Seriously, I saw it at a car show and could NOT figure out what the heck it was! It wasn’t until over 2 years later when I saw a picture of a similar car online and learned that I was looking at an Intermeccanica Italia!
Sold from 1981 to 1988, it competed against the Ferrari 308 and the Mondial – neither of which are remembered as shining examples of Maranello’s best work.
By their very nature, supercars are produced in limited numbers, which means that not everyone who wants one can have one. Within the world of supercars, there are models which are more common than others. If you have the money, it shouldn’t be that hard to find a Porsche 911, Lamborghini Gallardo, or a Ferrari 355, 360, or 430 for sale. Then there are cars which are so rare that you cannot buy one, even if you have the money. The Lamborghini Islero is one such car.
The Islero was only manufactured in 1968 and 1969, with just 225 cars produced. These are very low numbers – there are almost twice as many Ferrari Enzos in the world as there are of these – and when was the last time you saw an Enzo?
It used to be that owning a supercar was special, no matter which one you had. But in today’s world, exclusivity is the name of the game. Now it’s not enough to have any old Lamborghini or Ferrari – you’ve got to have the rare, limited-production model in order to really be somebody.
For example, Ferrari limited production of the Enzo to just 400 units. The Bugatti Veyron was limited to 450 cars. The Lexus LFA was a limited run of just 500 cars. Lamborghini is building just 200 “50th Anniversary” edition Aventadors. Not to be outdone by the competition, Aston Martin raised the stakes with their One-77 supercar – a super special vehicle with a $1,000,000 price tag and only 77 copies built.
Electric cars such as the Tesla Model S and Nissan Leaf are all the rage these days. These sexy cars offer zero emissions, good fuel economy, and near-silent operation. But there was a time not long ago when electric vehicles were not sexy or cool.
Early electric vehicles were converted from gasoline-powered vehicles using primitive chargers and batteries. They were a novelty item, mostly reserved for hippies and fringe-thinkers. They lacked the mass-market appeal of today’s sophisticated alt-fuel vehicles. Let’s revisit those times for a moment to take a look at once such vehicle: the Electravan.
If there’s one thing you don’t see a whole lot of in America, it’s French cars. I’ve crossed paths with a few Citroens before including the Traction Avant and the Chevrolet V8-swapped DS that formerly belonged to Alice Cooper. Today I present another of Citroen’s automotive oddities: the 1973-1973 SM coupe.
The SM was Citroen’s attempt at making a sporty 2-door car based on the popular DS. Though it was sold in Europe and the rest of the world, the SM was only available in the U.S. for two years, making this a very rare car. Sales in the United States totaled 1,250 in 1972 and 1,150 in 1973, for a grand total of just 2,400 vehicles. The car was not imported after that because it did not meet the newly-enacted 5 mph safety bumper standards passed by the NHTSA.
Kit cars are a particularly interesting niche of the automotive world, and we write about them often here on Generation High Output. At a local car show, I spotted a car that I’d never seen before – a Burton!
A quick Internet search revealed that Burton is an automobile manufacturer in the Netherlands. The company was founded in 1993 by Dimitri and Iwan Göbel – brothers with a shared passion for automobiles. Their main product is a two-seat, two-door roadster based on the Citroen 2CV. The 2CV is one of the most-produced cars of all time and is renowned and beloved for its utter simplicity and reliability.
In the 1980s, Toyota undertook a massive project to develop a luxury car that would compete with the best of the European brands. The company spent years and over $1 billion dollars developing the LS400: the vehicle that became the flagship for the new brand called Lexus.
As the LS400 was being prepped for its 1990 release, Toyota felt that launching an all-new company with just one model was a bit silly. They needed a second car – a smaller model to balance out the product offering – and they needed it quickly.