History of Cars

Undeniably sleek and sporting, the Giugiaro designed M1 is thus far unique in BMW history of its mid engined layout; the six cylinder 3.5 liter 277 bhp unit, featuring twin overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder, sits in line behind the cockpit, driving the rear wheels through a ZF transaxle.

BMW – M1

Its purpose was to take part in the Group 4 and Group 5 categories of international sports car racing. Where Porsche had dominated with the competition 911 Turbo, the 934 and 935. for, this at least 400 examples had to be produced over a 2 years period; in competition tune the M1 engine could be made to produce 470 bhp, so it had a theoretical chance against the 934, and the mid engine layout gave it potentially better roadholding. The turbocharged versions, with up to 850 bhp, could challenge for outright victory.


After a gap of 24 years, the DB 7 has continued the range of the numbers that David Brown set up when he took over the company in 1947. As Sir David Brown he had sold the company at the end of 1971 when the DBS was in production; the six cylinder DB6 MkII had stopped in November 1970. However Sir David was brought back into the fold as patron when new owners Ford, started the design of the small Aston; he was delighted to allow the use of his initials for the new car. In fact, the original DBS was nearly called a DB 7.

Throughout the ‘eighties, Aston’s previous owners, Victor Gauntlett and Peter Livanos, had recognized that the company needed an entry level Aston 2+2 to join the Porsche 928 and Mercedes SL market. Unfortunately there just wasn’t sufficient capital available to be able to embark upon the design and production of an entirely new car; to be possible it would have to borrow a number of parts from an existing higher volume manufacture.


When Ford took over in 1987 this began to look possible, but it wasn’t until Ford absorbed Jaguar in 1989, that the possibility moved to the probable; a combination of Ford engineering know how and Jaguar base would provide the appropriate background. While Jaguar had supplied some components for Aston Martin V8 and Lagonda models, they wasn’t keen to provide too much until Ford came along to define the markets for the two former rivals marques more precisely.


Understand it is not. The latest Aston Vantage is far more brutal version of the standard car than any Vantage has ever been since the name was coined for the DB2’s more powerful engine back in 1951. Then and though the DB series, Vantage just meant power; it wasn’t until 1977 that Vantage became a separate model, recognizable at a glace with wider wheels with wheel-arch flares and wind cheating front with fashionable and effective front air-dam.

The standard Virage isn’t slow with a maximum speed around 157 mph, but it has a fair amount of weight to get under way, so the 0-60 mph time is not really to Aston standard – at 6.8 seconds, it is slower than a Volkswagen Corrado VR6. And the Virage is designed for comfortable fast touring, so it lacks the handling tautness that the traditional Aston driver expects. The Vantage addresses these relative shortcomings in full measure.

1994 Astoin martin V8 Vantage

The standard engine is a development of the original Marek-designed aluminum V-8, only it now has four valve heads designed by the American Reeves Callaway, who had been responsible for the race engines used in 1989 AMR-1 race programme.


Back in the 1984, Aston martin needed a new model. The same shape had been in the production since 1967 when it was launched with the 6 cylinder engine, but a completely new model was too expensive. A new suit of clothes would be more affordable.

It was to be the renewal of an old association which brought Aston Martin back, once again, among the world’s fastest cars. Back in 1959, the company wanted to produce a special lightweight version of the DB4GT; they went to the Italian styling house of Zagaton in Milan and 19 models were built form 1962-4. twenty five years on, the new owners were looking for a similar extension to the Vantage range at the time of 1984 Geneva Motor Show; they visited the Zagaton stand founder Ugo Zagaton had died, but the company was being run by his sons, Dr. Elio and Ing. Gianni.


During the earlier Aston Zagato production, the Italian company was building a number of niche models for the various separate Italian manufactures. By the 1984, the major part of the Italian industry was controlled by Fiat and Zagato needed to find outside Italy. The arrival of the Aston principals, Victor Gauntlett and Peter Livanos, was manna form heaven.


Big but still elegant, the V-8 Vantage put Aston Martin firmly into the ‘seventies supercar league and gave the company a justifiable claim as producers of the world’s fastest four seater production car. Motor racing in the fifties and James Bond in the sixties had put Aston Martin on the world map as the car you promised yourself one day. The V-8 Vantage made sure that its performance would be in keeping with its reputation when that day arrived.

In the days when most supercars weighed no more than a ton and a half, the 4000lb Vantage needed a pretty impressive power output to keep up. The trusty 5.34 liter four cam V-8 was worked on to produce a reliable and tractable 375bhp thanks to four big downdraught 48 IDF weber carburetters, bigger inlets values and a better exhaust systems; with a drag factor of 0.38, this enable a maximum speed of 170 mph; but, even the standard V8 saloon had 300 bhp which was good for nearly 150 mph.


While James Bond made the DB series famous he used a 147 mph and 1963 DB5 and these continued through to the DB6 MK II, Aston’s then owner David Brown wanted to produce a genuine 4 seater which even the longer wheelbase DB6 didn’t really achieve and it had to be faster than the 4 liter cars. According work started in 1963 on a new all aluminum V-8 engine, While the new car might have been one designed by the Italian coachbuilder touring, who had styled the DB4.


Mazda RX-8 Sports carWhile checking out the specifications on the 2008 and 2009 Mazda RX 8 my mind was pulled back to one of it predecessors the RX3. While on the outside it would seem they have nothing in common, under the hood they share one distinction, the rotary engine.

The rotary engine has a rather odd design for those of us used to the piston design. Something I found a little difficult to get used to when it came to repairs and trouble shooting (one of the first cars I drove was the RX3). Even stranger was its ability to handle high rev’s smoothly and with seeming little effort. Back then the RX3 used the same engine as the more family oriented RX2, a 12A engine.

The RX-3 started a winning tradition in the races when it débuted with a win in 1971 at the “Fuji 500”. (more…)

The Aston Martin is luxury vehicle today that most can only dream of owning. This near century old manufacturer has certainly silver Aston Martinhad its share in the spotlight, breaking numerous racing records and setting the standard for style and luxury in our day.

Aston Martin has also seen a century’s worth of near fatal financial situations, being sold more times than most companies would care to tell you, but somehow Aston Martin has still made it out on top as first rate performance sports car.

Aston Martin – The Beginning

Aston Martin’s humble beginning all started in 1913 when Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford joined forces as Bamford & Martin to sell Singer cars, but soon they found themselves modifying and building cars meant for hill climbing and racing.

Martin soon became a success at Aston Clinton, Buckinghamshire, racing cars built by Bamford & Martin. Martin’s success in these races inspired the modern day name of Aston Martin and in 1914 Aston Martin was born.

In 1922 Aston Martin made its first overseas race at the French Grand Prix and on May 24, Aston Martin broke 10 records in Brooklands. (more…)

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