While Carroll Shelby is most famous for his work with Ford vehicles, he spent much of the 1980s working his magic for Chrysler. Mike featured the Shelby CSX in a previous post, which is definitely worth checking out if you missed it.
In addition to the CSX, Shelby and Chrysler created a high-performance compact car based on the Dodge Omni. Shelby called it the “GLH” for “Goes Like Hell” and it was available in three different levels: a non-turbo base model, a turbocharged model, and the top-of-the-line GLHS model (for Goes Like Hell S’More).
Walking around the SEMA show last year, I happened upon this cool ride in a parking lot near the convention center. It’s a 1974 Jensen Interceptor III, a rare British car that you don’t often see.
Between 1966 and 1976, just 6,400 of these cars were built – which is an extremely small number for a production car. I have to wonder how many of them were left-hand drive and how many are in the United States? Probably not very many, which makes this car all the more special.
At first glance, I thought this car was a Lamborghini Espada, or some kind of Maserati, or perhaps even a DeTomaso? As it turns out, it is actually a very rare and short-lived car called a Bitter Diplomat coupe.
The idea for this luxury gran tourer came from Erich Bitter, a German racing driver turned entrepreneur. He started Bitter Automotive in the early 1970s and set about manufacturing passenger cars.
When it comes to cultural differences, Americans and Europeans have very different tastes. We have distinctly different preferences in food, music, clothing, and humor. It stands to reason that we would also have different preferences for automobiles. As Peugeot learned in the 1980s, this is exactly the case.
Peugeot is a large and well-known car manufacturer in France. In 1987, they launched a brand-new car called the 405. This mid-size family sedan offered a lot of standard features at a reasonable price. It had a body designed by Pininfarina and was available with an optional 150HP engine. This sporty, front-wheel drive sedan was named European Car of the Year in 1988. Spurred on by a positive reception at home, Peugeot decided to bring the 405 sedan over to the United States market.
The market for collector cars is a fickle thing. Often times, the cars that end up being valuable are not the ones you would expect. What ends up being collectible are the cars which had limited production, special options, or were such commercial failures that they were discontinued quickly – only to become a cult classic down the road.
The Yugo, the Corvair, the Pinto, and the DeLorean have all played the role of the ‘black sheep’ of the automotive industry at one time or another. Due to reliability, safety, or other issues, these cars basically flopped when they hit the market. Dealers had trouble moving them, and they were not produced in large numbers.
But now the tables have turned! With so few of these cars surviving, values have started to increase for these cars that nobody wanted when they were brand new. Well, here’s another example of a car with that same fate: The Subaru 360 Sambar microvan.
What if I told you that there was a supercar from the 1980s that cost less than the Lamborghini Countach and the Ferrari Testarossa and could outrun them both on a race track? And what if I told you that this car could also yield 30 miles per gallon? You would probably think I was crazy.
Well, such a car does exist and in theory, it sounds fantastic. However, there is just one drawback to the Mosler Consulier GTP…the way it looks.
In an earlier post about the Lotus Cortina I explained the idea of homologation – whereby manufacturers must build and sell a minimum number of cars to the public in order to qualify as a “production car.” Here we have another example of a factory-built race car that was sold to the public, and this one is even more extreme.
It’s called the Renault 5 Turbo II and like many of the cars I have covered recently, this is another rare specimen from Cars and Coffee. So what’s the deal with this car, and how did it come to be?
Carroll Shelby will forever be remembered as the man who put Ford V8 engines into AC Cobras in the 1960s, and as the man who souped up Mustangs and other cars for auto manufacturers. For most of his career, Shelby advised or improved upon other people’s projects. What if he set out to design a car of his own? What would it look like? Ladies and gentlemen, the Shelby Series 1 Convertible.
This car has the distinction of being the only car designed, engineered, and built from the ground up by Carroll Shelby. It’s kind of an odd-looking car, though you can tell by looking at it that the fit and finish are too good to be a kit. Only 249 of these vehicles were produced, making them extremely rare. This luxury roadster originally cost $180,000 when it came out in 1999. This particular car belonged to Jamie Navarro, pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers.