The Classic cars era began in 1945 with the return of GI’s from World War II. Many of the factories that used to produce items for the military we quickly converted over to manufacture automobiles. During this time automobile designers introduced bigger, faster, more powerful cars. To Fuel the thirst for power and speed we saw the introduction of the V8 motors which became the standard for most cars during that time.
Some of the most iconic cars of all time were introduced during the classic car period. Chevy introduced the Bel Air in 1949 and the Corvette in 1953. Ford brought us the F-Series truck in 1949, the Thunderbird in 1955, and the game changing Mustang in 1964.
During this time many luxury manufacturers introduced road cars based on racing versions. Ferrari introduced the 166 Inter in 1949 and the First supercar in 1962 with release of the 250 GTO, Jaguar introduced the XK-120.
Although Japan was not largely known for sports car production, the fastback 1967 Toyota 2000 GT made an impressive debut. The automobile was collaboration between Toyota and Yamaha. This model was only produced for three years, but it brought Japan into the global market and gave Toyota their first Supercar.
The Toyota 2000 GT features a longitudinal mounted straight 6 2.0L engine that was redesigned with a dual overhead cam to add the precision element. Producing 150 HP at 6000 RPMs, the 2000 GT was recorded at reaching 0 – 60 in ten seconds and 100 mph in 24 seconds. Fuel was fed through three two-barrel carburetion units from Solex, Nine of the 351 models manufactured contained a single OHC 2M .3 L engine. This variation allowed for top speeds of 135 mph.
Introducing something new to Japanese automotive standards, the 2000 GT provided all around disc brakes as well as a limited slip differential. Being mated to a 5-speed manual overdrive transmission proved to be a smart move on the part of the maker. When entered into competition, there were several acclaims and speed records set by this small but powerful beauty. Many FIA records held up for several years. The car that made all this history was destroyed in a pace car accident and scrapped out.
Other manufacturers were so impressed with the style, speed, and endurance of this tour car that Shelby incorporated 3 models to his style. Those cars are still in the USA and one is on permanent exhibit in Japan.
The 1967 Toyota together make this a truly remarkable addition to the memorable sports car entourage. 2000 GT featured a wheel base of 91.7 inches, and measured out at 164.4 inches. It was not built with a lot of height, and sets very low to the ground. All of these things combined together make this a truly remarkable addition to the memorable sports car entourage.
The 1967 Lamborghini 400 GT 2 + 2, first presented at the 1966 Geneva Auto Show, was built from 1966 through 1968. Lamborghini wanted to keep the same elegant proportions of the 350 GT while adding an additional two seats in the rear of the car. Designers lowered the floor pan and raised the height 2.6 inches to fit them in. The final result was a length of 184.5 in, width of 68.0 in, and height of 50.6 in.
Space was saved with a reversal of the rear control arms and a new shape for the rear window. To comply with upgraded US safety regulations, paired headlights were installed instead of sculpted units. Another difference from the 350 is the extra front wiper. Only a few of the 242 manufactured 400 GTs were right wheel drives.
With the exception of the trunk and hood, the body changed from aluminum to steel. The heavier steel increased durability and reduced costs of production. Springs and shocks were redesigned to handle the heavier vehicle. Carrozzeria Touring designed the bodywork, coordinating with engineer Giampaolo Dallara.
A 60° V12 engine with an aluminum alloy block was placed at the front in a longitudinal position. The powerful motor had a specific torque of 374.2 nm/ 276 ft lbs @ 4500 rpm. Displacement measured 3929cc, bore 82.0mm, stroke 62.0 mm, and compression 10.5:1.
The ZF transmission was exchanged for a Lamborghini-designed five-speed transmission with Porsche syncro rings on all five gears to reduce noise. A Lamborghini unit also replaced the Salisbury rear differential. The 350’s 6 Twin-Throat 40 DCOE Weber carburetors continued for the fuel feed.
Worm and Roller steering made the rear wheel drive vehicle easier to handle. Front and rear suspension included double wishbones with coil springs and telescopic shock absorbers. Girling disc front and rear brakes with Vacuum Assist stopped the 3199 lb exceptional 1967 400 GT Lamborghini.
The Chevrolet Corvette is a legend that has endured for nearly sixty years, leaving an indelible mark on the very face of the American automotive landscape. Its timeless design and enduring mission as America’s premier two-seater sports car has captivated countless millions across the globe.
Every legend has to have a beginning. The Corvette’s legendary story starts with the 1953 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster, representing the first of a long line of Corvettes to be produced by General Motors’ principal automotive division. Starting out life as the EX-122 Concept of 1952, the 1953 Corvette stepped off the GM Motorama turntable and onto the tarmac. The 1953 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster’s exotic styling hewed closely to contemporary British roadsters, while the fiberglass construction was unlike anything used on American road vehicles at that time. Unlike the average British roadster, the Corvette was meant to cruise down the boulevards instead of carving along back roads.
While the outward appearance of the Corvette wowed critics, the underpinnings were surprisingly pedestrian for a car of its type. The Corvette used an independent front suspension with unequal-length A-arms and coil springs. At the rear, the roadster employed a live axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs. Stopping power came courtesy of four-wheel drum brakes. Under the hood, Chevy used a 3.9-liter “Blue Flame” straight six-cylinder engine producing 150 horsepower. Mated to a two-speed Powerglide transmission, it didn’t provide the most captivating performances, but that problem would be taken care of in subsequent years.
A total of 300 examples were produced for 1953 and all were built largely by hand. Every single Corvette produced that year bore Polo White exterior paint with red interiors and black canvas soft tops.