Summary and Info
Sports cars are like fine art: We may not always agree on what they are, but we know what we like. And what exactly is a sports car? Enthusiasts have been arguing that question for years. Time was when the term meant a stark two-seat roadster, usually British, designed mainly for the pleasure of drivingas opposed to mere transportation. There was also the idea that while a sports car was intended mainlyfor use on public roads, it could, with a few simple modifications, be raced.But with advancing technology and rising affluence in the postwar years, sports cars have changed radically, along with our ideas about them. Today, the spectrum runs from relatively simple, low-cost two-seaters like the mid-engine Pontiac Fiero to luxurious, expensive grand touring machines with emergency back seating like the Ferrari Mondial.The Great Book of Sports Cars highlights these and other changes in lively words and glamorous color photographs spanning more than four decades of sports-car history — more than 200 individual postwarmodels from Europe, America, and Japan.From AMX to Datsun Z, each is profiled with a clear, concise, and captivating summary of its origins, design development, performance, features, sales, and other fascinating facts.It's truly a fascinating and varied collection through which you'll follow the evolution of the sports car in the postwar world. Here are traditional favorites like the classic late-Forties MG TC — the one that started America's sports-car love affair — and modern exotics like the futuristic Lamborghini Countach — the ultimate automotive fantasy.In between are a host of milestones like the curvaceous Jaguar XK120 and E-Type, the beautiful Maserati Ghibli, Porsche's legendary 356 and 911 series, and Chevrolet's Corvettes: America's sports cars. Here, too, are competition cars that could, if you insisted, be used on the street: cars like the rare Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato, World Rally Champion Lancia Stratos, the mid-engine Ferrari 250 LM, the wild Shelby-Cobra, and many more.Of course, like cars in general, not every sports car has been a success on the track or in the showroom. The Great Book of Sports Cars includes these fascinating failures— cars like the short-lived Kaiser-Darrin and Alfa Romeo Montreal, the ill-starred Sunbeam Tiger and the fast but fragile Lotus Elite. Then there are the hybrids, those interesting blends of European style and American muscle—cars like the British-made Nash-Healey.And that's only a sample. The Great Book of Sports Cars covers everything from the last of the beloved MGs and Triumph TRs to the first Toyota MR2, from hightech wonders such as Porsche's 959 to vintage-Thirties designs like the Morgan Plus 8 — the rare and the commonplace, the low-priced and the priceless. And on every page, beautifully restored examples of these memorable cars are captured in stunning full-color photographs commissioned for this book.This and a wealth of information make The Great Book of Sports Cars a valuable reference work for enthusiasts while providing hours of entertainment for anyone who's ever been captivated by these mostromantic of automobiles. And that's just about all of us.