Thursday, June 07, 2007

Familiar names, unfamiliar cars...

...at least all but one carry famous badges.

Who doesn't recognize a Ferrari? This one, a 1951 type 195, has its racing-car heart covered by a dignified coupe body as so many Ferraris of that era did. Ferrari did not build its own bodies, but sent finished chassis to several Italian firms to be completed; this one was built by the well known Ghia firm. It's still lovely after all these years, and the howl of its tiny V12 engine is as intoxicating as ever...



Aston Martins, on the other hand, have seldom been less than sporting in appearance and performance, as useful on a race track as it was as a Gentleman's Grand Tourer. The first DB 2/4 I saw was on a used-car lot circa 1960, on sale for $1200. One hundred times that amount wouldn't have bought this one...



In contrast, Volvos have always been regarded more as nice, safe sedans and station wagons. This P1900 from 1956 is an exception, and a rare survivor from a short-lived experiment that mated a fiberglass body designed in Sweden but built in California with the running gear of a Volvo sedan...



This one is unfamiliar to most people, and that's a shame. The 1956 Talbot-Lago was the last car from the French Talbot firm, which began building cars in the early days of the automobile. In person, this coupe's simple lines are elegant and understated; some consider it the most beautiful design of its era...



Even Saab tried its hand at building a sports car. This 1974 Sonett III was the company's final try; the first, in the mid-1950s, was a simple open roadster project that was canceled after six cars were built. The later Sonett was built in larger quantities, but when US safety and pollution laws required major changes, the experiment came to an end....



Next: some oddities, on two wheels and four, plus a rare sight....

6 comments:

SAREJESS said...

1951 type 195 I have a friend who owns one of these they are great cars

MrScribbler said...

SJ -- your friend is very fortunate, and probably fairly well off! I've driven a few early Ferraris and agree they are wonderful.

DAL said...

Love that Talbot...

lowandslow said...

I've driven a Saab Sonnet, and also a Volvo...'70's vintage sports car...wasn't that a 1900 also? I'd love to see a Tabot.

MrScribbler said...

l&s -- the Volvo sports coupe from the 60s and 70s was the 1800. They were cool cars....

John said...

Ferrari is something I could live with, provided I could afford the upkeep.