Back in the mid-60s Volkswagen was looking for a successor to its then rather outdated Type 34 sports coupe, better known as the Karmann Ghia. At the same time Porsche was striving to expand its position in the market with a sports car in the promising segment beneath the 911. Facing this challenge Ferry Porsche and VW’s CEO Heinrich Nordhoff agreed in spring 1966 on a joint venture destined to benefit both parties. Porsche was given the assignment by Volkswagen to develop a low-cost mid-engined sports car intended to enter the market as a Volkswagen with four cylinders and as a Porsche with a six-cylinder boxer engine.
The Toyota Sports 800 was Toyota Motor Corporations first production sports car. The car made its first appearance at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1962 as Toyota Publica Sports concept car. The Publica Sports had a aerodynamic body, two seats and a sliding canopy as an entry. Many of the car’s components were borrowed from the Toyota Publica to reduce costs.
The Lotus Elan was introduced in October 1962 at the British Motorshow. Elan was first launced as a roadster. An optional hardtop was offered in 1963 and a coupe version in 1965. Elan +2 was introduced in 1967 with two rear seats. Elan was the first Lotus road car to use the a steel backbone chassis, a technology that continued until 1995 on all Lotus road cars including the Europa, Excel and the Esprit.
In the 1970 Porsche 911’s engine capacity was increased from 2.0 to 2.2 litres. The new 2.2-litre engine was used in all versions of the 911. With a bigger displacement, the engine produced more power and better top performance, but the torque gain also improved driveability at lower speeds.
Ferrari 308 GTB was unveiled at the 1975 Paris Salon. This long awaited replacement for the Dino 246 GT model had a Pininfarina designed body with a pronounced wedge profile. Below a slim full width satin black front bumper was a rectangular egg-crate aluminium radiator grille. Numerous key design elements of the Dino 246 GT carried through into the new model. These included the scalloped door intakes, twin circular rear light assemblies, and the vertical concave rear screen bounded by buttressed sail panels. Ferrari 308 GTB’s shape was a modernisation of that of the Dino, with enough traces of its predecessor to provide a thread of continuity.
The BMW 507 was launched to the public in 1955. The beautiful roadster attracted people’s attention the way BMW had hoped for. The long and sleek engine compartment, the cockpit perfectly tailored to the driver and passenger, the short and muscular rear end, stretched side lines and gently sweeping curves gave the car a timeless design.