The Ducati Pantah was available in both 500 and 600cc forms. It was a technical stepping-stone for the Bologna marque. The 500 was launched in ’79. The 600 appeared in ’81. They would be an important blueprint for future development. As such, they ushered in more prosperous times for Ducati. When they were released, theContinue reading “Ducati Pantah 600”
The Pontiac Club de Mer prototype was inspired by land speed record cars. Head of design Harley Earl – and studio leader Paul Gillian – were given the styling brief. It went without saying that ‘space-age’ imagery – pretty much ubiquitous in the ’50s – would get its foot in the design door, too! TheContinue reading “Pontiac Club de Mer”
Harley-Davidson can lay claim to manufacturing the world’s best-known motorcycles. Well, American ones, at any rate. But, Harley has always had a rival. The mere mention of ‘Indians’ has long instilled panic in the suited and booted, in Harley’s Milwaukee marketing department! In the ’20s, Indian’s Springfield factory was high up the motorcycle heap. TheContinue reading “Indian Chief”
To an engineering student, the Citroën DS must be one of the most exciting roadsters ever built. Its 4-cylinder engine powered a hydraulic system – which found its way into just about every part of the car. The motor itself was straightforward – dating back to the ’34 ‘Traction-avant’. But, the hydraulic set-up it sparkedContinue reading “Citroën DS”
In ’57 – when the Fiat 500 was released – motorcycles ruled Italian roads. Whether solo – or attached to a side-car – they were the way most people got from A to B. The Fiat 500 was set to change that. It was convenient and economical. Okay, so were motorbikes. But, the ‘500’ cameContinue reading “Fiat 500”
When it came to his best-known brand of motorcycle, George Brough did not beat about the bush. ‘Superior’ said it all – very succinctly. And, to be fair, it was – as compared with many of its two-wheeled rivals. Saying that, Brough – and his small team of Nottingham-based engineers – were responsible only forContinue reading “Brough Superior SS100”
The Lotus 25 was all about innovation. It was designed by Colin Chapman – charismatic top man at Lotus. In a quest to lower the nose of the car – in the interests of aerodynamics – Chapman envisioned a one-piece chassis. The previous car – the Lotus 24 – had been built around space-frame steelContinue reading “Lotus 25”
The Matchless G50 had a lot to live up to. To name your new company ‘Matchless’ means confidence in its products – to put it mildly! That was something Charlie and Harry Collier clearly had, when they opened for business in 1899. They were located in Plumstead, south-east London. Both brothers were racers – ofContinue reading “Matchless G50”
In a way, the Ariel Atom was as close as a roadster gets to an F1 car. The lack of headlamps was a dead giveaway! There was not enough frontal area for such fripperies. Anyway, the Atom would be wasted at night. Far better to spend the running costs blitzing daylit open roads. Not thatContinue reading “Ariel Atom”
The Buick Gran Sport had Pontiac to thank. The latter’s GTO was the first muscle car. As such, it saw a big-block V8 fitted in a medium-sized chassis. The result was hard-punching power – at a competitive price. Not surprisingly, then, the GTO sold well. Again, not surprisingly, Pontiac’s rivals picked up on the fact.Continue reading “Buick Gran Sport”
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