Pontiac Bonneville – 1959

Pontiac Bonneville - 1959

Launched in 1957 as a low-slung, sexy, convertible limited edition at the top of the Pontiac range, the Bonneville was flashy and fast. It was good enough to pace the 1958 Indianapolis 500 (a first for any Pontiac), but it missed its intended mark.

Plymouth Fury – 1956

Plymouth Fury - 1956

1956 was the year of ‘The Forward Look’, when Plymouth sought to amaze its competitors and the US public with tailfin ‘developments’ and a series of ingenious in-car devices. In addition to the V8 ‘Hy-Fire’ engine from the previous year, the 1956 Plymouths could have push-button ‘Powerflite’ automatic transmission and ‘Highway Hi-Fi’, a record player … [Read more…]

Pegaso Z102B – 1951

Pegaso Z102B - 1951

In 1953, for a few brief weeks, the fastest road car in the world was all-Spanish. The Spanish designer Wilfredo Ricart had fled the Spanish Civil War to Italy, where he was Technical Director and worked with Enzo Ferrari at Alfa Romeo.

Packard Hawk – 1958

Packard Hawk - 1958

At the time it looked like automotive suicide – and there is certainly a direct relationship between the Packard Hawk’s outrageous styling and the final demise of the company.

Panhard Dyna Z/Panhard PL 17 – 1953

Panhard Dyna Z

Halfway through its development of the Dyna Z sedan, the Panhard Car Company was partially integrated with Citroen. By the time the car had evolved into the Panhard PL17, that merger was evident in the modified styling, and you can see the future of Citroen’s most famous profiles emerging.

Nash Metropolitan – 1954

Nash Metropolitan - 1954

It was to sail like a tiny boat through the waves of suburban America. With a wheelbase shorter than a VW Beetle, the Nash Metropolitan was conceived as an ideal city ‘stopping and shopping’ car.

Nissan Skyline – 1957

Nissan Skyline - 1957

For years, the Nissan Skyline GT-R series has starred in road and track races, and in some of the world’s most successful video games, like Gran Turismo. Its latest incarnation, the Nissan GT-R (the ‘Skyline’ got dropped in 2007) R35 uses ‘launch control’ to achieve 0-60mph (97 km/h) in 3.2 secs, and blasts on to … [Read more…]

Morgan 4/4 – 1955

Morgan 4-4 - 1955

The company was famous for its three-wheelers when Morgan announced its that ‘4-4 — four wheels and four cylinders’ cars in 1936. It returned from war production in 1950 with its Plus-4, a commercial success but a demographic step too far upmarket for the marque’s core enthusiasts.

Mini Cooper – 1959

Mini Cooper - 1959

In 1959 the Austin/Morris Mini changed the face of motoring. Just 3 m (10 ft) long, it was the most efficient and effective use of road space ever seen. The apparent miracle of Sir Alec Issigonis’s design was to create a front-wheel drive, two-door, four-seat economy saloon that sacrificed nothing to exact steering, superb handling, … [Read more…]