Monthly Archive: January 2010
This would be the first attempt by this bland automaker to build an exotic car. Produced between 1992-1997 it was styled by famous Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro. It unusual glass top canopy featured a glass in glass design. This exotic glass was mostly used in uber costly cars like Lamborghini Countach. It featured a road gripping all wheel drive system. Later cars would also be available in front wheel drive to lower prices in an attempt to boost sales. With either front wheel drive or all wheel drive the only very un-exotic tranmission available was a four speed automatic.
The only engine was a 3.3 liter boxer or flat six cylinder. It’s very Porsche 911 layout was water cooled with dual overhead camshafts featuring four valves per cylinder. Rated at 231 horsepower it could propel the heavy car to 0-60 in 7.3 seconds. Top speed was a very semi super car like 143MPH.
Feeding all this was a for the time a very sophisticated electronic fuel injection system and computer controlled engine management system. Interiors were plush featuring both leather and suede. Options were few due to the fact they came fully loaded. Prices were high compared to it’s econo car siblings. Only a total of 14,247 were sold in the USA. In it’s last year 1997 on US shores only 747 found new owners. Its maker lost aprox $3000.00 on every one sold. What Auto is This??
This European sedan was this first post World War II design by this company. Its designer Gerald Palmer bragged about its aerodynamic shape. Design features included aerodynamic styling with the headlights faired into the wings and a steeply sloped, curved windshield that cheated the wind. The body was of pressed steel, incorporating a box-section chassis and was made by Briggs Motor Bodies in their Doncaster England factory.
The suspension used torsion-bars on all wheels (independent at the front) and internal gear-and-pinion steering. The early and late models had mixed Girling hydraulic brakes at the front and mechanical braking at the rear. Later versions were fully hydraulic. The engine was a four cylinder overhead valve. It was 1486 cc in size with a compression ratio of 7.2:1. It was water-cooled and had an aluminium block and wet cylinder liners. It developed 50 bhp at 4100 rpm (later models had 53 horsepower) giving the car a maximum speed of 77 mph and a 0-50 mph time of a tire smoking 13.4 seconds.
Two Zenith carburettors were fitted and later engines had hydraulic tappets. The radiator was behind the engine. A four-speed gearbox with column change was used. Early cars had gearboxes made by the Henry Meadows Company, while the remainder of the cars had gearboxes made by car maker themselvess The decision to make the gearboxes in house proved to be a costly mistake for this long gone automaker. A de-luxe saloon version of this sedan tested by The Motor Magazine in 1953 had a top speed of 82.4 mph and could accelerate from 0-60 mph in 20.9 seconds. An MPG of 29.1 miles per imperial gallon was recorded. The test car cost 1207 British Pounds including taxes in 1953. This sedan was produced between 1947-1953 and sold well with over 23,000 being produced. What Auto Is This?