Monday, August 10, 2020


(Reading time: 2 - 3 minutes)

The 1st rear wheel drive car to be designed & manufactured was the Cortina. Sir Patrick Hennessy, chairman of Ford Britain saw an early concept in the Detroit facility his response was amazement. Sir Patrick Hennessy ordered Britain's research & development team to proceed at once in designing a rival to the German design.

The British team achieved there goal and the first Cortina was available to buy in 1962. The car went from strength to strength, when the Mark II was introduced, over 1 million models had been sold.
Ford Lotus Cortina
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Ford history

(Reading time: 6 - 12 minutes)

1900 till 1942

This US car company was founded by Henry Ford in 1903. Two Model A cars were shipped from Detroit to the UK – The first cars to be imported to UK shores. Henry could not have imagined how his company would flourish.

UK recognition

The two Model A's had their debut at Cordingley Automobile show in Islington London, seeing these new car driving around, Aubrey Blakiston was driven to set up a Ford sales agency in Long Acre, London. The agency appointed Percival Perry who eventually took over.
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Fiat history

(Reading time: 5 - 9 minutes)

The history of FIAT

Fiat was born in the Italian industrialization era. When the company first appeared it sparked instant wonder & now due to this, are recognised globally as one of the most powerful car companies. This power due to owning quite a few car manufacturers. The Fiat logo symbolises great cars and reflects the car manufacturers status.

1899 to 1911

The Societa Anonima Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino charter was signed on July 11 1899, this signalled the start of Fiat, out of many of the board of directors, a Director Giovanni Agnelli was determined to make the car company extremely successful in addition he had the strategies to make this happen. Driven by his motivation to put Fiat on the car manufacturers map, in return for his work, Giovanni Agnelli was given the role of Managing Director in 1902.
Carso Dante
In Carso Dante the first car plant for the Italian manufacturer, the first of many, opened its doors. Its workforce, 150 people. An impressive 24 cars rolled of the line, including the 3/12 hp. Giovanni recognised that Fiat would need a trademark, in 1904 an Oval on a dark blue background logo was born.
When the Car Tour visited Italy, 9 Fiat cars competed and finished the race.
Vincenzo Lancia entered & won the Sassi-Superga, a hillclimb car race in a 24 bhp Fiat car in 1902, this success drove Giovanni Agnelli, FIAT President to enter an 8 hp Fiat car in the following Italian Car Tour, Agnelli even set a race record.

US 1912 / 1925

1908, saw Fiat land on US soil, and open its first US factory. This gave the company the boost they needed they expanded at an unforseen rate and started building factories to manufacture specific engine parts. The company saw the need to produce more than just cars therefore it ventured into trucks, marine engines and commercial vehicles even tram production. The Italian company was making its mark, it continued to compete and win car races, more than often setting records as it went. Fiat was onto a winner.
Giacomo Malle Trucco was given leadership to accept the construction of a new car factory - Lingotto factory in Italy, work began in 1916. This new Fiat factory was undoubtedly the biggest car factory in Europe, it was built on five floors, and right at the top a test track was constructed the work was finally completed in 1922. This test track & factory is the symbol of Italian automotive industry.
The War, brought hard times for many car companies, Fiat was no different however they did manage to completely recover by 1923, in recognition of this Giovanni Agnelli was given a promotion, he was now the new Fiat CEO. Many new models were released and in recognition for there loyal workers, employees were given health plans etc, also financing was introduced on their cars.

1926 / 1938

Fiat driven by the dictator Mussolini's autarchic ways, meant the car company had to look at the international market for its cars, mainly the domestic part. As part of this strategy The Topolino was released and ran till production ceased in 1955. Also the Tariffa minima, aka Balilla, was also released a popular model which gave exceptionally good fuel economy. 1937 saw the construction of another car plant 
- Mirafiori
This new new breed of car plants main aim was mass production.

1939 / 1951

WWII saw car production reduce to almost nothing, however commercial vehicles saw the opposite. During this time many of the companies car plants were destroyed , however this did not phase them. The President of Fiat Giovanni Agnelli, sadly died in 1945.
His new replacement Vittorio Valletta was issued the role of CEO.

1952 / 1965 R & D

After the end of the war Fiat recognised the need to research more, therefore started taking a great interest in researching new strategies, innovations and practices. The 500 & 1400 were introduced as the first mass production model, these cars had heating and ventilation systems never seen before. The benefits of diesel were looked into soon after rthe 1400 diesel engine was released in 1953. 1958 saw an increase in production and sales, car plants were built overseas and Mirafiori doubled its car factories. Fiat had firmly placed Italy in an economic boom. 1955 saw the release of the 500, a large rear engined car. The car sold well and in 1957 a new version was released, 1960, saw a 500 Giardinetta, more a kind of estate / station wagon. In addition Fiat introduced 1300, 1500 & 1800 car models.

1965 / 1977

The mid 60's brought a rapid growth in sales in Italy and its export market. The Italian car ratio had previously been 1 car to 99, however now it was closer to 28 cars to 96. Fiat saw this as an opportunity to construct more factories throughout Italy, this spurred the intro of the 850.
The first front wheel drive car was introduced in 1971 the 127, this auto was instant success, it even received Car of the Year 1971. Gianni Agnelli grand son of Giovanni, became Fiat President in 1966. Like his Grandfather he ensured the company would concentrate on car production while still researching, ike many other car manufacturers suffered greatly during the late 70's oil strikes.

1978 / 1990

Robogate, turned the corner for automed assembling, a flexible robotic system introduced in 1978.
The years between 1978 and 1990 saw many projects for Fiat including the setting up of Fiat Avio - Auto - Engineering - Ferraviaria, Comau, Teksid & Magnet Marelli.
The Panda was introduced in 1980 and styled by famed designer Guigiaro in 1980, a small car available in 4x4. The Uno, a really rare site today was the symbol of the car rejuvination in 1982. The Fiat Uno had electronics unforseen before, it came in a range of models from a standard 1.1 to a 1.4 IE Turbo, this model also had a full electronic dashboard and turbo charger. The Tipo was released in 1989 and made car of the year, the car had conquered cutting edge technical issues and not forgetting the Strada avaiable in many models the top being the Abarth.

1991 / 2003

The Tempra was introduced in 1990, the following year the new 500 was released, followed by the Punto, this car seemed to replace the Uno, it came with similar engine sizes and also was available in a turbo-charged model it was given Car of the Year award in 1995. Then came the Coupe, a new breed of car.
Fiat released the Ulysse in 1995 to tackle the multi purpose vehicle market, as far as cars are concerned the Bravo, Brava and the Barchetta / Cinnequento were released all released in the same year. 1996 / 1997 saw the intro of the Palio, Marea and Marea WE.

100th Yr Anniversary

In commemoration of the 100 Year Anniversary, the original logo was changed to a round logo from the orginal blue oval logo.
The year 1998 saw the release of the Seicento, a car smaller than its Cinnequento predecessor, the ideal car for the Italian people, small easy to manouvre and easier to park, and above all was great for driving roound the thin streets in the city, this year also saw the release Multipla.
A new millenium
The year 2000 saw the release of a new breed cars including the Diablothis new car had its debut at the Paris Motor Show it showcased as a commercial / informal car. The Stilo introduced in 2001, was the the first real technologically advanced car for Fiat of the millenium, it sported stylish looks and lots of toys and came in a variety of engine sizes. 
2002 was the year for restyling the vehicles included in this were the New Ulysse, Multipla and the even the 2001 Stilo MW, this model was restyled with more aggresive features.

The FIAT future

It was recognised in 2003 that already successful Punto needed a restyle, therefore the new model of Punto was released it had different styling and cam e with an additional engine size a 1.3 Multijet 16v. The following autumn the Panda was re-released and received Car of the Year Award. The following year the Fiat idea was released a new type of MPV ( Multi Purpose Vehicle) a first for the Italian company.
As for 2007 - The Grande Punto has made its mark, a bigger version of the Fiat Punto with many additions to the original, also the Fiat 500 is to be re-released with stiffer suspension, wider arches and awesome 150 hp turbo charged engine - 0 to 60 in eight seconds. As expressed by Giovanni Fiat continues to innovate with advanced technology way into the future.


56% of Ferrari is owned by FIAT.

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(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)

The history of Caterham

A real drivers car capable of 0-60 in around 3.4 seconds, one of the best handling cars, a British hero, no extras, no mods, no technology just raw power and a formula 1 car based chassis, which needs real skill to keep it on the road or track when driven hard.
The Caterham is a racing car, but road legal, light as a feather, very quick and no comforts not even a roof but overall lightning acceleration the top motor being the Super Seven, a real drivers machine.
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Citroen SM

(Reading time: 2 - 3 minutes)

The Citroen SM

Engineered by Maserati

The SM was released in Paris at the Autosalon. The Citroen SM was built and engineered by Maserati & Citroen, and the car was nothing short of spectaclular it even had Roues Resin (Carbon fibre wheels) as an optional extra developed specifically by Michelin. They weighed only 4.2 kgs instead 9.4 kgs for a steel version.
The SM was basically a racing car with added extra of being a four seater, with a Bosch D-jetronic electronic fuel injection, delivering 178 DIN hp in 1973. The car basically ran the same system as on the DS.
New tires 205/70 VR 15 are fitted. This boosted the top speed to around 230 km/h, it was also kitted out with a Borg Warner automatic gearbox.

Citroen SM Specifications

Maserati 90 degree V6, 2670cc 87x75mm
170 DIN hp @ 5500 rpm
2 overhead camshafts per head
3 twin choke Weber carburettors
DIRAVI speed dependant powered steering
195/70 VR 15 X tires, servo disc brakes all round
Fully independent and self levelling suspension
Topspeed: 150 km/h.
The fastest front wheel drive car at that time.
1975 saw production of the Citroen SM stopped.
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(Reading time: 2 - 3 minutes)

Citroen 2CV

The most highly acclaimed Citroen car ever made, made infamous due to its debut in James Bonds For your eyes only.


The 2CV was released 1948 on the Paris Autosalon, designed by Pierre Boulanger it was a start of the show with its extraordinary design. The stand was flooded with people gazing at its revolutionary design and it's technology. The car even had suicide doors, greatly desired in todays cars.



This car was designed for one simple job, to take a basket full of eggs over the country roads and ploughed fields without breaking one.


The 2CV is a very light, very economical and extremely cheap to buy. The ideal car for the masses.


Major production of the automobile started back in 1949 with the A Version a 375cc 9hp engine, it came with a basic grey metallic body and a very limited interior, 2 years later a van was added to the range, with each year the 2CV became more popular with new models being released in 1954 including the Berline and Cammionette featuring a 425cc 12hp engine, with a centrifugal clutch.


Citroen started to think maybe they should add some more luxury to the car therefore released the AZL, a luxury model of the of the AZ, this model was blinged up with a full chrome trim. An added extra the Bootlid was released in 1957.


In 1958 the French car manufacturer took the bold step of turning the 2CV in to a 4x4. The Citroen sahara was released the 4x4 was made possible by adding an additional engine in the boot to drive the rear wheels. 1960 saw the release of the AK350, basically a longer version of the AZU but running a newer AMI6 602 engine.


The 2 CV is now known for its suicide doors, however in 1964 Citroen changed the door setup and removed the suicide doors and replaced them with rear opening doors. Side repeaters were added in the front wings and square headlights to the front to create an icon, AK400 a longer version was released, however the car didn't last forever the Acadiane was the last to roll of the production line.


An end of the era came when production of the Citroen 2 CV ceased for ever.


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Citroen history

(Reading time: 4 - 7 minutes)

Citroen timeline

A documented timeline of the French cars achievements from 1919 to present day, this timeline outlines release dates of specific Citroen cars, including descriptions of each model.
1919 - 1921 Type A

B2 Torpedo von 1920

1919 : 1st production car released with a 1327cc, 18 bhp 68 km/h ts.
1920 : Best selling Torpedo 4. The A, 1st french & European built car on a large scale. American production techniques on the european continent. 20,000 cars built.
1921 : Torpedo Sport released, 1452cc, 22hp, 75 km/h. 1st to use overhead valves.
1922 : A was replaced by the B2.
1922 - 1925 Type B2
1922 : B2 released, instant hit. The publicity due to fuel consumption races & taxi fleet.
1923 : Normande introduced Caddy featuring 22 hp 90 km/h replaces Torpedo sport.
1924 : Caddy production ends.
1925 : The B2 replaced by the B10.
1922 - 1926 Type C,C2,C3
1922 : The C, cloverleaf released, summer 1922 onwards. 856cc, 11hp, 69 km/h top speed. The Torpedo 2 was bright yellow AKA The Citroen Lemon.
1923 : The C Cabriolet 2 places renamed the C2.
1924 : Torpedo 3 C2 renamed the C3.
1925 : The Torpedo 3 adopts the name Trefle which translates to Cloverleaf.
1926 : Torpedo 2 dropped, C3 dropped in 1926 more economical, B10 chosen.
1925-1928 Type B10,B12,B14 - B10 - B12 1926 - B14
1927-1928 - Torpedo models change from horizontal to curved.
1925 : The B10 introduced.
1926 : The B10 replaced by the Citroen B12.
1927 : The B10 replaced by the B14 running a 1538cc, 22 hp, top speed 80 km/h). The B14F released featuring Westinghouse servo brakes as standard.
1928 : B14G replaces B14 and B14F. Conduite Interieure cars now have a curved roof and Westinghouse brake system.
1929-1932 Type C4,C6 - C4 - C6
1929 : Introduction of the AC4 also called C4 running a 1628cc, 30 hp (40% increase), topspeed 90 km/h. AC6 or C6, a 6 cylinder, 2442cc, 45 hp engine capable of 105 km/h.
1930 :C4 replaced by the C4 III or C4 NT. The C6 replaced by C6F which now uses 5 wheels bolts covered by a small hubcap.
1931 : The C4 renamed C4F, uprated engine and shocks, predecessor of "Moteur Flottant", available as the C4 F Large which has increased track width. The C6F release Grand Luxe running a 2650cc, 53 hp, 110km/h top speed.
1932 : Citroen C4 renamed C4G now runs a 1767cc, 32 hp, 95 km/h topspeed. The C6F is replaced by C6G.
April cars now fitted with Floating Power engine suspension, cars are now renamed to C4G M.F.P. , C4G Grand Luxe M.F.P. , C6G M.F.P. , C6G Speciale M.F.P. (MFP - Moteur Floating Power).
1933 : The C series is replaced by the Rosalie.
1933 - 1938 - Légère - Grand luxe - Berline - Conduite interieure - Familiale - commerciale
Citroen Rosalie van
This design originated from the racing Petite Rosalie, achiever of many sprint, speed & long distance records.
A car and van ahead of its time, using aerodynamics in the cars design. The 8 was released in 1933, all the aerodynamics and design were improved, and the vehicle was renamed NH (nouvelle habilage) in 1934. A Torsion bar was added, giving the French manufacturer a lead over its competitors.
1934 - 1957 Faux cabriolet (coupé) - Berline - Limousine - Familiale - Traction Avant 7, 11L, 11, 15, 22
Was this to be Citroëns most revolutionary car of its time?
It was a mass produced car including unitary construction, front wheel drive, Independent double wishbone front suspension, front and rear torsion bars and modern aerodynamics, it was even lower than other auto's and featured perfect weight distribution.
1948 The 2CV a car that remained in production from 1948-1990
This Citroen car was developed for the alpine valleys & back roads of France, for the french farmer who didn't want to remove their hat and needed a car capable of travelling across ploughed fields and cobbled tracks with a tray of eggs without breaking any, comfortably and of course as little maintenance as possible.
Bear in mind this vehicle as seen as a symbol of peace and is seen as Green, it could not be farther from the truth. It gives way more CO2 than many gas guzzlers.
Take a look at the 2 CV
1968 - 1983 Dyane
Another great car the was the Dyane, however this ceased production in 1983.
1968 - 1987 Mehari
This little 2 CV jeep was released in 1968 and was produced till 1987, the Mehari had a plastic body and ran a 602cc engine.
1961 - 1978 Ami 6, 8, Super and M35
The Ami was a comfortable 2cv with a stronger body. April 1961 1st Ami 6 appears.
1970 - 1975 - Citroen SM Sport engineered by Maserati
A deal was compiled in 1968 which produce one of the fastest cars the world would see The GT. The french manufactuer bought a large part of Maserati stock, this was the first stage. There idea was to fit Citroën parts to Maserati cars, and the best bit Maserati had the job of engineering the engine for the GT car - The Citroen SM became the fastest front wheel drive car in the world at that time.
SM Sport Maserati
DS and ID 1955-1975 - Berline - Break - Cabriolet
Introduced in 1956 the DS 19. The car ran till it ceased production in 1975.
GS and GSA 1970-1986 - Berline - Birotor Berline - Break - Service
The GS was a revolutionary car it was 1 of the first cars to combine luxury and comfort in a mid range car.
1987 Saw the whole GSA range cease production.
CX 1974-1991
The CX replaced the DS. Although the previous car was very comfortable and a joy to drive, the CX is at a better auto and more modern. In some countries it is is known as the Safari.
1991 - 2006
These years brought many new models including the Visa back in the late 80's early 90's then followed on by the AX, and of course the Saxo Era replaced the AXGT and the latest Craze.
The C Craze the C1 , C2, C3
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