Mercedes-Benz 540K – 1936

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Following the creation of Mercedes-Benz in 1926, the merged company prospered by producing mass-market models. But it also maintained a prestigious niche as a supplier of fine custom- built vehicles to the European elite, who demanded superior build quality, high performance and exclusivity.

Maybach Zeppelin – 1928

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The Maybach company produced airship engines for Zeppelins until the end of World War I, when legendary engineer Wilhelm Maybach and son Karl turned their attention to the production of luxury motorcars succeeding to such good effect that they constructed some of the finest automobiles over built.

Lincoln K-series – 1931

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Henry Ford relished his acquisition of the bankrupt Lincoln Motor Company in 1922, for he had been forced out of his own Henry’ Ford Company in 1902 by Henry M Leland – the now-ruined boss of Lincoln.

LaSalle – 1927

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The open secret behind the rise and rise of General Motors – to the point where it swatted Ford off the top of the heap – was CEO Alfred P Sloan’s clever policy of having a different brand for every segment of the car market, as opposed to Ford’s single model with lots of options.

Lancia Lambda – 1922

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Jump into a major technical milestone (though it may simply seem like a fabulous 1920s sports car) and enjoy a road-hugging drive. In fact, the Lancia Lambda introduced the monocoque technique later put into mass production by Citroen… and now the cornerstone of modern car construction.

Lagonda V12 – 1938

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When his company went bust in the early 1930s, W O Bentley soon bounced back, joining Lagonda to head the tech team after the company was rescued from bankruptcy in 1935.

Isotta Fraschini 8/8A – 1919

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During World War I the Italian car manufacturer Isotta Fraschini turned to the production of aircraft engines, but with the cessation of hostilities the company returned to exploiting a prewar development – their excellent eight-cylinder motor.

Hispano-Suiza J-12 – 1931

This beautiful beast was a luxurious marriage of Swiss precision design, Spanish capital and French engineering expertise – a polyglot relationship that actually produced one of the finest cars ever made, well able to challenge top marques like Rolls-Royce on build quality and style.

Graham Blue Streak Eight – 1932

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In 1927 brothers Joseph, Robert and Ray Graham purchased the ailing Paige-1 Detroit Motor Car Company. New Graham-Paige models initially did well, with a growing reputation for quality and around 73,000 cars shifted in Year One.