There’s no getting away from it — the word ‘homologate’ had to be mentioned sooner or later, inevitably in a context involving Ferrari. Maranello was besotted with racing, but formulae in which Ferrari wished to compete required homologation — approval by the governing body (FIA) that a particular car is eligible to race.
It hasn’t actually been spotted around, but the ideal bumper sticker for a Fiat 124 would be MY OTHER CAR IS A LADA. For it’s the 124’s rebirth as Russia’s Lada BA3-2102/Zhiguli (later wisely shortened to Lada 1200, then Lada Riva) that puts the Fiat 124 series close to the top of the all-time bestseller … [Read more…]
This small rear-engined car was an important step in Fiat’s long march towards fully paid-up membership of the international car manufacturers’ club. The two-door Fiat 850 was introduced in 1964 to run alongside and eventually succeed the Fiat 600, that hugely successful Seicento city car produced between 1955 and 1969.
When is a Ferrari not a Ferrari? Answer — when it’s a Dino. Old Enzo Ferrari’s son Alfredo (aka Dino) was an accomplished engineer who was to be his father’s successor at Maranello, but sadly muscular dystrophy carried him off in 1955 at the age of 24. Enzo was heartbroken, but carried on ruling his … [Read more…]
After production of the soaraway Ferrari 250 GTO ended in 1964, the 275 series arrived to delight admirers of the Prancing Horse. First to gallop was the shapely 275 GTB coupe with a flowing body designed by Pininfarina and produced by Carrozzeria Scaglietti. The twin cam engine came with a choice of three or six … [Read more…]
This red car is a blue-chip investment — for in the excessive world of classic-car investment the Ferrari 250 GTO is as valuable as they come. It falls into that glamorous category of racers that can be driven on the road by those lucky enough to afford one. Actually it should never have made the … [Read more…]
This magnificent French car was boldly advertised as ‘the fastest four-seater coupe in the world’, and was Facel Vega’s last throw of the dice —the company was facing bankruptcy and hoped the Facel II would be a big winner. It was certainly an imposing hand-built car, and the use of American V8 engines ensured that … [Read more…]
It’s nearly as familiar a story as boy meets girl — racing driver decides to build ultimate roasters. And so it was when Argentinian racer Alejandro de Tomaso migrated from the USA to Italy with his American wife in the late 1950s. He played around with assorted racing cars but really wanted De Tomaso Automobili … [Read more…]