ASTON MARTIN V8 VANTAGE – 1977-1989

ASTON MARTIN V8 VANTAGE (1977-1989)

The Aston Martin V8 Vantage is a British grand tourer. It was hailed at its 1977 presentation as “Britain’s First Supercar” (often nicknamed “British Muscle car”) for its 170 mph top speed. Its engine was taken from the Lagonda, yet it utilized superior camshafts, expanded compression ratio, bigger valve channels and larger carburettors mounted on new manifolds resulting in greater power output. Straight-line acceleration was the best of the day, with 0–60 mph in 5.3 seconds which was 1/10th of a second faster than the Ferrari Daytona.

The first edition was equipped with four 48IDF2/100 Weber carburettors resulted in 390 bhp at 5800 rpm and 550 Nm at 4500 rpm, and subtle details, such as a blanked bonnet vent and larger rear spoiler.

Series 2 was released in early 1986. With, perhaps the most observable design highlight being the closed hood bulge as opposed to the open scoop found on the ordinary V8. The grille zone was closed off, with driving lights embedded and a lip spoiler added to the bootlid. The 1986–1989 580 ‘X-Pack’ was a further overhaul, with Cosworth cylinders and Nimrod racing-spec heads upping power to 403 hp. A ‘Big Bore’ aftermarket was available, with 50 mm carbs (rather than 48 mm) and straight-through fumes framework further increasing output to 432 hp. In the event that this wasn’t enough, a 450 hp 6.3-litre adaptation was also available from Aston Martin. In the end 304 ‘series 2’ Vantage cars were produced – including 131 X-Packs – and 192 Volantes.

A Vantage Volante convertible was later produced between 1986 and 1989. Featuring a significantly more profound front spoiler than fitted to the Vantage, enlarged wheel arches, and broadened side skirts. The Vantage Volante additionally had a larger rear spoiler than the standard Volante. Altogether, 192 Vantage Volantes were produced, with the last ones leaving the factory in December 1989. In 1987 Charles, Prince of Wales received his V8 Vantage Volante, yet at his request without the bulkier wheel arches, front air dam or broadened side skirts. This spec became known as the ‘Sovereign of Wales Spec’ produced only 26 times.

ASTON MARTIN V8 VANTAGE MODELS

JAGUAR E-TYPE – 1961

JAGUAR E-TYPE

The Jaguar E-Type is a British sports car that was manufactured by Jaguar Cars Ltd from 1961 up until 1975. The combination of beauty and immense performance meant it soon became an icon of the motoring world. The E-Type’s claimed 150 mph top speed and sub-7-second 0 to 60 mph time was unheard of at that time. It featured all the latest mechanical advancements such as unitary construction, disc brakes, rack-and-pinion steering, and an independent front and rear suspension distinguished, which we now take for granted. The E-Type was based on Jaguar’s D-Type racing car, which had won the 24 Hours of Le Mans for three consecutive years, which perhaps explain why this car handled a treat.

On its release on 15 March 1961 Enzo Ferrari called it “the most beautiful car ever made”.

The E-Type was originally introduced as a rear-wheel drive grand tourer available in coupé and roadster form. A four-seater coupé version, with an extended wheelbase, was later released in 1966.

As of 2014, the most expensive production Jaguar E-Type sold at auction for just over £400,000. It was a 4.2-litre Series 1 roadster, with matching numbers, original paint and interior, under 80,000 original miles, and a history of being in the original buyer’s family for 45 years.

Worldwide, including both left and right hand drive examples, a total of 7,828 3.8-litre Series 1 roadsters were built, with 6,749 of the later 4.2-litre Series 1 roadsters having been manufactured.

Jaguar E-Type Models

BUGATTI CHIRON

BUGATTI CHIRON

Bugatti Chiron at Goodwood Festival of Speed. Source: Wikipedia

The Bugatti Chiron is a mid-engine two-seater sports car developed and manufactured in Molsheim, France by French automobile manufacturer Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. The successor of the Veyron, was first showcased at the Geneva Motor Show on 1 March 2016. The name pays homage to the Monegasque driver Louis Chiron.

The most significant carry over component from the Veyron is the 8L quad-turbocharged W16 engine, though it has been heavily modified, resulting in an extra 492 hp than the original Veyron. Therefore, the engine in the Chiron has a peak power output of 1,479 hp and a peak torque of 1,600Nm.

Like its predecessor the Chiron utilises a carbon fibre body structure, independent suspension and a complex all-wheel drive system. The body is extremely strong capable of handling 50,000 Nm per degree.

Acceleration from 0-62 mph is achieved in just 2.4 seconds according to Bugatti, 0–200 km/h (0–124 mph) in 6.5 seconds and 0–300 km/h (0–186 mph) in 13.6 seconds. In a world-record-setting test at the time in 2017, the Chiron reached 400 km/h (249 mph) in 32.6 seconds, after which it needed 9.4 seconds to brake to standstill.[17]

Acceleration statistics (according to manufacturer):

Acceleration RangeTime (seconds)
0-62 mph (0-100 km/h)2.4
0-124 mph (0-200 km/h)6.5
0-186 mph (0-300 km/h)13.6
0-249 mph (0-400 km/h)32.6 (world record at the time)

The Chiron’s top speed is electronically limited to 261 mph, for safety reasons, as no tires manufactured at that time were able to handle the immense stress at speeds above the limiter. As you can imagine fuel economy during high speed runs is not the best, in fact at full chap the Chiron will empty its 100 Litre fuel tank in just nine minutes!

Unfortunately the production run of 500 Chirons is coming to an end in 2021, with fewer than 75 left to leave the Molsheim factory. However, the Chiron name lives on, in the forms of the Chiron Sport, Chiron Our Sport, Chiron Sport 110 Ans and the record breaking Chiron Super Sport 300+.

MODELS

Mercedes-benz 300sl gullwing – 1954′

MERCEDES-BENZ 300SL – 1954′

The Mercedes-Benz 300SL (W198) was produced as a two-seat sports gullwinged coupe from 1954-1957, and roadster from 1957-1963. It was a direct descendant to the 1952, W194 racer, notably driven by two greats, Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss, to victory at 24Hours of LeMans, Mille Miglia and the Nürburgring.

The design objective was to make the car as light and streamlined as possible, to enable a greater top speed and quicker acceleration. To achieve this it featured a curvaceous welded to a lightweight tubular frame, and to further reduce weight, its bonnet, doors, dashboard and boot lid were made of aluminium. This paired with a 240 hp 3.0L overhead cam straight-six made it the fastest production car of its time, 163 mph.

The interior is definitive of the era. Three checkered pattern fabric were available for the seats, however most customers chose the optional leather upholstery. Due to an unusually high sill, getting in and out of the car proved to be quite problematic. To get around this, the steering wheel could be released and pivoted 90 degrees away from the dashboard, this made the entry and exit less laborious, but still not easy.

The standard 300SL price in the US for the coupe was $6280, and the roadster was $10950, accounting for inflation around £49000 and £101,000. The 60% jump in price between the two versions was only accountable for the US, as European markets saw only a 10% jump between the two models. This is put down to increased transatlantic shipping costs and the US being classed as the target market by Mercedes. Like today, optional extras can quickly escalate the cost.

OptionPrice (USD)
Colour other than metallic silver65
Bumper guards (4)40
Windscreen washers18
Becker radio264
Leather upholstery for Coupe165
Fitted luggage for Roadster85
Crated shipment from factory80
Competition springs (4)88
Competition front shock absorbers (2)41
Competition rear shock absorbers (2)85
Competition camshaft73
Rudge wheels (5)350
Optional ring and pinion gears, per set80
Hardtop for Roadster178

MODELS