2013 – Veneno (limited edition supercar based on the Aventador)
2013 – 2013 – Egoista (one off concept car based on the Gallardo)
2014 – to date – Huracan

The Development Structure

Front engine GT cars – 350GT – 400GT – Islero – Espada – Jarama

Mid engine sports cars

  • V12 – MiuraCountach – Diablo – Murcielago – Reventon – Aventador – Veneno
  • V8 – Urraco – Silhouette – Jalpa
  • V10 – Gallardo – Sesto Elemento – Huracan

Front engined 4WD SUV – LM002

During the 1960s to 1980s Lamborghini and Ferrari fought over the right to have the fastest, most exciting supercars with classic battles between the Miura and Daytona and then the Countach versus the Berlinetta Boxer and Testarossa.

Financial problems and the lack of development of a replacement for the Countach opened up the opportunity to a new breed of hypercars, the Jaguar XJ220, the Bugatti EB110 and the McLaren F1 in the early 1990s and then Pagani, Koenigsegg and others. Only in the late 2000s did Lamborghini respond to this new class of cars with the Reventon, Sesto Elemento and Veneno.

What Makes Lamborghini So Special?

  1. The fantastic four syllable Italian name that sounds so romantic and exciting.
  2. The sensational designs of, in particular, the Miura and Countach that made them look, at the time, the ultimate sports cars.