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Classic Cars

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by Nantucket Red, Apr 19, 2006.

  1. Kai

    Kai Senior member

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    Jaguar XJ13

    For me, the most desirable car ever made.


    [​IMG]
     
  2. aarghh

    aarghh Senior member

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    San Jose, CA
  3. johnapril

    johnapril Senior member

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    I drove one of these as a kid:

    [​IMG]
     
  4. SGladwell

    SGladwell Senior member

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    Did you notice the Federal S4 model Sprint in your image has S3 seats?

    Actually, I didn't. I knew something was vaguely off but I couldn't put my finger on it. Thanks!

    Are you willing to guess the identity of the (barely visible) Lotus beyond the S3 FHC?


    Sure, I'll take a stab. I know that in the 1970s Lotus sold a front-engine/RWD 2+2 using their 907 slant four out of the Jensen-Healey and Esprit, though I never knew any came to America. They offered a two box hatchback and a Kamm-back I think one was named Eclat and the other reused the Elite badge. Without cheating I couldn't tell you which name went to which body. But it's the Kamm-tailed one of those two.
     
  5. Full Canvas

    Full Canvas Senior member

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    Sure, I'll take a stab. I know that in the 1970s Lotus sold a front-engine/RWD 2+2 using their 907 slant four out of the Jensen-Healey and Esprit, though I never knew any came to America. They offered a two box hatchback and a Kamm-back I think one was named Eclat and the other reused the Elite badge. Without cheating I couldn't tell you which name went to which body. But it's the Kamm-tailed one of those two.

    Actually, it's a 1977 Esprit S1. The car was retrofitted with some early (non-Federal) Esprit Turbo bodywork including the engine cover and rear bumper.

    The Elite 501 - 504 had the big glass Kamm-profiled hatch/window/boot lid. The Eclat 521- 524 was a fastback design. The cars reached the U.S. as early as 1974. Lotus offered an automatic transmission on both models. Neither body style was a big selling item for Lotus in the U.S. market.

    The design was an unintentional bridge to keep the Lotus name in the American market until the Giugiaro-designed Esprit was certified for import to America. The Elan and Elan +2 were no longer in production. The few 1975 Europa Specials were no longer crash and smog certifiable. So, the Elite and Eclat were "it" in America for two model years until the Esprit was ready for sale in America as a 1977 model.
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  6. Nantucket Red

    Nantucket Red Senior member

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    This '28 Boattail speedster ("Ask the man who owns one"):

    [​IMG]

    A Maybach Zeppelin would be nice, especially a convertible sedan with rear-mounted spares.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. VMan

    VMan Senior member

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  8. SGladwell

    SGladwell Senior member

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    Actually, it's a 1977 Esprit S1. The car was retrofitted with some early (non-Federal) Esprit Turbo bodywork including the engine cover and rear bumper.

    Interesting. It looked a little bit too high to be an Esprit to me, but then I forgot how delightfully low to the ground the early Lotii are.

    The Elite 501 - 504 had the big glass Kamm-profiled hatch/window/boot lid. The Eclat 521- 524 was a fastback design. The cars reached the U.S. as early as 1974. Lotus offered an automatic transmission on both models. Neither body style was a big selling item for Lotus in the U.S. market.

    Interesting. I've never seen one here, even at the British Motorcar Days that Danny Panoz annually holds at Chateau Elan. I've seen both in the UK and the Elite one in South Africa. Did these have the same metal backbone+GRP body as the rest of Colin Chapman's designs from the Elan up? I wonder what an Elite would go for. Hemmings doesn't show any. They do, however, show an 1971 BRG/yellow Elan with black interior that is probably within reasonable driving distance of my mother's house. And a 1991 BRG M100 Elan, though I turned down a great condition local yellow M100 for over $5k less., mostly because I hated the bulbous Chevy Camaro transplant steering wheel and having to leave the driver's seat to move the top. The shifter also didn't exactly inspire Miata-like confidence. The Isuzu turbo was a nice little engine, though.

    I like my car, I really do, and right now two cars isn't an option. Still, damn you Hemmings for putting ideas in my head!
     
  9. zjpj83

    zjpj83 Senior member

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    - XK 140 DHC
    - XK-SS
    - Bentley Continental Fastback
    - Cadillac V-16
    - Pretty much any classic Ferrari

    ~ ZJ
     
  10. Full Canvas

    Full Canvas Senior member

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    Did these have the same metal backbone+GRP body as the rest of Colin Chapman's designs from the Elan up?

    Identical in design theory to the Elan/Elan +2/Europa.

    I wonder what an Elite would go for.

    Regardless of price (and it's usually seductively low when you locate one), the big Elites are generally your investment in someone else's much deferred maintenance [​IMG] .

    The car is in limbo. It does not have the nimble qualities that the earlier cars enjoy. Nor does it have the horsepower of a larger GT car. Nevertheless, it's a car worthy of a drive or two if only to understand how Chapman's vision was fogged and diluted by various government regulations. Even with all the interference, the can is fun to drive when everything is right.

    We took our 1976 503 on all the back roads between San Diego and San Francsico several times. It was swift and silent. I loved the whine of the rubber cam-drive belt. The air conditioning was nice in the August heat of the Monterey Historic Races. In the end, the car was simply too big for what I want in a Lotus. So, I sold it in 1979. The buyer was momentarily happy! It seems I dodged a major repair bullet by about six thousand miles or eight months.
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  11. Nantucket Red

    Nantucket Red Senior member

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    When Delahaye had the chassis ready, I would have them send the swb to Chapron for a lithe coupe body to be fitted. The lwb would go to Figoni and Falaschi for them to design an endless roadster similar to what they made for the New York World's Fair in 1939 and pictured below.

    Now it's time to go to the office in an ordinary car! Thanks again for the fantasia, Red.

    [​IMG]
    ______________________________


    It's taken me a while to get around to commenting, but the lines on this are amazing.
     
  12. Lucky Strike

    Lucky Strike Senior member

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    It's taken me a while to get around to commenting, but the lines on this are amazing.
    Yes - it's like late-blooming art nouveau.
     
  13. Nantucket Red

    Nantucket Red Senior member

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    Full Canvas: By "endless roadster" do you mean boattail speedster? That appears to be the body style.

    One of my favorite boattail designs is the Hispano Suiza Tulipwood Torpedo.
     
  14. Bradford

    Bradford Senior member

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    [​IMG]

    My folks had a 250SL when I was a kid. I drove it to prom and when my car was in the shop... my younger sister drove it every day in high school until she totalled it [​IMG]

    Also wish I'd kept my first car... A '65 Pontiac Tempest Convertible like this one... pretty cool car for a 16-year-old although I didn't appreciate it at the time.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Nantucket Red

    Nantucket Red Senior member

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    My folks had a 250SL when I was a kid. I drove it to prom and when my car was in the shop... my younger sister drove it every day in high school until she totalled it [​IMG]

    I hope she got grounded for life!
     
  16. Full Canvas

    Full Canvas Senior member

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    Full Canvas: By "endless roadster" do you mean boattail speedster?

    Boattail? Any tail . . . preceded by a looooooooong bonnet.

    Figoni et Falaschi

    Saoutchik

    Aerodynamic

    Sensual

    Chapron

    Pourtout

    Bespoke

    Delahaye

    Haute couture

    Devil-may-care playboy careering along the calanches

    Hispano-Suiza

    Delage

    Bugatti

    Pegaso

    Talbot-Lago

    Avions Voisin

    But . . . above all, French Curves in the Automotive Twilight Zone
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  17. SGladwell

    SGladwell Senior member

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    Chapron
    When I think of Henri Chapron it's not his prewar work that sticks in my head, but this timeless beauty. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] Aren't those doorpanels so much more elegant than the tacky plastic crap we get stuck with today? Even with the tacked on (probably aftermarket) speakers. Speaking of which, don't those look like nice French (Focal/JM Labs or Audax/Polydax) Kevlar drivers? [​IMG] Though perhaps I'm a heretic for it, I do prefer the later DS nose to Bertoni's original. [​IMG] I don't think if I've ever seen a quad-lamp Decap before. I'm in love.
     
  18. Lucky Strike

    Lucky Strike Senior member

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    But . . . above all, French Curves in the Automotive Twilight Zone
    You like it, the French tail?
     
  19. Aureus

    Aureus Senior member

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    So. Cal.
    Where's the Porsche love?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    In descending order
    356 Speedster
    550 Spyder
    917K
    904
    904 again
    959
     
  20. Full Canvas

    Full Canvas Senior member

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    La Jolla, Cargese, Minsk
    When I think of Henri Chapron it's not his prewar work that sticks in my head, but this timeless beauty.

    [​IMG]

    I don't think if I've ever seen a quad-lamp Decap before. I'm in love.


    Our neighbors in Cargese have one of these in balck with crimson leather. It's amazing to watch it float down the road. They ignore my hints and overtures for a little demonstration. But they do drink my wine! [​IMG]
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