Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda – 1970

In 1970, Chrysler launched the third generation of its Plymouth Barracuda. Originally developed from the Plymouth Valiant to challenge Ford’s success with the Mustang, the 1970 Barracuda finally got its own platform and exclusive styling. It had Chrysler’s new, wider and slightly shorter E-body. It was a frame for a pugnacious automotive warrior, but only … [Read more…]

Porsche 911 Turbo – 1975


The first production turbocharged Porsche 911 (known as the Porsche 930 in America) made its debut at the Paris Motor Show in 1974. It was Germany’s fastest road-going sports car. Though turbochargers had long been used in motor sport, the 911 Turbo was the first production car to tame the beast. Its genesis was almost … [Read more…]

Porsche 928 – 1978


If any model deserves to be placed at the top of the Porsche range, it is the Porsche 928. As explosive as anything and as much fun as the 911, the big, luxury grand tourer does it all, but with grace and subtlety as permanent options. Its very existence was challenged by the oil crisis … [Read more…]

Reliant Bond Bug – 1970


The Reliant Robin, Regal and Rialto three-wheeler cars have a certain air of eccentricity, a peculiarly British charm that is inextricably linked with ‘characters’ like Mr Bean, or Del Boy in the TV series Only Fools and Horses. Reliant was keen to dissociate three-wheelers from this rather whimsical image and wanted to promote them instead … [Read more…]

Rolls-Royce Corniche – 1971


The Corniche had a late baptism in 1971. The monocoque construction of the 1965 Silver Shadow range made it virtually impossible for traditional coachbuilders to practice their calling: there was no separate chassis on which to fit panel work. Rolls-Royce faced the problem by increasing their stake in Mulliner Park Ward (MPW), already their in-house … [Read more…]

Rover SD1 – 1976


The Rover SD1 of 1976 inspired either ecstasy or apoplexy. As a member of the new British Leyland group, Rover now had major in-house competitors like Triumph and Jaguar, with whom it expected to share parts and develop discrete elements of the company’s extended range. It also had a brand-new factory of its own to … [Read more…]

Saab 900 Turbo Classic – 1979


The flagship of the Saab 900 Classic series, the 900 Turbo Classic demonstrated just how effectively Saab shared the automotive and aviation experience within the company. Though it derived, like all 900s, from the Saab 99, the 900 Turbo Classic was a revelation. According to what you wanted it to be, it was a four-star … [Read more…]

Talbot Sunbeam Lotus – 1979


The Talbot Sunbeam Lotus is Hannibal Lecter garbed in the fluffiest of white woolly fleeces. If you’re racing against it, rallying or just taking off informally from a contested red light, this car will rip your throat out before parking neatly to offer you Elastoplast therapy. If, on the other hand, you are the driver, … [Read more…]

Triumph Stag – 1970


The Triumph Stag was launched as British Leyland’s four-seat, fully convertible, sporting grand tourer challenge to the Mercedes-Benz 280SL. It was the culmination of Italian designer Giovanni Michelotti’s long collaboration with Triumph, who insisted that Michelotti’s wholly original ideas should not be compromised by the 1968 merger of BMC and Leyland-Rover-Triumph.

TVR 3000S – 1978


Since 1947, every TVR sports car has been the love child of one of the company’s various owners, all of whom have devoted themselves to their passion with a usually reckless regard for its cost in any form. It’s magnificent — it has always been — but it’s not car manufacturing. The TVR 3000S exemplifies … [Read more…]