63 images of Alfa Romeos, Ferraris, Maseratis, Lamborghinis and Pininfarina designs taken at the
2005 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, including technical and historical information on the cars.

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Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Index

Italian Cars: 1921-2005
Assorted Cars: 1900-1928
Assorted Cars: 1929-2005


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At the moment, there are  54 images in the Concours Automobiles Gallery.
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Alfa Romeo 1921 G1 Sports Detail X4489

Front end detail of the only surviving 1921 Alfa Romeo G1 Sports, the first car designed by
Giuseppe Merosi after acquisition of A.L.F.A. by Nicola Romeo. The Alfa Romeo Museum
confirmed that this G1, chassis and engine number 6018, is the only G1 still in existence.

The G1 was quite advanced for its time. The engine, two cast iron blocks with three cylinders each, produced 70 hp at 2,100 rpm, a phenomenal 217 lb/ft torque at 1,100 rpm, and it drove through a four-speed gearbox. The chassis was pure vintage with semi-elliptical springs at the front, dual quarter-elliptics at the rear, a unique feature, and, it being 1921, the mechanical brakes were on the rear wheels only with the footbrake operating on the transmission. The G1, designed with overhead valves at the insistence of the young Enzo Ferrari, who had recently joined Alfa as a works driver, started Alfa Romeo's motorsport heritage, finishing first in its category in its first outing, the Coppa de Garda. The top speed of the G1 is 86 mph, which was enough to get the car black-flagged at a vintage car race at Lakeside Raceway for being too fast.

A.L.F.A. (Anonima Lombardo Fabrica Automobili) was a consortium of Milanese businessmen that first built cars using French Darracq designs, then brought in the FIAT engineer Giuseppe Merosi, who designed the first ALFA cars before World War I. In 1915, Nicola Romeo took over the company to make tractors and aircraft engines, and after the war returned to making cars under the Alfa Romeo brand. Giuseppi Merosi designed the G1, the first Alfa Romeo after the war, in his home while involved in a legal action against Nicola Romeo regarding the takeover conditions of the company. He designed a longer, stiffer chassis for the G1, targeting the Rolls-Royce market, and a new 6.3 liter in-line six cylinder engine, the largest engine ever mounted on an Alfa Romeo. It arrived just as gasoline prices were raised, and since the G1 only got six miles per gallon, it was not popular. All 52 G1s, including limousines and sports models, were sold to Australia where the great distances across unimproved territory required fast, powerful and reliable cars.


Alfa Romeo 1921 G1 Sports X4490

G1 number 6018 was imported in 1921 and sold new for 850 pounds to the owner of Cressy Station in Queensland, who was declared bankrupt soon after the purchase. The grazier, who had foreseen his bankruptcy, hid the G1 to preserve the car from his creditors, but he died three years later without revealing its location. Two farmers found the car 25 years later in 1947, holding up one corner of a shed in the Queensland outback, and decided that it would make a fine 'paddock bomb' for rounding up cattle and chasing kangaroos. Eventually they hit a tree and the damaged car was towed back to the farm where it was used to power a water pump. With its massive torque at low engine speed, it was ideal for the job and the work ensured that the engine remained in excellent condition.

In 1964 it was retired from pump duty and rescued by Alfa Romeo enthusiasts. The following year the car was bought by Ross Flewell-Smith who, against the advice of some experts that thought the car unrestorable, began to rebuild it, an exercise that took ten years. Flewell-Smith discovered a second wrecked G1, which supplied many of the missing parts. Most of the body was missing and, after experimenting with various styles, Flewell-Smith took advice from Luigi Fusi who was then curator of Alfa Romeo's museum. In 1977 the restored Alfa Romeo G1 won the Queensland Vintage Car Concours and then went on to win the 1978 Australian Mille Miglia memorial race.

In 1995, Flewell-Smith sold the car he had nicknamed 'Milly' (from the 'Milan' on the engine block) to Julian Sterling, who commissioned a restoration to his own exacting standards. All worn parts were replaced with specially-made components built regardless of cost. New Michelin tires were made from the original 1920s molds at a cost of $6,000 for the set. The restoration was undertaken up to a standard, not down to a price, and the work was described in the 1998 edition of the Classic Car Yearbook as 'breathtaking'. Sterling later sold the G1 to Australian Alfa Romeo importer, Neville Crichton, who had the car restored to fully driveable condition to tour the country, attending demonstrations and vintage races, including 2nd place in the classic car event at the Australian Grand Prix.


Alfa Romeo Ornament X4718


Alfa Romeo New Make Detail X4718c

The Alfa Romeo badge and silver St. Christopher radiator mascot from a 1932 Zagato Spyder (shown below).

The first Alfa Romeo badge consisted of two symbols of the city of Milan - the serpent of the Visconti family coat of arms on a blue background and the red cross of the city banner on a white background - all enclosed in a metallic ring with the words “ALFA” and “MILANO” separated by two Savoy knots. In 1915, after the acquisition of A.L.F.A. by Neapolitan industrialist Nicola Romeo, a new badge was styled with the ALFA-ROMEO name. After Alfa-Romeo won the first Grand Prix manufacturer's championship in 1925 with the P2 designed by Vittorio Jano, a laurel wreath was added to surround the badge perimeter.

Alfa Romeo was the featured marque at the 2005 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.


Alfa Romeo St. Christopher Detail X4717c


Alfa Romeo Badge Detail X4718c

At left, detail of a bronze St. Christopher mascot, and at right, detail of the laurel-wreathed 1932 badge shown above.
The radiator mascot derives from the very first automotive mascot created by Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, who placed
a bronze statuette of Saint Christopher, the patron saint of travelers, on the hood of his 1896 four cylinder Daimler.

Alfa's badge was designed in 1910 by an Italian draughtsman, Romano Cattaneo, who used two heraldic devices traditionally associated with Milan: on the right is the Biscione, the emblem of the House of Visconti, rulers of Milan in the 14th century, with a serpent swallowing a Saracen from a First Crusade banner and the ducal crown of the Visconti. On the left is a red cross on a white field, the emblem of Milan from the door of the Castello Sforzesco, which refers back to the days of the First Crusade, when many Milanese soldiers joined the Lombards who followed Giovanni of Rho to the Holy Land. The red cross was their symbol, and the white background symbolised the white shirts they were forced to wear under their armour to protect them from the fierce Palestinian sun. In 1918 the badge was redesigned, and the ALFA was changed to ALFA-ROMEO, carrying over the MILANO and the two Savoy dynasty knots which honored the Kingdom of Italy from the original badge.


Alfa Romeo 1930 Testa Fissa X4723

The Alfa Romeo 1930 6C 1500 Testa Fissa Zagato Spyder.

The 6C (the number refers to the straight-six engine) was first unveiled at the Milan Show in April of 1925 with a 1500cc engine. It was a lightweight, high-performance model designed by Vittorio Jano to replace Giuseppe Meroni's RL and RM models, and was based on the P2 racing car. This was the body style which made Alfa Romeo successful. The body style continued into the mid-1950s, with examples built by the coachbuilders Zagato, Touring, Pininfarina and others.

The Testa Fissa (fixed head) engine was a small batch of engines designed in 1929 to eliminate the head-gasket failures which plagued long-distance racing. Six engines were produced in the first batch in 1929, and 12 engines were produced in late 1929 and 1930. The engines were only supplied to the top racers of the day, such as Enzo Ferrari, who started Scuderia Ferrari with six 6C Alfa Romeos, several of which were Testa Fissa competition models. This 1930 6C 1500 Testa Fissa won its class.

This 6C 1500 is a Super-Sport (supercharged) version that developed considerably more mid-range torque than the unblown engine, which made it far more effective for racing and hill-climbing. The Testa Fissa Gran Sport was Enzo Ferrari's favorite amongst all of the cars in his experience (including his own). The Testa Fissa engines were used exclusively for works cars, and closely guarded by the factory... often the Testa Fissa engines were removed and the cars were rebodied before being sold with a standard engine. The doors of this car are cut more acutely at the rear, possibly at the request of a competition driver who needed more elbow room.

Only three of the 6C 1500 Testa Fissas are known to exist today, and this car has the classic look of the later, highly desirable 6C 1750 4th series Zagato Spyder and may be one of the most original surviving Alfa Romeos of the period. The only body panels which have been replaced are the two running boards and a panel between the spare wheels and fuel tank.

During the 1920s, Ugo Zagato concentrated on racing cars, using aeronautical techniques to skin the chassis with a lightweight frame of sheet aluminum. In 1925, Vittorio Jano asked him to create a body for the 6C 1500, and his lightweight masterpiece took 2nd place overall in the 1927 Mille Miglia and won the following year. His body was improved for the 1927 6C 1750, and became the basis for Alfa Romeo’s most successful design.


Alfa Romeo 1931 Corto Zagato Spyder X4495

The Alfa Romeo 1931 8C 2300 Corto Zagato Spyder, one of nine made especially for competition in the 24 hour race at LeMans. These were the finest racing cars of the early 1930s, and four different teams won the Le Mans race consecutively between 1931 and 1934 with the 1931 8C 2300. It has a supercharged 2.3 liter in-line eight cylinder engine, divided into two four-cylinder blocks, and delivered 180 hp to the four-speed transmission. It was based on Vittorio Jano's original straight-eight engine for the P2, and had integral heads (no head gasket). Alfa Romeo built both long (Lungo) and short (Corto) versions of the 8C 2300 road cars, as well as one single-seat (monoposto) race car.

The first Alfa Romeo 8C 2300s were ready in time to make their debut at the 1931 Mille Miglia, a grueling race even for thoroughly developed cars. Two Zagato-bodied cars were entered for Tazio Nuvolari and Luigi Arcangeli. This Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Zagato Spyder (chassis number 2111007) is one of the earliest 8Cs produced and was used by the Alfa racing team in 1931. This is one of the two cars raced at the Targa Florio that season. It was sold shortly after to Scuderia Ferrari and was raced by Enzo Ferrari himself in his last competitive event. The car was sold again before the end of the season and continued to be raced in various events. By 1935 the car was sold to an owner in the United Kingdom, where it remained for decades.


Alfa Romeo 1931 Touring Spyder X4719

The 1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS Touring Flying Star Spyder, winner of the Elegance in Motion trophy.

The Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 is one of the quintessential Alfa Romeos of its era. First introduced as a replacement for the 6C 1500 in 1929, the 6C 1750 evolved from a relatively simple road car to a very sophisticated racing machine in the five years it was produced. One of the key elements in the progress was designer Vittorio Jano, lured to Alfa Romeo from his former employer Fiat by Enzo Ferrari. Jano's first design for Alfa Romeo was the 6C 1500, which featured a small six cylinder engine with a single overhead camshaft. At the 1929 Rome Motorshow, the 6C 1750 was introduced. The 6C 1750 was intended to carry a larger and heavier fixed head, double overhead camshaft engine, which would form the base for a series of very successful competition engines. The most powerful version was the Super Sport, which was fitted with a 95 bhp supercharged engine.

Production of the Sport and Super Sport lasted for only two years. The replacements were the naturally aspirated Gran Turismo and supercharged Gran Sport. With a wheelbase of just over 2.7 metres, the Gran Sport was not only the most powerful, but also the shortest of the series. It is this model that is best known of all 6C 1750s produced. The final evolution was a further modified Gran Sport, produced in 1933. It was equipped with various chassis modifications compared to earlier models. As was common practice in the day, the cars were delivered as rolling chassis for the coach-builders to body. Most of the 6C 1750s were bodied by Italian coach builders, with Zagato and Touring being responsible for the bulk of these. Zagato's bodies were mainly chosen for the competition cars, because of their light weight. All of Alfa Romeo's successful competition models of the 1930s built on the lessons learned in the development of the 6C 1750. Jano's double overhead camshaft design would remain unchanged and proved a winning formula in both Grand Prix and Sports car racing.


Alfa Romeo 1931 Touring Spyder Interior X4487

Carrozzeria Touring became famous for their Superleggera body construction system based upon their aircraft bodies.


Alfa Romeo 1931 Touring Spyder X4485c


Alfa Romeo 1931 Touring Spyder X4719c

Carrozzeria Touring of Milan built a special body for the Alfa Romeo which has gone down in motoring history as the Flying Star. Josette Pozzo won the Coppa d'Oro di Villa d'Este in the 1931 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este, for which this car was built. Touring had built nearly identical bodies for Isotta-Fraschini and Fiat chassis and bodied many Alfa Romeos, but the Flying Star was the most decorated of their sport bodies. Touring's signature touch is at the running boards where the fenders separately swoop and intertwine to the top and bottom of the chassis rail. The rest of the body's overall shape is similar to the standard competition coachwork but was unique in detail.

The off-white bodywork, interior and wheels are ornamented by a nickel-plated accent which runs the length of the body and integrates with the door hinge before hugging the rear fender. Three louvers on the hood adopt the same lines and mimic the elliptical coma trail of a star. The interior is all-white with a huge white steering wheel and upholstery, contrasting with the black dashboard and a brass shift knob engraved with the original owner's initials. The one piece windscreen is sculpted to imply the competition history of the Alfa Romeo 6C 1750.


Alfa Romeo 1932 Zagato Spyder X4721

The Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport Zagato Spyder, chassis number 10814400, is a rather unusual example of the 6C 1750, and one of the last produced. By the time this particular chassis had been produced by Alfa Romeo and Zagato the car had been refined and tweaked to its absolute limits, and represents the absolute best the car had to offer. The refinement would be particularly visible in this particular model. By the time Zagato had gotten around to building the body for this particular chassis the carrozzeria had begun to evolve and transition to newer, cleaner designs. This would be readily apparent in the Gran Sport Spyder as it would end up resembling the soon to be famous 8C 2300.

A mix of the present and the future, the bodywork on 10814400 was remarkable. The car has the typical 1.7-liter DOHC inline six-cylinder engine and Roots-Type Supercharger, boosting power up to 100 bhp, a four-speed manual gearbox, a live-axle suspension with semi-elliptical leaf springs and four-wheel drum brakes. The new features of this 5th-series aluminum-bodied Zagato Spyder are the 8C-style grille, a more-steeply raked windscreen and a top that fits entirely underneath the elongated tail of the car. This simple and very elegant body style would be found on only the last ten models of the 6C 1750 Gran Sport Spyder out of the Zagato factory, making them an important connection between the 6C and the 8C.


Alfa Romeo 1932 Zagato Spyder X4483


Alfa Romeo 1932 Zagato Monza X4510

Above left, another angle of the 1932 6C 1750 Gran Sport Zagato Spyder, and at right, a 1932 8C 2300 Zagato Monza.

The Alfa Romeo 1932 8C 2300 Zagato Monza, winner of the Mille Miglia trophy, was one of four short wheelbase Monza bodies built in 1932. A shortened version of the Spyder, the name came about when Tazio Nuvolari jumped from his new (but crippled) dual-engine Tipo A into an 8C 2300 two hours into the 1931 Monza race, and together with Giuseppe Campari were victorious. The 8C 2300 Monza twin-seat Grand Prix car was named in honor of this win, but they did not have the slotted radiator cover until 1932. They were replaced late in 1932 by the reworked Tipo B monoposto racer.

Chassis 2111032 was used as a Works car in 1932, then sold early in 1933 to Scuderia Ferrari, who had the original Monza body replaced by Zagato-built Spyder coachwork. Ferrari entered the car in the Mille Miglia for Tazio Nuvolari, who drove the car to victory. The 8C 2300 served Scuderia Ferrari for several more seasons and was rebodied to its original Monza shape in 1934. After its Ferrari ownership, the Monza continued to be raced extensively as late as 1948 when it took part in the opening weekend at Goodwood. The Monza is wearing its Mille Miglia winning number of 98.

The Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 ranks as a close second to the Bugatti Type 35 as the most successful racing car ever produced, with three wins at the Mille Miglia, three in the Targa Florio, four at Le Mans and the Grand Prix victory at Monza.


Alfa Romeo 1932 Touring Spyder X4725

The Alfa Romeo 1932 8C 2300 Corto Corsa (short-chassis racer) Touring-bodied Mille Miglia Spyder is believed to be one of the four cars which were built to compete in the 1932 Mille Miglia. Although this chassis (number 2111035) did not run in the Targa Florio, it is a close representation of Nuvolari’s car which won the race in 1932. 2111035 was used to promote the victory of Alfa Romeo in the Mille Miglia and sold in October 1932. It is considered to be the most original of the four 1932 works cars.


Alfa Romeo 1934 Brianza Torpedo X4496

The Alfa Romeo 1934 8C 2300 Lungo Brianza Torpedo, a long-chassis version with a Brianza body.
Some of these cars are difficult to find information on. Chassis number 2311236 is one of those cars.
It has a UK license plate and an Argentine owner, but I have no information on early history of this car.

The inline eight cylinder two liter engine designed by Vittorio Jano for the P2 Grand Prix car after he came to Alfa Romeo from FIAT in 1923 was modified for the 1931 Mille Miglia by changing the four plated-steel two cylinder blocks to two aluminum four cylinder blocks which incorporated the cylinder heads. The 1931 Mille Miglia engine displaced 2336cc and was designated the 8C 2300. In 1932, the 8C 2600 was created for the P3 Monza racer, the world's first single-seat Grand Prix car, considered to be one of the finest Grand Prix racers ever built. In 1935 a 3.8 liter version was built for the 8C Type 35 racer for Scuderia Ferrari, since 1933 the privatized racing arm of Alfa Romeo, and this led to the 8C 2900 which was first shown in 1935 at the London Motor Show. The 8C engine was Alfa Romeo's primary racing engine from 1931 to 1939 (increased displacement was gained through this period by lengthening the stroke).

The 8C 2300, with 188 cars produced, became an icon of automotive racing with wins at Le Mans, Spa, Targa Florio and the Mille Miglia. The 8C 2300s were undefeated on the Grand Prix circuit, bringing down the powerful Mercedes SSK and SSKL, and at the Spa 24 hours, became the first car to sport the famous prancing horse logo of Scuderia Ferrari.


Alfa Romeo 1934 8C2300 Touring Spyder X4502


Alfa Romeo 1934 8C2300 Detail X4501

An unusual two-tone 1934 8C 2300 Touring Spyder with large louvers ventilating the engine compartment.
Note the aerodynamic treatment of the front end, with the body flowing smoothly to the radiator and fenders.


Alfa Romeo 1938 Mille Miglia X4512

The Alfa Romeo 1938 8C 2900B Mille Miglia. This car won Best in Class for owner Ralph Lauren.

This 8C 2900B is one of the four Works cars built by Alfa Romeo and Carrozzeria Touring for the 1938 Mille Miglia. Driven by Carlo Pintacuda, number 142 led for most of the 1000-mile Alfa dominated race. At the last checkpoint, rear brake problems sidelined it for 14 minutes. While repairs were being made his rival Clemente Biondetti flew by in his 8C 2900B which had a Tipo 308 Grand Prix engine. Pintacuda later caught up, but was blocked by Biondetti and unable to get by, finishing second.

The Mille Miglia was established by the racing drivers Count Aymo Maggi and Count Franco Mazzotti after the Italian Grand Prix was moved from their home town of Brescia to the Autodrome at Monza. It was an open road endurance race, running from Brescia to Rome and back, roughly 1000 Roman miles, and made the Alfa Romeo 6C and 8C Grand Turismo cars famous. The four 1938 8C 2900B Mille Miglia cars and the 8C 2900B coupe built for the 1938 24 hours at Le Mans were the standout cars in the 8C 2900 series, and all five survive. The streamlined coupe was entered when the Le Mans racers were almost all open cars, and led most of the race until a dropped valve caused it to retire with a lead of more than 100 miles over the next car.

The four Corto (short wheelbase) Mille Miglia cars were entered by the in-house racing team of Alfa Corse which took over for Scuderia Ferrari. Three of the four had standard 8C 2900 engines tuned to yield 220 hp, and the fourth (assigned to Biondetti) used a 295 hp engine from the 8C-308 or Tipo 308 Grand Prix car, modified from the 8C 2900 for the 1938 3 liter Grand Prix class. Two of the four cars did not finish the race (a crash and a blown engine), but one of these later won the 1938 Spa 24 hour race with Pintacuda driving. The 1,2 finish in the 1938 Mille Miglia followed the 1,2,3 sweeps achieved by the 8C 2900A racers entered in the 1936 and 1937 Mille Miglia, cementing the Alfa Romeo reputation for making superb Grand Turismo racers.

The car was later bought from Alfa Corse by Count Carlo Felice Trossi. In the 1940s it came to the USA, and owner Tommy Lee hired drivers to race it at Pikes Peak and Watkins Glen. After Lee's death a young mechanic by the name of Phil Hill bought the car from the estate and drove it to victory at Pebble Beach, winning the Del Monte Cup in 1951. Phil Hill sold the Alfa at the end of the season to buy his first Ferrari, but later said that he wished that he had kept it. Ralph Lauren purchased the car in early 2004 and commissioned his long time collaborator Paul Russell to restore the car to its 1938 Mille Miglia configuration.


Alfa Romeo 1939 8C 2900B Superleggera Interior X4505


Alfa Romeo 1939 8C 2900B Superleggera Detail X4504

A 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Touring Spyder. With its competition chassis and high top speed, this road car was based upon the winning 8C 2900A racing cars, which went 1,2,3 at the 1936 Mille Miglia, and won the following year as well. With its competition chassis and a high top speed due to its only slightly detuned engine, there were only 10 Lungo (long) and 20 Corto (short) wheelbase versions built. The price was high, but they were faster and quicker than anything the competition could offer. Several were used as racers, and Alfa Romeo built an additional 13 chassis, mounted their 220 hp engine, and fitted them with roadster bodies. Some of these competed in road races like the Mille Miglia, and two victories in 1938 and 1947 were achieved by the 8C 2900B. No other Alfa Romeo has won more Mille Miglia trophies than the 8C 2900.


Alfa Romeo 1939 8C 2900B Superleggera Detail X4507

Felice Bianchi Anderloni of Carrozzeria Touring created the Superleggera (Super-Light) body and frame design. Patented in 1936, the superleggera system consists of a structural framework of small-diameter tubes that conform to an automobile body's shape and are covered by thin alloy body panels that strengthen the framework. Aside from light weight, the superleggera construction system allows great design and manufacturing flexibility, enabling coachbuilders to quickly construct innovative body shapes. This frame is over the main chassis, as suspension components are too heavy to mount on the tubes. The construction method comes from 1930s aircraft designs, and allowed great flexibility in shaping as well as the very light weight. A number of Alfa Romeo 8C 2300/2900 cars were built by Touring.


Alfa Romeo Disco Volante Coupe Touring X4515

The Alfa Romeo C52 Disco Volante Coupe was built with a Superleggera body by Carrozzeria Touring after the withdrawal of Alfa Romeo from motorsport at the end of the 1951 season. The racing department was used to experiment on chassis and engines, and their first experimental car developed jointly with Touring was one of the most famous designs of the 1950s. Except for the suspension, the C52 was an entirely new design. Derived from the 1900 road car it used a state-of-the-art tubular spaceframe chassis which offered superior rigidity to previous tubular ladder frames at no additional weight. The Touring body was designed to be aerodynamic from all directions, creating an oval design with large overhangs on either side of the driving compartment and a full underbody. It was given the name Disco Volante (Flying Saucer), inspired by the UFO craze. The 1900 engine featured a new aluminum block replacing the cast iron of the original (bored slightly to 2 liters) and two twin-choke Weber carburetors, and produced 158 hp. Top speed was 220 km/h (137 mph). The car was intended to be driven by Juan Manuel Fangio at the 24 hours of Le Mans, but for some reason the Alfa Romeo team did not show up and the car was never raced.

This 1953 C52 Disco Volante coupe is from the Museo Historico Alfa Romeo in Arese.


Alfa Romeo 1967 Spyder X4498


Alfa Romeo 1970 Tasman Coupe X4499

Alfa Romeo 1967 Tipo 33/2 Periscopio Spyder

The 1967 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/2 Autodelta Periscopio Spyder, the third of the first four examples constructed and raced during the 1967 season, was an endurance racing prototype with a chassis made of large diameter single tubular members coated internally with a plastic sealer to form the fuel tank. The front end is an intricate magnesium-alloy casting which supported the rack-and-pinion steering and suspension. Two cast magnesium-alloy members protruding from the rear of the car support a sheet-metal saddle supporting the rear suspension. The engine is a 2 liter V8 developing 270 hp for a top speed of 185 mph. The tall air intake for the ram pipes earned the Tipo 33 its nickname (Periscopio or Periscopica). It won its first event (the Fléron hill climb in Belgium), but had problems during the season with overheating, suspension failures and ignition problems until a team rev-limit was imposed at 8300 rpm, after which the cars proved reliable. It was called 33/2 for the two liter engine.

Alfa Romeo 1970 Tipo 33/4 Tasman Coupe

The Alfa Romeo 1970 Tipo 33/4 Tasman Coupe was originally a Tipo 33/3 and was the only three liter coupe built as a monocoque, with a similar look to the original Ferrari 512 short-tail coupe. It was driven in its original 3 liter form in Europe, then was converted to run with the 4 liter V8 in the European InterSeries. It was later sent to Australia to run in the Tasman Cup as it was already fitted with the V8 engine.


Alfa Romeo 1968 Spyder X4508


Alfa Romeo 1968 Spyder X4509

The Alfa Romeo 1968 Tipo 33/2 Autodelta Spyder, chassis number 75003.022, started out as a hardtop Stradale coupe before being cut into its Spyder form. This car won the 1969 1000 km Monza race in the 2 liter class for Scuderia Madunina, and was 5th at the 1969 Targa Florio. In 1970 it was 1st in its class at Targa Florio, and 3rd at the Interlagos 1000 km race. After the 1970 season, it was sold to Bruno Ottomano of Bari, who probably raced it at the National level. In 1974 Ottomano sold the car for the equivalent of well under $3000 to Luigi Baroncelli of Ravenna, who parked it in a warehouse untouched for 25 years, where it was discovered and sold to an American client, who undertook a complete restoration. After completion of the restoration, it was entered in the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. It won Best in Class for Alfa Romeo Post-War Racing.


Alfa Romeo 2005 8C Spider X4475

The Alfa Romeo 8C Spider Concept, derived from the 8C Competitzione, was unveiled at the 2005 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance where Alfa Romeo was the featured marque during their 90th anniversary. They never released any information about the car. They finally announced a production version in 2008 at the Geneva Motor Show with a Ferrari 4.7 liter V8 engine.

The Alfa Romeo 8C Spider has a carbon fiber body bolted to a steel and aluminum tubular chassis, with additional bracing to compensate for the lack of a hardtop. The 4.7 liter 450 hp V8 is the same one in the current Maseratis, and it has the same six-speed autoclutch manual transaxle that Maserati used to call the Cambiocorsa. The engine sits behind the front axle and the differential is in front of the rear axle, giving the car a 50/50 weight balance. The Alfa Romeo 8C Spider is a modern-day version of the Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder of the early 1960s.


Bizzarini 1966 P538 Spyder Prototype X4438

The very rare 1966 Bizzarrini P538 Spyder prototype, one of the only two built with a Lamborghini engine by Giotto Bizzarrini, a former Alfa Romeo engineer who worked for Ferrari as Chief of Sports Car Development until the "palace revolution" of 1961. Along with other Ferrari defectors such as Carlo Chiti (later head of Autodelta), Bizzarrini formed ATS to directly compete with Ferrari both on the race track and on the street. When they left Ferrari, they took Scuderia Serenissima (Count Giovanni Volpi's racing team, one of Ferrari's top racing customers) with them. ATS designed the Ferrari 250 GT SWB “Breadvan” for Count Volpi in 14 days when Ferrari refused to release his two GTOs after Volpi financed ATS. In the 1962 Le Mans, the Breadvan blew past the 250 GTOs.


Bizzarini 1966 P538 Spyder Prototype X4440

Bizzarrini’s engineering company Societa Aerostar was commissioned to design a V-12 engine for another disgruntled Ferrari customer, Ferrucio Lamborghini. Later, after designing three cars for Iso Rivolta (the Iso Rivolta GT and Iso Grifo A3L and A3C), Bizzarini started producing his own cars in 1964. Two Bizzarini P538 Barchetta prototype racers were built with Corvette 327 V8 engines, and two with Lamborghini 3.5 liter and 4.0 liter V-12 engines. This was the second car, built for the American driver Mike Gammino with a Lamborghini 4.0 liter V-12 with six two-barrel Weber carburetors, developed 430 hp for a top speed of 170 mph. The fiberglas body only weighed 40 kg, and the weight of the entire car was 700 kg (1540 lbs). The car was extremely fast and handled like it was on rails. According to legend, it was later banned from all local SCCA Northeast Regional events.


Bizzarini 1969 Manta GT X4598

The Bizzarrini Manta was built up from parts of the third P538 which was created for the 1966 Le Mans race with a Corvette V8. The untested car, completed just before the race, developed a vibration in the wheel after seven laps. When the car was hoisted on the jacks, a hose in one of the triangular tubes ruptured, and the car had to withdraw from the race. The car was brought back to Le Mans the next year, but was not allowed to race for an unknown reason. The car was now obsolete as a racer after new rules were drawn up for prototypes requiring 25 units to be built for homologation and a 5 liter engine limit, so the roadster body was removed and replaced with a coupe body with the intention of selling it as a racing car. The Duke of Aosta was interested but he did not fit in the car, so another car was made especially for him (the Duca d'Aosta Coupe).

The newly-created ItalDesign company formed by Giorgetto Giugiaro was interested in creating a show car based upon the P538 chassis, so the coupe body of the Le Mans car was removed and the chassis with its 5.3 liter Corvette V8 was sent to ItalDesign to finish. They completed the Manta in just 40 days and showed it at the 1969 Turin Auto Show, renumbered as 6901.

The Manta was used to promote ItalDesign and was one of the first cars in the world to use a triple-seat configuration. The driver is seated in the middle with a passenger on either side. The idea was copied from a 1965 Ferrari 365 prototype, and later reintroduced by the McLaren F1. The front end rises from the nose directly in a line to the roof, and drops in a smooth line to the undercut tail. The car is unusually wide (73 inches), but only 13.5 feet long and 41 inches tall. Note the orange rear engine vents.

After the Turin Show, the Manta went on to shows in Tokyo and Los Angeles. On its way back to Italy, the car was literally lost. Ten years later, the car was bought at a Genoa customs auction by an automotive enthusiast. ItalDesign went on to create the designs for the VW Golf and the DeLorean, and is now part of VW’s Lamborghini Division. The Manta won First in its Class.


Ferrari 1956 410 Superamerica X4585

First unveiled as a complete car at the Brussels Salon in 1956, the Ferrari 410 Superamerica was built in three different series with a five liter 340 hp version of the Lampredi V12 engine from the Formula One cars, which became obsolete as a racing engine when the Formula One rules were changed to reduce engine size. This car is from the first series which had a Pininfarina body design similar to the 250 GT on a 2800 mm wheelbase. The car could reach speeds in excess of 150 mph and was one of the fastest cars in the world at the time. It was an extremely rare car (only 16 Series I Superamericas were built and only 36 were produced in all three series), and carried a price tag near $17,000 (in 1956 dollars), over twice the cost of a Mercedes 300SL. Many of the 410SA coupes had side vents behind the front wheels, but this example, 0481SA does not.

Enzo Ferrari raced for Alfa Romeo from 1920 to 1929, then started Scuderia Ferrari, which was the racing arm of Alfa Romeo until 1938, when Alfa took their racing department in-house, along with Ferrari. He left Alfa for good in 1938, but was prohibited by contract from racing under his own name for four years. After World War II, Ferrari began work on their 12 cylinder engine, and in 1947 built the first Ferrari, the 125S. Ferrari built road cars to fund his racing efforts, based upon his racing cars. In 1951 a Ferrari 375 brought the team its first victory (over Alfa Romeo), and the 340 and 342 America using the Formula 1 Lampredi engine were built between 1950-52. In 1953 the 375 America was released with the new 4.5 liter Lampredi engine (only 11 were built from late 1953-54). This led to the new 5 liter Lampredi engine and the 410 Superamerica, first shown as a polished bare chassis at the 1955 Paris Show, highlighting a single-plug version of the long-block type 126 Lampredi V12. Four months later the Pininfarina-bodied Superamerica (chassis 0423SA) was first shown at the Brussels Motor Show.


Ferrari 1956 410SA Superfast X4552


Ferrari 1956 410SA Superfast X4553

The 1956 Ferrari 410SA Superfast Pininfarina Coupe Speciale (chassis 0483SA) was a one-off car built for the 1956 Paris Motorshow. It featured raised rear fins inspired by the Cadillacs of this period, first shown on the Superflow concept car, and a cantilevered roof which eliminated the need for support pillars for the windshield (modified recently, possibly due to cracking). The Superfast I was considered by many to be the hit of the Paris show, and influenced Ferrari styling for years.


Ferrari 1956 410SA Superfast X4555

The 1956 Ferrari 410SA Superfast I (called that to differentiate it from later series Superfast cars) used the racing version of the Lampredi V12 engine with twin ignition, 24 spark plugs and 340 hp, and was reportedly timed at 180 mph, making it one of the fastest touring cars of its time. First owned by William Doheny (grandson of oil baron Edward Doheny), in 1958 it was bought by actor Jackie Cooper, who used the 410 Superfast in the Tourismo Vistadores high speed runs across the Nevada desert. Pininfarina used covered headlights to integrate the fender line, a styling theme they first tried on a 375MM.

The 410 Superfast I used a 200 mm shorter-wheelbase chassis than the 410 Superamerica. In 1957, the Ferrari 4.9 Superfast Pininfarina coupe (chassis 0719SA), without tail fins, was shown at the 1957 Paris and Torino Auto Shows.


Ferrari 1957 250 GT Spyder X4558

The 1957 Ferrari 250 GT Spyder Speciale (chassis 0655GT) was the Pininfarina Series I Cabriolet prototype, a one-off which was built specifically for the 1957 Geneva Auto Show, with a long hood, covered headlights, raised rear fenders, recessed tail lights and a raked windshield without vent windows. It was one of the first cars to use Dunlop disc brakes, and it had prominent chrome accents on the hood scoop. The rear bodywork was different than the later production versions, with more prominent tail fins and lights at the peaks. The driver’s door has a rounded 45-degree cutout. It was sold to Formula One racing driver Peter Collins, who had a spectacular year for Ferrari in 1956 and used this 250 GT as his personal transportation.

The prototype 250 GT coupe was a response to the increased popularity of production-based Gran Turismo racing. The production car based on the 1956 Pininfarina prototype was built by Mario Boano. The 250 GT Boano coupes were the first Ferraris built in a series, but they all received some degree of customization. The success of the 250 GT Boano coupe led to the Pininfarina Cabriolet prototype which is shown above. 40 series I Cabriolets were built (including three more prototypes) which closely followed the Pininfarina design (with the driver’s door cutout removed and with more rounded tail fins) between 1957-59 before the series II came out, which had a plainer design based on the 250 Pininfarina Coupe introduced in 1958.


Ferrari 1970 512S Modulo Pininfarina X4541

The Ferrari 1970 512S Modulo was an experimental one-off prototype berlinetta built by Pininfarina with two overlapping body shells separated by a rectangular indentation at the waistline. The upper surface of the car is a single arching curve from nose to tail. On the lower shell below the side windows, an inverted trapezoid in sheet metal repeats the styling of the side windows. The wheels are faired in both front and rear, and access to the passenger compartment requires sliding the entire front section of the roof with windshield and side windows forward on special rails. The Modulo was built for the 1970 Geneva Motor Show and won 22 design awards. It was displayed at the 1970 Osaka Expo, and was the symbol of Italian design in Mexico City in 1971.


Ferrari 1970 512S Modulo Pininfarina X4547

The Ferrari 512S Modulo was designed by Paolo Martin, based upon one of the 25 512S racing chassis built for homologation. 24 large holes in the engine cover allow viewing of the 5 liter 550 hp V12 engine. The 36.8 inch tall Modulo was first sketched in 1968 when Paolo Martin was working on the Rolls-Royce Camargue. He worked through the August vacation to construct a polystyrene full-scale model, even though Sergio Pininfarina felt that the design was too futuristic and impractical. The faired-in front wheels are only able to turn slightly, and it was so low that only a smaller person could fit in. The design was nearly shelved when Ferrari gave one of the 512S chassis to Pininfarina to create a show car when they could not find enough buyers.


Ferrari 1970 512S Modulo Pininfarina X4797

The body is quite wide (80.3 in.) due to the fairings. Alongside each occupant is a sphere incorporating air vents and switches, which were inspired by two bowling balls that Paolo bribed a guard to let him take from a nearby alley. The Pininfarina General Manager Carlo Renzi kept replacing the engine cover with its 24 holes with a conventional panel, but every morning Paolo would replace it with the original. The Pininfarina Modulo just made it to the Geneva Show, where it was the star of the show. In September 2014, James Glickenhaus convinced Pininfarina to sell him the Modulo, which he will make fully roadworthy.


Ferrari V12 X4795

A Ferrari V12 engine with its Weber carburetor intakes, displayed in all its glory at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.


Ferrari 2000 Rossa Pininfarina X4562

The Pininfarina Ferrari 2000 Rossa prototype was designed by Ken Okuyama to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Pininfarina and launched at the 2000 Turin Motor Show in June. A modern reinterpretation of the 1958 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, it was built on a 2000 Ferrari 550 Maranello Barchetta chassis, with a front mounted 485 hp 5.5 liter V12 engine and a six speed gearbox.


Ferrari 2000 Rossa Pininfarina X4561


Ferrari 2000 Rossa Pininfarina X4793

The lighting clusters are unique vertical slashes over the crest of each front fender, which tapers inwards past the cockpit to form the top of the swooping side modeling, ending inboard of the rear fender. A fin rises from the sill behind the front wheel and houses the directional indicator. Two roll bars outline the top of the seats. The transverse bar between the roll bars houses the third stoplight as well as a camera which feeds a monitor on the front console to replace the rear-view mirror and another forward facing camera which focuses on the driver, feeding a recording system. The engine ducts protrude from the hood.


Cadillac 1931 452A Pininfarina X4518

The Cadillac 1931 452A Pininfarina V16 Roadster, one of the oldest surviving Pininfarina designs.

At the end of the 1920s, the biggest thing in engine design was the V12, and three American companies were competing to be the first to offer a V16 engine. Cadillac was the first to achieve this difficult feat, and in January 1930 they unveiled the 452 V16. They mounted two blocks from Buick 8 cylinder engines on a common crankcase with a single camshaft to operate the valve pushrods. The engine displaced 452 cubic inches (7.4 liters), producing 175 hp and prodigious torque. Cadillac offered the 452 complete with body (mostly by Fleetwood, some by Fisher), unlike many of its competitors which offered rolling chassis to be completed by a custom coachbuilder, but they supplied 21 rolling chassis to foreign coachbuilders, including this 452 to the newly founded Carrozzeria Pininfarina in Italy. The V16 elevated Cadillac to American icon status over Packard with its V12.

Battista Farina was born in 1893, the tenth of eleven children, and he was consequently called 'Pinin' Farina, meaning 'baby of the family.' He worked as an apprentice with the family coachbuilding firm of Farina before founding his own company in 1930, Carrozzeria Pinin Farina. His first client in 1930 was Vincenzo Lancia. A year later the Maharaja of Orchha, Vir Singh II, commissioned a unique roadster on a Cadillac V16 chassis. Fewer than six Cadillacs were exported to India.


Cadillac 1931 452A Pininfarina X4516


Cadillac 1931 452A Pininfarina X4518c

Detail of the grillework of the 1931 Cadillac 452A, with the Flying Heron mascot and V16 badge.
The Heron, designed by John W. Hession Jr., was used on Cadillacs and LaSalles from 1930-32.


Cadillac 1931 452A Pininfarina X4520

The Maharajah of Orchha’s Pininfarina-designed Cadillac 452A was a boat-tailed Speedster with the rear compartment closed, and a dual-cowl phaeton with the compartment opened to reveal the single wide, high seat raised 12 inches above the driver for a 360 degree view, necessary as the Maharajah used it  for hunting tigers. The rear compartment had six individual velvet-lined gun compartments. The boat-tailed body was very fashionable at the time (it was possibly inspired by the boat-tailed 1928 Hispano-Suiza by Galle), although this version lacks running boards. It survived its jungle adventures and remained in the family of the Maharajah for nearly four decades, until it was sold in the 1960s.


Cisitalia 1949 Pininfarina X4522

The 1949 Cisitalia 202 Pininfarina Coupe.

The handcrafted aluminum Cisitalia 202 Coupe by Pininfarina, first shown at the 1947 Paris Motor Show. The aluminum panels were shaped over wooden forms, and the time this required reduced production to only 170 between 1947 and 1952. The two seat Cisitalia transformed postwar automotive design. Based on aerodynamic studies for race cars, the hood, body, fenders and headlights form a continuously flowing surface. This was revolutionary. Considered one of the most attractive cars ever built, when the New York Museum of Modern Art created their 1951 exhibit on automotive design: “Eight Automobiles”, the Cisitalia was displayed with seven other cars. It is still part of the permanent collection at the MoMA.


Nash-Healey 1953 Pininfarina X4527

The 1953 Nash-Healey Pininfarina Le Mans Roadster made its debut at the Chicago Auto Show in February 1952. It was a two seat sports car made with a Nash Ambassador six cylinder OHV engine with an aluminum head and twin SU carburetors  supplied by Donald Healey, a three-speed transmission with overdrive and four wheel hydraulic drum brakes. It had dual fuel pumps, push-button ignition, and a handcrafted steel body created by Pininfarina. At the 1952 Le Mans race, a Nash-Healey was entered, winning first in its class and third overall. Only 17 of the 58 cars entered reached the finish line in 1952.

America’s first post-war sports car, and the first introduced in the US by a major automaker after the Depression, the original Nash-Healeys were built in 1951. The car was designed with a long engine bay to allow for space to install a Cadillac V8 engine as per Donald Healey's original design, and some later owners took advantage of this to convert their cars to V8 engines. The chassis was a widened and reinforced Healey Silverstone ladder-type steel frame with Healey Silverstone independent suspension and a Nash coil-spring rear end. The original Nash-Healeys had an aluminum body designed by Healey and built by Panelcraft of Birmingham with Nash grille, bumpers and trim. Healey did the final assembly. In 1952, Pininfarina was contracted to revise Healey's original design, restyling the grille to match Nash's other models with inboard headlights and changing the two piece flat windshield to a curved single piece. The new body was steel except for an aluminum hood, trunk and dashboard.


Lancia Aurelia 1954 Pininfarina PF200 X4531

With a front end and lines inspired by the F86 Sabrejet fighters, the Lancia Aurelia 1954 PF200 Coupe designed by Pininfarina debuted at the Turin Auto Show in 1952. Considered to be one of the most creative of Aurelia designs by Pininfarina, the coupe had a cockpit-like cabin and was based on the Lancia Aurelia B52 chassis. The 2 liter engine was developed under the supervision of Vittorio Jano, designer of the 6C and 8C Alfa Romeo racing engines (see the top of this page) and later, the Dino Ferrari. Four of the estimated six PF200s produced (3 cabriolets and 3 coupes) are still in existence. A fire at the factory destroyed much of Pininfarina’s documentation, and it is possible that eight were made, but six are known for certain.


Lancia Aurelia 1954 Pininfarina PF200 X4801

The Lancia Aurelia B52 chassis on which the PF200 was constructed was a limited production chassis, with only 98 examples, all of which were sent to custom coachbuilders. One of the PF200s was built for jazz impresario Norman Granz on a Cadillac 62 chassis, and Pininfarina used a very similar design for their Palm Beach Special, built on a Nash Rambler chassis.

Pininfarina’s success with the Cisitalia 202 led to a soaring reputation and many custom body commissions. They created the first PF200 roadster for the 1952 Turin Show as a styling exercise, and it was the only one with a circular nose. The later two spyders and the 3 to 5 coupes had more elliptical noses as on this unit, and different treatments of the tail section and tailpipes.


Maserati 1954 Pininfarina X4529

The Maserati A6GCS/53 Pininfarina Berlinetta (chassis 2089) was originally fitted with a Fantuzzi Barchetta spyder body with very small doors and raced successfully by Francesco Giardina, winning its class at the Mille Miglia (fourth overall) and winning its class at Targa Florio in 1955. The car was eventually crashed, and the body was replaced with the fourth and final Pininfarina body in 1959, which was removed from chassis 2060 and replaced with a Fiandri Barchetta body.

The Maserati A6GCS was Maserati’s answer to the Ferrari 500 Testa Rossa, both powered by 2 liter Formula 2 engines. The Ferrari was a four cylinder, the Maserati was a 170 hp twin-cam inline 6 with dual ignition, one of the last engines designed by the Maserati brothers before leaving the company. There was no association between Pininfarina and Maserati due to the Ferrari contract, so the four Pininfarina bodies were all made under private commission by the Maserati dealer in Rome under protest by Ferrari. The Maserati A6GCS/53 Pininfarina Berlinetta is considered to be one of the most beautiful cars ever built.


Maserati 1961 Tipo 63 Birdcage X4799

The Maserati 1961 Tipo 63 Birdcage was one of Italy’s first mid-engined sports racers. It was called the Birdcage because of its spaceframe chassis made up of numerous short small-diameter tubes, taken from the highly successful Tipo 60/61 front engine racer. The Tipo 63 was originally intended to be powered by a 3 liter variant of the V12 from the 250F Formula 1 car, but the engine was not available by the time the prototype was completed. This was the second of two Tipo 63.002 chassis built, the first was a short wheelbase and the second was a long wheelbase, both were numbered the same to avoid customs issues. The first chassis was driven with a four cylinder engine by Bruce McLaren and Walt Hansgen at the 1961 Sebring 12 hour race, then was rebuilt with the extended nose and the V12 engine and piloted to a fourth place at Le Mans, Maserati’s best finish. The chassis was then retired from active duty and replaced with this longer wheelbase chassis (it is called the 63.002 LWB).

The Maserati 1961 Tipo 63 Birdcage was displayed as part of the Pininfarina 75th anniversary exhibition.


Maserati 2005 Pininfarina Birdcage X4537

The Maserati 2005 Birdcage was the 75th anniversary Pininfarina Concept car. It was designed by a team under the direction of Ken Okuyama and was first released at the 2005 Geneva Auto Show. Based upon the carbon fiber Maserati MC12 road racing chassis, the goal was the break from traditional styling solutions and return to the ideals of the extreme dream car prototypes. It houses the Maserati F140 V12 engine (tuned to develop over 700 hp) in a delta-shaped teardrop central volume suspended in an inverted wing. The nose has the trapezoidal plan view of the Quattroporte.

The Maserati 2005 Birdcage received the Best Concept award at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show.


Maserati 2005 Pininfarina Birdcage X4536 M


Maserati 2005 Pininfarina Birdcage X4544 M

Two 1500 x 1500 detail shots of the Maserati 2005 Birdcage, showing the interior.

The interior is integrated into the carbon fiber chassis, which is visible through the canopy and especially when it is lifted. The canopy features a transparent Motorola heads-up display, cellular system and rearview cameras. The heads-up display can be seen in the left image above, held up by a tubular support structure. Because the seated position is so low, the perspex canopy extends nearly to the nose of the car to allow the driver to see the road directly in front of the vehicle.


Lamborghini Concept S X4467

The Lamborghini Concept S stands in front of a group of exhibition cars which include (left to right):
the Bugatti Veyron, the Alfa Romeo 8C Spider, the Saturn Sky Roadster, and the Maybach 57 S.

Designed by Luc Donckerwolke (head of Lamborghini Design) based upon the Lamborghini Gallardo, and utilizing the same five liter 500 hp V10 engine as the Gallardo, the Lamborghini Concept S was intended to replicate the feel of a single-seat race car. Originally designed as a single-seat vehicle, a passenger was deemed important enough for the final design to be changed  but the seats are in separate compartments, each with their own truncated windscreen that redirects rather than blocks the wind.


Lamborghini Concept S X4469


Lamborghini Concept S X4471

The bodywork continues between the two passenger compartments, funneling air to the intake between and behind the seats. An electronically activated rearview mirror between the windscreens rises up in case the driver has an interest in what is behind. The original styling for the Geneva Show had much higher windscreens, changed to the “sauté vent” style seen here, similar to those on single-seat racing cars which only redirect the wind over the head of the driver. Lamborghini was rumored to be building 100 units for customers, but it was decided to keep the car as a styling exercise. The groans were heard worldwide.


Lamborghini Concept S X4816


Bugatti Veyron X4823

On the left, another angle of the spectacular Lamborghini Concept S, and at right, the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Coupe.

Bugatti is a French company (part of the Volkswagen group), but I thought the Veyron fits well with the cars on this page.

The Bugatti Veyron was long anticipated since the concept was unveiled at the 1999 Tokyo Motor Show. This coupe was the final version shown before the official launch in September 2005, and the excitement level was high. Since its release, the handbuilt mid-engined 16 cylinder 1000 hp Bugatti Veyron Super Sport has become the world’s fastest production car with a top speed of 267.8 mph (431 km/h), taking the record from the 2005 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 at its lowly 253.81 mph. This new record caused some controversy when it was challenged by the car maker Hennessey, whose 1244 hp Hennessey Venom GT at 265.7 mph was stock, but the Veyron Super Sport had its 258 mph speed limiter disabled. After review, the Guinness folks reinstated the record, stating that the modification to the speed limiter does not alter the fundamental design of the car.

I’d be willing to bet that few of these $2 million cars have been much over 100 mph, but bragging rights are important.


Bugatti Veyron X4477

The Bugatti Veyron features an 8 liter W16 engine (two offset double-row banks of eight cylinders each) with four valves per cylinder (64 valves) driven by two dual overhead camshafts. The engine has quad turbochargers and does not need to rev high to achieve its 1000 horsepower. It has a 7 speed dual-clutch sequential transmission. It goes from 0 to 250 in under a minute.

The Bugatti Veyron has been widely praised as the pinnacle of automotive achievement and the greatest car in the world.


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