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  • Will Wynn
  • February 02, 2016 06:16:42 AM
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MyCarHeaven is dedicated to showcasing, talking about and reviewing the most beautiful, cool, iconic and desirable cars, classic cars, supercars and hypercars. If you are reading this, then no doubt you’ll should either own or desire a beautiful cool, iconic or desirable car, due to it's beautiful looks, superb engineering, prestige of ownership or another personal reason. MyCarHeaven is where you can find information about the cars and associated cool stuff that really matters.

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Top 10 Alfa Romeo Cars of all time

Alfa Romeo is known for making stylish cars which are a joy to drive. However, this reputation comes from cars that were built a long time ago. Unfortunately, in recent years the company has struggled to get enthusiasts excited. They’ve given us some very memorable cars in 100 years of existence, making Alfa Romeo the...

Alfa Romeo is known for making stylish cars which are a joy to drive. However, this reputation comes from cars that were built a long time ago. Unfortunately, in recent years the company has struggled to get enthusiasts excited. They’ve given us some very memorable cars in 100 years of existence, making Alfa Romeo the car maker we all love.

1952 Alfa Romeo Disco Volante

The product of a request from the US for an Alfa barchetta sports racer, the Disco Volante was loosely based on the 2000 saloon’s humble underpinnings.

The design was very uncommon for the era, with its rounded fenders, low slung profile and convex tail. In many ways this aerodynamic shape predated the Jaguar D-Type which would shared many of the Disco Volante’s lines.

Powering all the Disco Volante variants was a revised version of the four-cylinder engine found in the Alfa Romeo 1900. It was light alloy rather than iron.

2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

This Alfa may be one of the greatest. Automotive expert and enthusiast, Chris Harris have declared “I think I want one” which says a lot.

It has a very special 2.9-litre V6 with 503bhp and 443lb ft. The smooth V6 engine, sharp steering and balanced handling make this a very impressive return to form for Alfa.

Built on an all-new, rear-wheel drive platform with an emphasis on light weight and agility, the sporty underpinnings of the new Giulia define its shape and strongly influence its design with Alfa Romeo stylists wrapping the mechanical components in a taut, muscular package dominated by its long bonnet, short overhangs, muscular haunches and the longest wheelbase in its class. Simple, natural lines enhance its shape and proportions, while the surface is finished with elegance and restraint, exuding the purity and style one comes to expect of Italian design.

1967 Alfa Romeo T33/2 Stradale Prototipo

The Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 was a sports racing prototype raced by the Alfa Romeo factory-backed team between 1967 and 1977. These cars took part for Sport Cars World Championship, Nordic Challenge Cup, Interserie and CanAm series. A small number of road going cars were derived from it in 1967, called Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale.

The 1967 33 Coupe Stradale used a version of the same V8 engine. This streamlined coupe, designed by Franco Scaglione, sits very low on the road, being less than a metre high. Only 18 examples were ever produced.

1966 Alfa Romeo 1600 Duetto Spider

The Alfa Spider set the benchmark for Italian cars and driver cars alike, one of the most beautiful cars ever produced.

Although the Duetto was only manufactured for three years, its incredible styling remained in vogue for decades, and revised forms of the car were produced through the 1990s.

The sporty demeanor of the Duetto made it the chosen ride of Dustin Hoffman’s character Ben Braddock in the iconic 1967 movie The Graduate.

1968 Alfa Romeo T33/2 ‘Daytona’

Alfa Romeo heavily revised the T33 with their first major revision. These new cars, called T33/2, Mk II or Series 2, had substantially different bodywork that was available in both short and long tail configurations. All the short tail cars were referred to as ‘Daytona’ in either coupe or spyder form.

For Le Mans, Alfa Romeo fitted new long-tail bodywork with small fins near the trailing edge. This was meant to increase overall top speed to 300 kph and gave Alfa Romeo a chance to beat much larger competition such as the GT40. The factory cars placed 4th, 5th and 6th overall and won the 2-liter class.

1954 Alfa Romeo 2000 Sportiva

The Alfa Romeo 2000 Sportiva is a 2-litre sports car made by Italian car manufacturer Alfa Romeo in 1954. Although developed to be built in a small series, just four were made — two coupés and two spiders.

Designed by Scaglione for Bertone in the early 1950s, it featured a tubular space frame and a hot version of the DOHC engine sourced from Alfa’s immediate post-war family saloon, the 1900.

1931 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza

A winner at Le Mans in 1931 and 1934, a version of this Vittorio Jano-designed car was also successful in the 1931 Italian Grand Prix taking first and second places with the Nuvolari-Campari and Borzacchini-Minoia partnerships in the driving seat, and earning itself the nickname ‘Monza’ in the process.

The car notched up more than 50 victories in its time with the heroes of the era, Nuvolari, Campari, Borzacchini, Caracciola, Etancelin and Sommer.

The engine was a 2.5-litre supercharged, double overhead cam, inline 8-cylinder. Capable of producing 178bhp, and coupled with a very light body, the car was a force to be reckoned with in the 1930s. Those lucky enough to own an example still extol its handling and performance to this day.

1928 Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 Sport

Alfa Romeo created the first Italian sports car with the design and manufacture of the 6C 1500. At the base level was a smooth running six-cylinder engine that used a single cast-iron block with integrated cylinder heads. It displaced 1486.6 cc and initially offered 46 bhp @ 4000 rpm which was more than ample for the car’s lightweight design.

This model became Alfa Romeo’s most successful and underwent a stepwise evolution that eventually won all the great road races leading up to the immortal 2.9.

1961 Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ

Unquestionably one of the most desirable Alfa Romeos ever made, the Giulietta Sprint Zagato. Because of its small size (it weighed just 770kg) and aluminum bodywork, the SZ was much faster than its steel-bodied production counterparts.

The 1.3-litre engine pushed the SZ to a top speed of 120mph. Pictured above is one of the last 30 Sprint Zagatos. It featured the ‘Coda Tronca’ bodywork. The entire body was much longer, and was designed to penetrate the air better. Detail changes included a cut-off Kamm tail, narrower front air intake, a lower roof and the use of disc brakes up front.

1932 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Turismo

Built for road-going clientele, Alfa Romeo offered the Gran Turismo, a detuned version of their successful Gran Sport race car. These were sold for customers requesting saloon and cabriolet bodies.

Having the same DOHC engine, the Gran Turismo was a high specification road car that shadowed performance of the Mille Miglia-winning 1750. This model first appeared in 1929 as the 6C 1750 Sport and was renamed Gran Turismo for the 4th and 5th-series cars.

In period Alfa offered the Gran Turismo Tourer for 50,000 lire while a Saloon was 54,500 lire. The bare chassis was also available for 42,000 lire.


1934 Tatra 77 – A Czechoslovakian Masterpiece

Hans Ledwinka, Austrian Automobile designer, was an artistic genius. After working at Nesseldorfer and Steyr, he joined Tatra in 1923 and began designing a series of revolutionary cars. In 1927, Automotive engineer, Paul Jaray founded the Stromlinien Karosserie Gesellschaft, where he applied aerodynamic principles learned during years of experience with airship design to the automobile. It...

Hans Ledwinka, Austrian Automobile designer, was an artistic genius. After working at Nesseldorfer and Steyr, he joined Tatra in 1923 and began designing a series of revolutionary cars.

In 1927, Automotive engineer, Paul Jaray founded the Stromlinien Karosserie Gesellschaft, where he applied aerodynamic principles learned during years of experience with airship design to the automobile. It was Pauls knowledge combined with Ledwinka’s vision that resulted in the world’s first mass produced fully aerodynamic automobile, the Tatra 77.

This is one of the first Tatra 77 streamlined cars ever produced, of 105 units in total built between 1934 and 1936. The Tatra was unusual in that it was designed with aerodynamics in mind from the very beginning, resulting in a drag coefficient of 0.36 – Mercedes’ latest AMG-GT sports car matches that.

First presented to the public on a Carlsbad road in Czechoslovakia on 5 March 1934, and again at the Berlin Motor Show on 8 March 1934, the Tatra 77 deservedly became a sensation. This particular version features a unique option, a large sliding roof manufactured by Webasto, specified by the car’s first owner Josef Wait.

This example has undergone extensive high-level restoration that has only recently been completed. The restoration process placed emphasis on the preservation of all of the vehicle’s details and use of original materials and technology. The dark blue exterior is identical to the original paint found on the vehicle during restoration. The leather interior used during restoration was custom-built to match a sample of the original material.

It’s a quirky addition to this year’s Concours of Elegance line-up, but one that fully deserves its place in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace among some of the rarest and most incredible cars in the world.

The design of the Tatra 77 was so successful that it is said to have heavily influenced Ferdinand Porsche in his plans for the Volkswagen Type I Beetle. After decades of legal battles about just how extensive that influence was, Volkswagen settled the case in 1961 for three million Marks. 


OSCA MT4 LM VIGNALE COUPÉ

Even though their cars were highly successful on the track, the three surviving Maserati brothers struggled financially, especially in the second half of the 1930s. Reluctantly, they were forced to sell their factory to Adolfo Orsi in 1937. One of the conditions of the sale’s agreement was that the brothers would continue to work for...

Even though their cars were highly successful on the track, the three surviving Maserati brothers struggled financially, especially in the second half of the 1930s.

Reluctantly, they were forced to sell their factory to Adolfo Orsi in 1937. One of the conditions of the sale’s agreement was that the brothers would continue to work for the company for a period of ten years. Orsi’s financial support allowed them to develop the two-time Indy winning 8CTF and the highly advanced 4CL.

Nevertheless they decided to leave the company when the ten year term was over. The brothers craved for independence and full control and found that by establishing a new company; l’Officine Specialzate Costruzione Automobili Fratelli Maserati, or OSCA for short.

The ‘MT4’ part of the name is the clue: it stands for ‘Maserati Tipo 4 Cilindri’. OSCA – Officine Specializzate Costruzione Automobili – was set up in 1947 by three of the Maserati brothers.

Their plan was to make small racing cars, using engines based on Fiat’s 1092cc block and topped with OSCA’s own aluminium cylinder head. A new twin-cam head for 1950 raised power to an impressive 100bhp, and the company began to broaden out from barchetta bodies to berlinettas by Frua and Vignale.

The latter carrozzeria was responsible for this intriguing Michelotti-styled machine with its cutaway flanks, zig-zag waistline, crisply-outined nose and minimal front overhang. It was commissioned as a one-off by Turin chemist Mario Damonte to contest the 1952 24 Hours of Le Mans, in which Damonte, partnered by Fernand Lacour, retired after 19 hours with clutch trouble.

Damonte and his OSCA returned for 1953 and, with co-driver Pierre-Louis Dreyfus, scored a win in the 1100cc class. Ownership passed the following year to Maria Luisa Zamberini, a Turin resident like Damonte; from 1956 it disappeared into a private collection until moving to Japan in 1997. The present owner acquired the OSCA in 2015, and in 2016 he showed it at the Concours on the Avenue in California.

On paper the OSCA MT4 might not look very impressive, the superb design and exceptional build quality made it the car to beat in the sub-1500 cc class for almost a decade. With class wins in every major race, it is without a doubt the most successful racing car ever constructed by the Maserati brothers.


Our Top 10 Le Mans Cars

Le Mans is the most demanding test of man and car on earth. Nowhere else will you find such beautiful machines traveling so fast. We have looked through the years at the best vehicles to grace the famous Le Mans track and we have selected our top 10 favourites, is your favourite Le Mans car on...

Le Mans is the most demanding test of man and car on earth. Nowhere else will you find such beautiful machines traveling so fast. We have looked through the years at the best vehicles to grace the famous Le Mans track and we have selected our top 10 favourites, is your favourite Le Mans car on our list?

1982 Porsche 956

1982 Le Mans race: Positions 1-3 were occupied by the Type 956 Porsche works cars

Many people claim the 956 as the greatest racing sports car of all time. We’d agree that It’s tough to argue otherwise, considering the 956/962’s 120 chequered flags over a 13-year span.

To correspond with Group C racing first introduced by the FIA, Porsche designed the 956. Their program, led experienced project manager Norbert Singer, placed strong emphasis on winning the 1982 Le Mans. That year, Porsche made a clean sweep; first second and third was theirs.

1958 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa

Not only was the 250 Testa Rossa (TR) one of Ferrari’s most successful race cars on the track, but it also had unorthodox, but purposeful body by Scaglietti & C. Developed for the 1958 season, the 250 Testa Rossa was designed for both Scuderia Ferrari and private entrants.

This Testa Rossa (“red head” in Italian) is still considered today one of the all-time most beautiful Ferraris. No wonder Ralph Lauren has one in his famed collection. He’s even selling a toy one—for $9,500.

1955 Jaguar D-Type

The deadliest accident in motor racing history occurred at Le Mans in 1955, with somewhere around 85 spectators killed. Bizarre but true: The #6 Jag D-Type won that race set an all-time speed record over 24 hours. The Jag takes this race—in both beauty and speed. It had a shark-like dorsal fin on the rear deck and gorgeous feminine curves over the front wheel wells, all of it enticing in rich, deep British racing green.

A D-Type won again in 1956 and 1957.

2003 Bentley Speed 8

World Copyright: LAT Photographic.

Bentley was the first manufacturer to claim a Le Mans dynasty, winning each year from 1927-1930. It has often been said that those victories cemented a reputation Bentley used to hawk cars all over the globe, and if it were not for those chequered flags, Bentley might not exist today.

The Speed 8—an homage to the Speed 6 that won in 1929 and 1930—was an eight-cylinder ass-kicker in British racing green. It ushered Bentley back into racing after an absence of 73 years, and looked great doing it. The 217-mph car debuted at Le Mans in 2001, and it won in 2003.

2016 Ford GT

It’s red, white, and blue, and undeniably American. The new Ford GT race car will debut this weekend to celebrate the company’s return to Le Mans on the 50th anniversary of its historic 1966 Le Mans win. In 2016 it was 50 years ago to the day that Ford finished 1-2-3 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France when Driver Dirk Müller competed 34o laps in the 84th running of the world’s most famous endurance race to take the victory.

The 2016 win for Ford caps a campaign that began at the Detroit auto show in January of 2015 when the GT supercar was revealed. Ford then announced that it would return to Le Mans after an absence of decades to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the epic trifecta in 1966.

1968-69 Ford GT40

Not only is the GT40 one of the greatest cars to ever race at Le Mans, it’s also has one of the greatest origin stories in automotive history.

After a 1963 verbal agreement between Henry “The Deuce” Ford II and Enzo Ferrari to purchase the Italian sports car company fell through at the last moment, Ford was furious. The Deuce responded the best way he knew how: by pouring millions of dollars into a crash program to embarrass Ferrari’s cars on the track.

The result was the GT40, a car that accomplished everything it was built to do. Between 1966 and 1969, Fords dominated at Le Mans, winning every race, with a remarkable one-two-three finish in 1966. For the 50th anniversary of Ford’s historic 1966 victory, the Blue Oval will take its new Ford GT to Le Mans to see if it can live up to its spiritual successor.

1967 Ferrari 330 P4

If ever a racing car appeared to be as much sculpture as machine, this would be the one. There is no square inch of this car that is static. Everywhere the eye focuses, the body of the car is in movement, the shape changing. The car is in essence similar to Ferrari’s racing sports car from the year before (the 330 P3), with the exception of more tantalizing, spoked wheels. The body was designed by a coach builder named Drogo. Very few of these cars were ever built.

The car placed second at Le Mans in 1967, its only appearance at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

1923 Chenard & Walcker “Sport”

This car is the first-ever winner of Le Mans: the Chenard & Walcker “Sport”.

Boasting a mighty 98 horsepower, it managed to get round the French track at a top speed of 93mph in the hands of André Lagache and René Léonard. If that sounds a little pedestrian, remember this was in 1923, when safety was, at best, a mere wistful afterthought.

1929 Bentley Speed Six

The Speed Six was the car that cemented the legend of the infamous ‘Bentley Boys.’ A club that’s only recently just been revived. And just like the new 600bhp Conti GT3, the Speed Six is a race car based on a big, luxury car normally reserved for plump oligarchs.

But where the GT3 has a 600bhp twin-turbo V8, the Speed Six, with its 6.5-litre straight-six, made just 84 horsepower. Even so, in the hands of those Bentley Boys, the Speed Six won Le Mans in both 1929 and 1930.

Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 LM

In 1931, only six out of the starting 26 cars finished the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This gorgeous Alfa 8C driven by Lord Howe and Sir Henry Birkin did it first. But don’t think this was solely due to the horrendous rate of attrition amongst its competitors. No, with a top speed of 124 mph, this Alfa also stomped Le Mans in 1931, 1932, 1933, and 1934.


Bugatti Type 55

This truly beautiful Bugatti Type 55 has a remarkable history, very few beautiful pre-war sports cars have lived such rich and dramatic lives as this unique car. Built originally to challenge Alfa Romeo at Le Mans, it was later rebodied by one of the greatest French coachbuilders, and wowed all at concours events through the...

This truly beautiful Bugatti Type 55 has a remarkable history, very few beautiful pre-war sports cars have lived such rich and dramatic lives as this unique car.

Built originally to challenge Alfa Romeo at Le Mans, it was later rebodied by one of the greatest French coachbuilders, and wowed all at concours events through the 1930s.

After Bugatti’s disastrous 1931 Le Mans attempt with the pair of mighty Type 50 works cars, Ettore entered two new Type 55 racers for the 1932 event. To avoid any adverse publicity, however, the new cars were registered to the private teams of Count Guy Bouriat and the wealthy Polish aristocrat Stanislaus Czaykowski. Only if they were successful would Le Patron claim involvement.

The functional-looking tourers couldn’t be further removed from the glamorous coachbuilt T55 road cars. Clearly prepared by the factory, they followed the style of the T50 – fabric-covered rear body, cycle wings, side-mounted spare and the petrol tank slung under the back with toolbox mounted above. An extra spotlight, aeroscreens and additional wing stays were added for the 24-hour enduro. For the fast straights, the cars were fitted with long 3.86:1 rear-axle ratios, and extra fuel-tank straps. The favourite of the two cars was chassis 55221, driven by Bouriat teamed with works ace Louis Chiron, the fast and dashing Monégasque. From practice the Type 55s were no match for the dominant Alfa Romeo 8Cs, however, and at the start the two experienced racers set a steady pace, with first driver Chiron lying seventh and the veteran Ernest Friderich in ninth. When three Alfas crashed, the Bugattis moved up the leader board but on lap 23, while running fourth, Bouriat suddenly failed to appear. Through the woods at Tertre Rouge the quickest Type 55 spluttered to a halt with an empty fuel tank. A mystified Bouriat climbed out as a crowd gathered around the Gallic hopeful, who swiftly discovered the cause: a stone had wedged up between the rear axle and the petrol tank, chafing a hole and causing a fuel leak.

The other Type 55 motored on through the evening and by midnight Czaykowski and Friderich had moved up to fourth behind a trio of 8Cs. As the sun rose, the blue challenger was up to third, but seven laps behind the Italians, and by midday after the leaders had been further delayed there even looked to be a chance of snatching second. But Bugatti’s Le Mans jinx returned as Friderich’s car misfired to a stop at the exit of Arnage. A fractured oil pipe had caused piston failure and, although still listed as fourth on distance at the flag, the Bugatti wasn’t classified because it failed to finish.

Fresh from Le Mans, the tank was repaired and chassis 55221 was sold by Bouriat to Jacques Dupuy, a wealthy French magazine publisher. After enjoying the Type 55’s formidable pace in its Le Mans guise, Dupuy decided to send it to Carrosserie Figoni in Boulogue-sur-Seine, where Italian-born founder Giuseppe ‘Joseph’ Figoni began creating one of his most beautiful and restrained designs for the Bugatti. Best known for his flamboyant and glamorous coachwork, Figoni’s work was highly innovative in detail.The one-off roadster was finished by 1933 and Dupuy proudly entered the 1933 Paris-Nice rally and won, proving that the gorgeous-looking but heavier new body style hadn’t hampered the car’s performance.

During the war, like so many exotics, the desirable car was hidden away from inquisitive occupying forces, and with peacetime it found its way down to the south of France. It was discovered in the early ’60s and saved by Geoffrey Stuart St John, one of the most respected English Bugatti connoisseurs.

Once rebuilt, the seductive 110mph roadster was driven all over Europe covering thousands of miles each year, more than any other of the 38 twin-cam exotics built. After a horrific crash in France, St John rebuilt the car and again it claimed concours glory.

St John, then an engineer with Smiths Industries, first came across the car while searching for spares for his rapid Type 35B. Having broken a wheel while racing at VSCC Oulton Park in 1962, St John called in at the garage of HH ‘Tom’ Thomas, who was well known for his stash of Bugatti spares, and spied the part-dismantled Figoni beauty for sale at £750.

Thomas maintained that this Type 55 was the best, but amazingly it was the car’s well-preserved wheels that first tempted St John, who had no idea of the car’s Le Mans history when he bought it in ’63.

In 1994 the T55 was involved in a shocking accident when St John was convoying across France to an Italian Bugatti rally with his good friend Rodney Felton’s Brescia. The two cars were hit by an uninsured local, with Felton’s leading vintage voiturette coming off worse.

Once he had recovered, St John set about rebuilding his cherished car and it soon looked smarter than ever. Although he wasn’t a concours man, he was tempted to display the Figoni-bodied Bug in the Cartier Style et Luxe at the 1997 Goodwood Festival of Speed. In spite of fierce competition in the Pre-War Supercharged Sports Car class, the judges were smitten by the T55, which was a resounding winner in the final vote for Best of Show.

Images: Will Williams


Incredibly rare Talbot Lago Grand Sport

Talbot is a car manufacturing company with a rather controversial story. Throughout the years from 1903 until 1994, the company went though the hands of various owners. Between the years 1960 and 1978, no cars were produced under the company’s name and it was on the verge of bankruptcy numerous times. Talbot is well known...

Talbot is a car manufacturing company with a rather controversial story. Throughout the years from 1903 until 1994, the company went though the hands of various owners. Between the years 1960 and 1978, no cars were produced under the company’s name and it was on the verge of bankruptcy numerous times.

Talbot is well known for producing both vehicles for daily use and some cars for Formula 1. In 1981 Talbot was the first prize winner of the World Rally Championship.

Out of Talbot’s infamous history of car production came a real gem called the Lago Grand Sport. Introduced in 1948, the Talbot Lago Grand Sport had two versions – a racing and a luxury one.

Only 12 cars from the luxury version were ever manufactured, which makes this vehicle extremely scarce and therefore of high interest among classic car lovers and collectors.

By far, Talbot’s biggest achievement was its 1-2 finish in the 1950 24Hours of Le Mans, using T26 Grand Sport and a Talbot-Lago Monopasto. The chassis that was originally scheduled to run in the 1950 24 Hours of Le Mans, chassis No. 110057, but hit a few snags and was not quite ready for the race. Following the victory, the driver of its replacement in the Le Mans purchased it and began its racing history.


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