History and histories

Take part in The Classic Car Trophy on Instagram

Photo credit: Wheelsage, RM Sotheby’s, Alfa Romeo, Bentley, Audi, Bugatti, Ferrari

It’s time to give our fans a little fun! We want to take advantage of the month of August to present a game that will help us determine which is the most loved and admired classic car out there. A sort of Champions League with a series of knockout rounds. Cars chosen from our TCCT survey have been divided by ages. For each group, there is an instant knockout round between two cars. Then over the next few rounds, with cars drawn randomly which might be generous or cruel, we will arrive at the winner. On Instagram, every other day, we will publish your choices as well as the results of the previous encounter.

Who will win The Classic Car Trophy? Only you will decide. We are merely passionate spectators here will follow the results keenly and will keep you informed about how things are going. Vote, vote, vote!

May the best car win!”

These are the 8 categories divided by years of The Classic Car Trophy: 

 

Pre-War until 1930

  • Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS – Among all the versions denominated “Gran Sport” because they employed a supercharger, the most famous model is unquestionably the one made by Zagato. The engine was designed by Vittorio Jano and is a 1,752cc, 6-cylinder inline powerplant producing 85hp, which became 102hp in the in the so-called Testa Fissa (fixed head) versions
  • Bentley 4 1/2 Litre “Blower” – 55 Blower Bentleys were made in order to comply with the regulations of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and stood out for its use of superchargers. It employed a 4,398cc aluminium 4-cylinder inline engine capable of producing 175hp for the touring model and 240hp for the racing version
  • Duesenberg Model J – Introduced in 1928, just a year before the Great Depression, it was handcrafted according to the needs of each customer. Despite its high price, it remained in production for 9 years until 1937. The engine is a 6,882cc 8-cylinder inline unit capable of producing anywhere between 246hp and 265hp depending on the configuration
  • Mercedes-Benz Type 720 SSK – Designed by Ferdinand Porsche, the SSK (Super Sport Kurz, where Kurz stands for short) was developed with a shortened wheelbase to improve the handling of the Type S and SS models. Made for competitions, but also used on the road, it mounts a 7.1-litre 6-cylinder inline engine capable of producing from 225hp to 250hp depending on the version.

 

1930 – 1940

  • Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante Coupe – The Atalante was developed by Jean Bugatti, Ettore’s son when he was just 23 years old, as part of the Type 57 project. The name was inspired by Atalanta, the heroine from Greek mythology. Only 7 were produced
  • Delahaye 165 Figoni-Falaschi – The Type 165 is a masterpiece of style built by the Figoni et Falaschi coachbuilders on a racing chassis. Beneath the hood, it mounts the same 4.5 litre V12 engine as the 145 race car opportunely detuned from 240hp to 187hp. Only two of the six examples originally built remain: one in a private collection and the other at the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California
  • Auburn Speedster – The 1935 Auburn 851 Speedster was styled by designer Gordon Buehrig, who was also responsible for the Cord Model 810. The first Auburn eight was launched in 1925 and was renamed the 8-88 in 1926 with a 4.8-litre side-valve 68hp Lycoming engine. This engine was used until 1930, when it developed 115bhp, hence the “Speedster 115” model name.
  • Isotta Fraschini 8A SS Cabriolet – The Isotta Fraschini Type 8A was the successor to the Tipo 8 model, with a new 7.3 litre straight-eight engine replacing the 5.9 litre unit used in the previous model. This new engine could produce 115–160hp (86–119 kW). This was the most powerful mass-produced straight-8 engine in the world at that time. The Isotta Fraschini car company promised that every car could do 150 km/h (93 mph). The characteristic car body was made by Swiss manufacturer Carrosserie Worblaufen. The “SS” stands for “Super Spinto” and it represented the most powerful and most prestigious model of the Isotta Fraschini range.

 

1940 – 1950

  • Ferrari 166MM – Presented at the 1948 Turin Motor Show, it bears the acronym “MM” to commemorate the victory in the Mille Miglia the previous year. 166 denotes the cubic centimetres of each of the 12 V-cylinders of the engine developed by Gioachino Colombo. The 1949 sports season was a triumph for Ferrari thanks to the 166MM that won the Mille Miglia, the 12 Hours of Paris and above all the first victory of the Cavallino Rampante at the 24 Hours of Le Mans
  • Tucker Torpedo – The Torpedo was the brainchild of the entrepreneur Preston Tucker who thought he could enter the automotive world by taking over the company that produced the engines of the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. The first prototype was unveiled in 1947, with impressive dimensions and a 9,650cc rear-mounted engine that proved unreliable, and for this reason it was replaced with a 6-cylinder lightweight alloy 5,500cc boxer unit that produced 166hp
  • Alfa Romeo “Villa d’Este” 6C 2500 SS – In 1949, the new Coupé model, based on the mechanics of the Alfa Romeo 2500 SS designed by Carlo Felice Bianchi Anderloni and built by Touring Carrozzeria in Milan, won the Eleganza Competition on the shores of Lake Como and, from that moment, was identified as Villa d’Este. 32 of the models were produced, 18 of which are known to have survived to this day.
  • Cisitalia 202 Berlinetta – Presented at the 1947 Italian Grand Prix in Milan, the 202 can be considered the first Gran Turismo in history. Piero Dusio financed the project developed by Dante Giacosa, the creator of the 500, Alfredo Vignale and Giovanni Farina, before becoming Pininfarina. The Cisitalia 202 features a small, 1,089cc 4-cylinder engine that was good for 55hp and, weighing only 780kg, it was able to reach 165 km/h

 

1950 – 1960

  • BMW 507 – Introduced at the 1955 Frankfurt Motor Show, the BMW 507 was designed by Graf Albert Goertz. The 3.2-litre V8 engine was capable of producing 150hp. Despite considerable appreciation from industry insiders, the high price led to disappointing sales, so much so that just 254 were built, including the prototypes.
  • Mercedes-Benz 300SL – Introduced in 1954, this car has racing origins in the form of its sister car developed by Rudolf Uhlenhaut. The idea of making a road version came from Max Hoffmann who proposed building a road-legal 300SL guaranteeing that 1,000 examples would have been sold, confident of its success. It was the first car to use direct injection, developed by Bosch, and the 6 cylinder in line, 2,996cc powerplant producing 215hp is able to push the car up to 220 km/h 
  • Jaguar XKSS – Unveiled at the 1957 New York Motor Show, the XKSS was created after Jaguar’s retirement from racing. Unused D-Type chassis were converted for road use and destined for the American market. The 3,442cc inline 6-cylinder engine has a maximum power output of 250hp. Of the 25 initially planned, 9 were destroyed after a fire ravaged through the Browns Lane factory. Steve McQueen also owned one
  • Corvette C1 – Created by GM in response to the increasingly sought-after European roadsters in the United States, production of the Corvette started in 1953. It was not an immediate success with the first three years yielding lacklustre sales, but by 1956 things had improved and in 1960 they reached their target of 10,000 cars sold. Initially it was fitted with a 150hp 6-cylinder unit that was later replaced by a 195hp V8

 

1960 – 1970

  • Aston Martin DB4 Zagato – Introduced at the 1960 London Motor Show, Zagato’s version of the DB4 GT was characterized by its clean lines. Ercole Spada focused on aerodynamics and lightening the car by eliminating unnecessary parts such as bumpers and replacing steel parts with aluminium. The 6-cylinder 3,670cc engine was good for 314hp
  • Ferrari 250 GT California Spider – Produced in 106 units, 9 of which were made entirely in aluminium, the 250 GT California was created specifically for the American market. The body was entrusted to Scaglietti and was equipped with a 2,953cc V12 with a power output of 277hp. 
  • Maserati 3500 GT Touring – Produced until 1964, the 3500 GT is considered Maserati’s first real road car. The 6-cylinder engine is directly derived from the 350 S and produces 220hp. Giulio Alfieri’s decision to focus on the production of road cars paid off and the 3500 GT was a commercial success, facilitated by the improvement of roads in the 1950s that increased the demand for Grand Tourers 
  • Lamborghini Miura – Created from the genius of Gian Paolo Dallara, Paolo Stanzani and designed by Marcello Gandini for Bertone, the Miura is recognized across the globe as the most iconic Lamborghini of all time. It was the first car from the Manufacturer in Sant’Agata to have a name inspired by bullfighting. Unveiled in Turin in 1965, it features a 3,929cc V12 producing 350hp in the first version

 

1970 – 1980

  • Citroen SM Maserati – The SM was the first Citroen car to be produced after the company was acquired by Maserati. The bodywork was made by Robert Opron while the engine design was entrusted to Alfieri. The 2.7-litre V6 was initially equipped with three Weber carburettors, which were later replaced by direct injection. With 160hp, it could easily reach upwards of 210 km/h
  • Porsche 930 Turbo – Introduced in 1975, this was Porsche’s first turbocharged car. The power output of 260hp pushed the car to 250 km/h. Produced in 2,173 units, it was available only as a coupe version.
  • Lancia Stratos – Between 1973 and 1978, just under 500 Stratos were built, including roughly 50 racing cars. Needless to say, it went down in history as one of the most legendary rally cars of all time and probably one of the most evocative. Designed by Marcello Gandini for Bertone it was equipped with a 2,418cc Ferrari V6 producing 190hp 
  • Lamborghini Countach – Marcello Gandini, responsible for designing the replacement for the Miura, abandoned rounded forms and introduced the wedge concept. The engine was a 5-litre V12 capable of producing 375hp. Presented in Geneva 1973, the name Countach comes from an exclamation of surprise and amazement in Piedmont dialect made by one of Gandini’s collaborators when he saw it. At just 1.07 metres tall it declared a top speed of 315 km/h

 

1980 – 1990

  • Ferrari F40 – Built to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Cavallino Rampante, it was a development of the 288 GTO. Unlike most Ferraris that sported a naturally-aspirated V12 engine, the F40 features twin-turbo V8 producing 478hp. The 1,100kg weight was achieved by the use of composite materials for the bodywork and stripping the car of any comfort
  • Audi Sport Quattro – After dominating the 1982 World Rally Championship, Audi realized that all-wheel drive alone was no longer enough to beat the much lighter Lancia 037. To gain approval for Group B racing, 224 road models were made equipped with the 302hp turbocharged 5-cylinder in line engine
  • BMW M1 – Conceived from the idea of BMW Motorsport founder Jochen Neerpasch, the design of the M1 was entrusted to Giugiaro’s Italdesign. Developed for racing, it was used in the Procar Championships in 1979 and 1980, where Niki Lauda and Nelson Piquet both graduated. Only 457 M1s were built including road and racing versions, the former equipped with a 3,453cc, 6-cylinder inline engine producing 277hp
  • Porsche 959 – The Porsche 959 was unveiled at the 1985 Frankfurt Motor Show. All-wheel drive, two sequential turbo compressors, titanium con rods, magnesium wheels, electronically controlled suspension were all ingredients for the most powerful road-going Porsche of the era. The 6-cylinder boxer 2,850cc produced an incredible 450hp and it could exceed 310 km/h

 

1990 – 2000

  • Bugatti EB110 – In an attempt to revive Bugatti, Italian entrepreneur Romano Artioli bought the rights to the name and on Ettore’s 110th birthday (09-15-1991), launched the new car called “EB 110”. It was the first road car to use a carbon monocoque and was designed by Marcello Gandini. The 3.5-litre V12 was equipped with 4 turbochargers for a total power output of 550hp
  • Lancia Delta Integrale EVO – Introduced in 1991, it stands out immediately from the previous versions for its widened track and the more aggressive wheel arches. To commemorate the five and then six consecutive years of winning the World Rally Championship title, the Martini 5 and the Martini 6 were made. The 1,995cc turbocharged 4-cylinder 16v engine went on to develop 210hp
  • Honda NSX – The first mid-engine Honda, inspired by European sports cars – Ferrari 348 in particular – and developed by the late, great Ayrton Senna. The car was unveiled to the public at the 1989 Chicago Motor Show, but the market launch came a year later equipped with a mid-mounted 2,997c V6 engine producing 270hp. The car was revolutionary as it was the first production model to use titanium connecting rods and forged pistons with the ability to reach up to 8000 rpm thanks to Honda’s patented VTEC system with two cam profiles, one for low revs and another for higher engine speeds
  • Dodge Viper – The first prototype was tested in 1989 and debuted in 1991 with two pre-production models as the pace car at the Indianapolis 500 driven by Carroll Shelby, creator of the AC Cobra and involved in the Viper project despite health problems. The name could not have been more apt, a viper ready to bite the asphalt thanks to a 7,986cc V10 engine derived from Chrysler’s commercial vehicles, capable of pumping out 400hp after a few modifications courtesy of Lamborghini who at the time was owned by the American company.