Automobiles Extraordinaires : Mind stronger than Steel... (非常 is Chinese for : "exceptional", "extreme")
The Art of Automobile was born in the XXth century. Automotive Masterworks combine artistic inspiration, fine craftsmanship and engineering. Today, car styling and engine design are compared to Architecture : through mastering proportions, volumes, true creators have invented the shape of modern automobiles, but they also managed to transcend the very nature of raw materials, melting law of physics and technlology in a new form of Art.
We are pleased to invite you to a stroll through the very best of automobile engineering and design, a kingdom where steel, aluminium and fuel unite to give birth to a new form of Life...
LAMBORGHINI Miura Spider "one-off" prototype (Geneva 1981), ex-Autodrome Paris
FACEL-VEGA Facel II (1961)
Extremely rare (around 180 built), this fine automobile is an Automotive milestone of the XXth Century.
Cobra Daytona (1965) - an original and authentic example, pictured as it was found, with the precious patina of time
Carabo (1968), by Nuccio Bertone. One of the most advanced designs of the XXth Century
Maserati Boomerang (1972), by Giorgetto Giugiaro.
The first prototype of the Lamborghini Countach (LP 500, 1971, picture above) was so innovative and revolutionnary that many experts thought that it would never be produced and sold.
Marcello Gandini's Artwork is a true master piece
The very first LP400 is almost identical to the LP500, except the side air intakes. This first Countach LP400 series - often nicknamed "periscopica" due to the shape carved in the roof for a periscope-style rear mirror, that was actually never fitted...- are nowadays treasured and highly sought-after.
Lighter than the LP400 S, thanks to magnesium parts, finer and faster, the LP400 "original version" is distinctively spectacular, and the only Countach without any fender extensions - the version with extended wheelarches appeared as LP400 S, and all following versions were fitted with this large bodywork, less elegant. The first version remains a pure work of Art, with a huge importance in the History of Automobile.
The Chaparral 2E (1966), designed by engineer-driver Jim Hall, who "invented" - amongst other innovations, the mobile aerodinamic wing for racing cars.
The Chaparral 2D was the first car of the make to race in Europe.
The AVS Shadow, probably one of the most astonishing cars of the "CanAm" Championship.
No racing car has ever been so low..The intention was to reduce the drag by minimizing the surface offered to air resistance. Suspensions springs are not helicoidal, but "hairpin" type, shock abosrbers are "friction dampers" (as in the 30s-40s), pedals are horizontal, clutch is operated by hand...and Firestone developped special tires and wheels. Don Nichols and his engineer Trevor Harris have done an impressive innovation work.
Many details are totally new, like the position of water radiators...
This AVS Shadow MK1 was sold by Bonhams in 2006, for only 100.000 $, a bargain for such an important car
Trevor Harris is not fainted-hearted - here on top of the Galles Indy 1983 that he designed.
Bucciali TA V12 (1932). No comment for such a mechanical masterpiece.
With the 600 (1963), Mercedes dared to challenge Rolls-Royce. Many experts agreed that indeed they succeeded
Styling by French designer Paul Bracq is sculptural
The turbine-powered Rover-BRM (24 heures du Mans 1965) : a magical combination of futuristic technology, advanced styling
Ferrari P4 (1966). Sensual curves, power, elegance: probably the most beautiful racing car by Ferrari...
The V12 engine claims 450 BHP ; the hand-made aluminum bodywork is a craftsmanship masterpiece
Ferrari P6 (1968) by Leonardo Fioravanti for PininFarina: this prototype gave birth to the famous 365 GT4 BB
Daimler V12 "Double-Six". the engine was based on two straight-6 united by their crankshaft.. This car was the very first British car powered by a V12 engine.
Aston Martin DB2 : the most famous of the straight-6 Aston Martin breed. The engine was designed by Owen Bentley and his Team. The DB2
were amongst the fastest cars at the 24 H du Mans in the early fifties.
Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato (left : period picture. none of the 19 DB4GT Zagato are identical to each other.
Delahaye 135MS Coupé (Figoni & Falaschi).
The same car, at a more complete stage of construction.
V12 of the Jaguar XJ13 prototype : 5,3 litre, 540 BHP.
Ferrari 250 LM / 250 Le Mans Berlinetta (1963), #8165 in 1967 at the Daily-Express Trophy. One of the most beautiful race car ever made.
Maserati A6G CS : la pure Art Work by Pinin Farina.
Jaguar XJ 13
Bugatti 16 cylinder engine
The Bugatti EB110, designed by former Lamborghini Chief engineer Paolo Stanzani
(See Autodrome Bulletin N°16.)
The very first Ford GT (1964), that gave birth to the GT40.
Lola MK6 GT 1963, with Eric Broadley (rigth) ; the car was driven straight to the Le Mans circuit for the 1963 "24 Heures"...
The following year, Ford hired Broadley to design the Ford GT40, closely inspired by the Lola GT.
Note the raw finish, typical of some English racing cars of the period (Photos: The Lola Archive)
Bugatti 57C Atlantic
Chaparral 2F, winner of the 1000 km of the Nurburgring in 66
The first Pagani (Zonda) on a race track..
Cisitalia 202 CMM "Savonuzzi", 1947-48
Lamborghini Countach LP400 1974
Ferrari Modulo (by Leonardo Fioravanti), PininFarina
(photo Edwin Van Nes)
Prototype CD-Grac, designed by by Jean Serge Aziosmanoff for the 24 H du Mans 1965
Aston Martin DB4 Series 1 1959.
Aston Martin Bulldog
The V8, 5,3 L. engine of the Bulldog, designed par Tadek Marek was supercharged and delivered 700 BHP.
Maximum speed 307 Km/h - in theory, the Bulldog could achieve 380 km/h..
24H du Mans 1988 :
Just before the night came Roger Dorchy took the wheel of the WM-Peugeot powered by a supercharged V6 (two Garrett superchargers),
delivering 950 BHP. The car reaches405 km/h, at the end of the Hunaudières straight...
The only Lamborghini ever seen at the 24 H du Mans in 1975 only took part in the practice session. It was an Islero.
Mercedes C101 Mercedes (1969) with Wankel engine (350 BHP).
A very interesting exmaple of the Wankel technology is the Mazda Cosmo Sports (Tokyo, 1964). Rare and original, this car is sought-after by collectors.
Much later, Mazda won the 24 heures du Mans with the 787, powered by a 700 BHP Wankel engine.
The timeless LANCIA Flaminia GT 2-seater: design and Aluminium bodywork by Touring, the fine automobile par excellence
A partial view of Autodrome reserves.
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