Sports Car Classics

Sports Cars can get anyone’s heart racing, young and old. With sporty good looks and performance and handling to match. Here are a few examples of classic sports cars.

Manufactured between 1953 and 1964, It was available in a variety of guises and different wheelbases over its production run. Most 250 Ferrari's shared the same 3.0 litre V12 that had a good power output and was a light weight engine. Power varied between 169kW to 203 kW. The 250S had a live axle with double longitudinal semi-elliptic springs and drum brakes. It has a tubular trellis type frame and the V12 used a dry sump. The 250 MM had a more conventional chassis and made use of a redesigned V12 that now had a conventional sump. The styling also received some minor changes as well as Ferrari's trade mark side vents that was prominent on cars for that period. Many 250 based racing versions were made including the famous 250 Testarossa of 1958. One of these cars fetched a all time record price at a 2009 auction of $12.1 million. There were also the 250 GTO, 250P and 250LM race cars. Road cars continued as did the light renaming and bodywork revisions and a 2+2 version called the 250GTE, as well as slight mechanical changes such as the switch from Houdailles type shocks to the more traditional telescopic type and disc brakes in 1960. The 1961 250 GT Spyder California was made famous in the movie” Ferris Buellers day off” except the car used in the movie was a replica as only 55 of this particular model were made.

Ferrari 250

The Countach was mid engine high performance sports car that was produced between 1974 and 1988. It was an outrageous design at its time of launch, being very wedge shaped and angular, with an array of vents and scoops to assist in cooling the V12 engine that sat behind the cockpit. Its sensationalism was further highlighted by its unique scissor doors that swiveled upwards. This was both functional and stylish. Being a wide car with high sills, conventional doors would not have worked very well. Its construction was a steel space frame with aircraft grade Aluminum body panels. The first cars were powered by a 4 liter V12 and replaced by a 5 liter V12 and later by a 5.2 liter V12. During its life it grew a front and rear wing, as well as side skirts and flared fenders. For the 25th anniversary model the Countach 25 underwent a huge cosmetic update with redesigned skirts, air duct, engine cover and tail light treatment.

Lamborghini Countach

Built between 1971 and 1978, the Bora was a mid engine sports Coupe. It was powered by a 4.7 liter V8 and a 4.9 liter V8 on the US version. The car came about because after Citroen acquired Maserati in 1968, they proposed a mid engine sports car. It had a monocoque chassis and a tubular steel rear section for the engine and gearbox. Appearing at the Geneva Salon in 1971, customers took delivery of their cars before the end of that year. An interesting design feature of the Bora was its Citroen derived high pressure hydraulic system that powered the cars brakes, retractable lights, park brake, driver’s seat and the pedal box comprising of the clutch, brake and accelerator pedals, this could move back and forth by 76mm. (the driver seat was only height adjustable) Maserati was bought by De Tomaso in 1975 and production of the Bora ceased in 1978 due to financial reasons.

Maserati Bora

Introduced in 1963, the original Porsche 911 was a sports car made by Porsche of Germany. It was a bigger more comfortable replacement to the 356 which was in essence a sporting evolution to the VW Beetle. It had a distinctive Shape, and its design seemed durable, undergoing minor changes as well as sprouting a wing and getting turbo power in the 930 guise, it was built until 1989. It was succeeded by a more modern version. It was very successful in racing, and raced in many different classes. It won the Le Mans 24hr with the 911 derived 935, despite competing against racing prototypes. Over the years the motor lineup included everything from an air-cooled 2 liter flat 6 producing 81 kW to a 3.3 liter turbo producing 221 kW.  Interestingly the 4 cylinder models were actually called 912’s and were entry level models. Only in 1993 after the introduction of the updated 993 did Porsche move away from its trademark air-cooled flat sixes and they became liquid cooled.

Porsche 911

Unveiled at the Turin Motor Show in 1972, this rear engine light weight sports car was built in England between 1976 and 2004. It replaced the Lotus Europa and featured a steel backbone chassis and a fiberglass body and was initially powered by a 2 liter slant 4 for the S1 and S2 models. The S2.2 had a 2.2 motor of identical power output but had a better torque output. The car was also made famous by the 1977 James Bond film, “The spy who loved me” which featured a white Esprit in a car chase sequence that became a submarine car. The S2 gained some cosmetic improvements as well as better cooling through air ducts behind the rear side glass. The S3 came out in 1980 and featured a body kit and lip rear spoiler, strengthened chassis, louvered rear hatch and power was up to 157 kw thanks to the addition of a turbocharger, better known as the Esprit Turbo. The end of 1987 saw a total redesign of the Esprit. introduced in 1998, it was bigger and heavier but with many improvements. It now used Chargecooling (water to air intercooler) for the turbo motor.  The car underwent many improvements over its run as well as V8 twin turbo power and cosmetic changes in 1993. There was also a host of Special Editions during this model run. The most powerful Esprit is the Sport350 with an output of 257 kW.

Lotus Esprit