Friday, June 18, 2021

Maserati history

(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)

Maserati history

A range of cars seen as real drivers motor cars available with extremely bland designs through to superbly styled looks, generally every type of Maserati sports a driving force usually in the incarnation of either a V8 or upward.
For many years the Italian car manufacturer have been producing a breed of supercars, however the looks have qutite dramatically changed the older versions had a certain charisma, the newer ones seem to mimic the rounded shapes of many other autos. As for the engine tones now thats a different story, pure bliss the growl from the highly tuned V8 or whatever engine they chose. Mindyou there is one car that really does deserve the Maserati seal that is of course the MC12.
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Landrover history

(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)

Land Rover history

The heritage of Land Rover and the Ford connection

Landrover is relatively young compared to many other car manufacturers. Born in 1948 the famed Land Rover name has become a household synonimous with impeccable 4x4 wheel drive off roaders. The first of the Landy carnation was the Defender. The introduction of the Defender, Discovery, Range Rover, Freelander and now the Range Rover Sport have pushed Land rover into various directions, from farmers wnating a rugged vehicle to rapper wanting a bling 4x4. The ultimate in style urban and rural, outstanding comfort and the best in off-road capability.
Land rover over the last 55 years has evolved from building farm transport to supplying some of the most well known celebrities with extreme bling motors. Pure durability, toughness and elegance.
The manufacturer now resides in India, now owned by Tata the owners of Jaguar.
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Lancia history

(Reading time: 2 - 3 minutes)

Lancia guide

True elegance in a car

Lancia has always been seen as a some what marque of distinction, well this is very true during the earlier years. The company was formed some years ago 1906 to be exact since then there cars have always been associated with the 'rich lifestyle'. Lancia motor cars have always been a target of the rich from movie stars like Brigitte Bardot through to Royalty with the likes of Prince Rainier of Monaco. The cars created were always elegant and well designed including the Aurelia in 1952, B 24 Spider & the 1956 Flaminia this particuler motorcar even had a fully panoramic windscreen.
1906 a company was founded by a racing car driver known as Vincenzo Lancia, throughout 1930 and on, became a highly successful for Grand Prix and Rallye circuits wins, however while winning he was also developing an impressive roster of luxury cars, his company was Lancia. This Italian car company was responsible for many milestones within car history. 1921 The Lambda, the first car with an integral body,1937 the Aprilia, great flowing lines almost sports car like, the Pininfarina coupe, was Italy's answer to US streamline design.
The war finished leaving the auto manufacturer to reclaim its tradition of racing car victories and of course reputation for excellent design through producing elegant cars, granted Bertone, Pininfarina, Touring, and Zagato styling techniques.
Lancia, now is known for elegant mid-sized cars, the company was acquired by Fiat in 1969, however still remaining an independent brand.


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Kia history

(Reading time: 2 - 4 minutes)

Kia history

The beginning

It was 1944 in Kyungsung, and Kia the Asian manufacturing company concentrated on domestic bicycles, steel tubing and parts. Kia originates from the Chinese language and translates into "to arise, to come up out of Asia." By the 1950's the company was looking into branching out, they already had released Korea's first bike near the end of the decade,this prompeted them start producing and release motorised scooters, namely the C100.

1960's / 70s - 3 wheels and beyond

The 1960's were an experimental decade for Kia, they diversified and started producing motorcycles and a range of three-wheeled pickup vehicles namely the T-600. The next step was to start producing cars, this started to happen in the early 70s. However by 1973 a Plant had been designed and constructed in Sohari plant. This was Korea's first production line car company facility, the facility started working on a petrol engine driven car, the first step was achieved a petrol engine , then a year later the Kia Brisa followed. This was the counties first passenger car, by 1979 the technology developed and used to make vehicles was being adopted to produce such vehicles as Fiat and Peugeot cars.


The 80s saw a turn in producing, a whole array of cars were released theses included new models such as the Concord, Capital, Pride & Potentia. In 1987, Kia cars started arriving on US soil, but as other models one being the Ford Festiva the other being Avella a couple of years later, this car was renamed the Ford Aspire.
This move by Ford gave the Asian car manufacturer the inspiration to begin selling cars and other vehicles on US soil. This took place in the early '90s, this started with the Sephia, it was a very gradual process at first early, with models only available in limited US states. As the 90's came so did more Kia import vehicles throughout Europe and the US, vehicles varied from SUV's to roomy saloons however the company recognised the next big thing was the SUV ( Sport Utility Vehicle) it was already very popular vehicle with drivers due to space & versatility; Kia therefore released the Sportage to satisfy this lust, in 1995. By the end of the '90s, They had successfully established their goal of rolling out a car to the whole nation, there was now Kia dealerships in all US states with the exception of North Dakota. Due to financial problems there was no more money to expand the rest of the range, Hyundai Koreas other car giant recognised the problem and offered a merger this formed Hyundai-Kia automotive group in 1998.

The Millenium, and beyond

Hyundai-Kia entered the year 2000 very positively with the Sportage finishing The paris to Dakar rally, since merging with Hyundai, both companies have improved and improved. There 2007 range showcases some very fine models, a car for all occasions, from the Picanto, Rio & Magentis to the Cee'd right throught to their new range of SUV's such as the new Sportage and Sorento. The future looks bright.
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The history of the British Jaguar XJ220

(Reading time: 2 - 4 minutes)
The 1980's brought a new car enthusiast, made rich from the .com era and entrepeneurial skills, rich people looking for extreme driving excitement, supercars were this need and desire, however the car needed had to be everything. There was such a motor, the unveiling of the Jaguar XJ220 changed everything. The fastest and most practical of all rear engined Supercars on the market, with the exception of the Mclaren F1.
The new Jag fitted perfectly into the Super car market it was extremely powerful, very fast, beautiful, and of course very expensive. It is a very high geared model and more the looks of a Lemans car and quite frankly the XJ220 is a very big car not really a daily drive for even the bravest of millionaires. As you would expect a 2 seater, taking real skill to drive.
However this didn't bother anyone, the car was an instant hit, the prototype XJ150 in 1988 was meant to be the only one, and amazingly the first version was way more popular than the production model running a V12 engine, and four-wheel-drive to aid the driver. The 150 was added to the XJ to demonstrate its proposed top speed in mph.
The car received such a positive response that Jaguar decided to hand over the project to Tom Walkinshaw’s Jaguar Sport organisation , to turn the dream of a British Jaguar Supercar into a reality. The ‘Walkinshaw’ XJ220 was unveiled a year later, this version of the car was much smaller than the Prototype before, it ran a twin-turbo V6 engine similar to the ones installed to their racing cars, and it only came with rear drive. The cars customer weren't phased by this, although Jaguar said they would only build 350 cars at Banbury Jaguar, over 1,200 customers issued priority orders for the British Supercar. 
The car is built from a relatively conventional light-alloy hull, it was basically a civilised version of a racing car, however with the luxuries of air-con and trimmed interior. A fatal blow could have been due to Jaguar not being able develop ABS anti-lock braking in time for sales 1992.
The XJ220 was tested and achieved 213 mph, even though all loved the cars styling and general behaviour, this didn't save it, economic confidence collapsed in 1990s. Jaguar saw fit to get every customer to sign a legal agreement the basically making them pay a chunk of the £403,000 price, many people who had signed up tried to break there contract while the cars were being built.
This resulted in only 271 cars produced over three years, many un-delivered and stored at Jaguar until the late 1990s. The Jag due to this is recognised as a commercial failure, affected by economic conditions. However this car is one of the best vehicles ever made by Jaguar and Ford.

XJ 220 Specs

Torque - 644.0 NM @ 4500 RPM 
0-60 MPH - 4.0 sec 
1/4 Mile - 11.9 sec 
Top Speed - 218 mph
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E Type Jaguar

(Reading time: 2 - 3 minutes)

E Type Jaguar

A new beginning

The E Type Jag started out as a prototype, at this point the car was known as the E2A, and there only purpose was to race, but on a limited basis.
The car was otherwise known as the XKE, while going through its marketing stages from XK - Engineering to XK- Elegance. This car became so much more than was destined.
The E Type Jaguar was officially unveiled at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland. The reaction was instant appeal, originally down to the styling, the car is till recognised as one of the sexiest cars ever produced. However not just its looks, it was extremely advanced for 1961 with a double overhead cam (DOHC) engine, fully independent rear suspension disc brakes all round. A real breakthrough for the Sportscar was that of the development of the independent rear suspension, this is seen as a real high point in the design by many purists.
It cost £1,830 ($5,595) for a roadster making this Jaguar affordable; theCorvette Stingray cost less, still a cool looking car but in a totally different league.
The Jaguar E Type, another timeless classic.


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Jaguar history

(Reading time: 6 - 11 minutes)

Jaguar history

William Walmsley & William Lyons, were so driven by their love for motorcycles they decided to set up a company.

Jag the beginning

In Blackpool, England, September 4, 1922 two motorbike enthusiasts, Wpany, the Swallow Sidecar Company was born. The company thrived & continued designing and manufacturing motorcycle sidecars and cars until the beginning of World War II.
In 1926 the Swallow Sidecar company decided to venture into car manufacturing & the small Austin Seven, rapidly known as the "People's Car" it was a very spartan design. Due to car production the name was changed to Swallow Sidecar and Coachbuilding Co. They decided to relocate to a larger area. This new thriving company now made many custom bodies for cars as from Morris, Fiat through to Wolseley, Swift, and Standard.
Swallow Sidecar and Coachbuilding Co first car was the SS1, a six-cylinder engine with a modified chassis. The car debuted at the London exhibition in 1931 also an SS2 was designed this had a four-cylinder engine. The larger SS1 was the flagship of Swallow Sidecars, it was a low car fitted with wire wheels a short passenger compartment, rear luggage space with a spare tire fitted at the rear. It was an elegant & expensive looking car and also its main selling point extremely good value.
In 1933, Swallow Sidecar and Coachbuilding Co changed their name to SS Cars Ltd. William Lyons was now the managing director, eventually bought his partner William Walmsley out in 1936.
A new dawn
The following year 1934, a gentleman known as Harry Weslake, recognised for being one of the car industry's top engine experts, joined SS Cars with him he brought his new cylinder head with OHV valve configuration.
In 1935 SS Cars started to name some of their motor cars Jaguar later in the same year William Heynes joined as chief engineer.
Production expanded from manufacturing sidecars and cars to building limousines, cabriolets, and racing & sports cars. Engines started at 1.5-litre and went upto 3.5-litre. One of the most famed autos produced by SS cars was the 3.5-litre SS 100 model, undoubtedly the fastest and famed pre-war Jags, it could reach a staggering 100 mph and achieve 0 - 60 mph in 10.5 seconds. This was due to the Jaguar tuned engine running a compression ratio of 17.5:1.
The SS 100 Model went onto be victorious in racing from Marne Grand Prix of Reims, the Villa Real International event, the Alpine Rally, The Monte Carlo Rally, all the way to the RAC Rally this untarnished history of great racing victories makes it one of the most famed Jaguar cars.
However things changed for SS cars during WWII, car production stopped and moved to manufacturing for the war, when the war ended the name was changed to Jaguar Cars Ltd and car production resumed at full speed.
The XK
1946 was an exciting year for Jaguar Cars in addition to updating older models, William Lyons stated to develop a new sports car, the XK 120, where the design inspiration came from the BMW 328, it came with a six-cylinder 3442 CC DOHC engine.
At Earls Court Motor Show 1948, the new motor debuted, their fastest car to date, the XK 120 Roadster with a top speed of around 120 mph in addition impeccable roadholding and a unique design plus a smooth ride. Three years later in 1951 the Fixed Head Coupe was debuted at the Motor Show in Geneva. This version was a classier car trimmed with a fully Veneer dashboard, and wind-up windows. The introduction of the Drophead Coupe in 1953, included was a fully-trimmed convertible hood. The XK 120 was all its manufacturers thought it would be, plus more it proved to be the perfect competition car.
In 1954 Jaguar released the XK140 this came with a rack-and-pinion steering setup, bigger bumpers, chromed everything, a cast grill, and a 190 bhp engine, even space for small children in the back. Three years later in 1957, the Jaguar XK150 was released , however due to its ageing design it didn't create the uproar of its predecessors however it continued to be produced until 1961.
Precarious market position
The mid-fifties were a real time of anxiety for Jaguar Cars Ltd. This was due to the company only having supplied luxury and sports cars, and their reliance on foreign markets.
They were put in a precarious position and had to consider, the repercussions of 2 scenarios :
A recession this would destroy a sports & luxury car market.
Foreign sanctions, any foreign government could close their market to Jaguar for no reason.
It was decided Jaguar needed to strengthen their car market position, this was to be achieved by producing a car that would be appeal to a wider market sold in the UK, primarily. This brought the MK I, debuted at the 1955 World Motor Show. The Mk1 adopted a new design style that of monococoque construction.
They were onto a winner with their Jaguar MK range, so much so that they released the Mk2, this was an instant success. The car featured a completely redesigned dashboard and larger glass area, also Leather interior as standard until 1967. Leather then became an optional extra in the aid to lower the base cost of the car. Other optional extras included fog lights. Varying Jag cars were released to satisfy market gaps between the Jaguar 3.8S and the large MK X. 
Then in a surprise move in 1960, Daimler purchased Jaguar.

The coming of the E Type

The development of the Jag E Type started in 1961, the car was started as a race car project, however circumstances and prototypes came and went and the world of racing changed and the Jaguar E type became the famed road car known world wide.
1966 saw Sir William Lyons step down as Jaguar Cars Ltd Managing Director, remaining though as Chairman and CEO of the group. The role of MD was taken by Grice and England. In 1966, July 11 th Jaguar Cars Ltd and the British Motor Corporation Ltd formerly announced they would merge.
By the mid-1960s, it became apparent Jag was manufacturing too many models.
In 1968 a merger between Jaguar and British Leyland formed the largest British car complex ever.
Sir William Lyons retired in 1972, 50 years later after forming the Swallow Sidecar Company on his 21st birthday. The abrupt retirement of was followed by much confusion surrounding Jaguar and its everyday running and indeed its future. Whole departments disappeared into British Leyland without a trace. A report published in 1975 known as the Ryder report, made the future clear, it outlined Jaguar would not continue as a sole entity.
British Leyland Cars was formed this brought the brand new sports car the XJ-S, appearing with other cars at the Earls Courts motor show. They were no longer controlled by one man until the winter of 1979-1980 when Percy Plant was appointed as a nominal chairman. This may be seen as a grave error by Jaguar as Plant was recognised as having a skill to close factories.
April of 1980 saw Jaguar workers morale plummet when a grading and pay strike provoked a vicious response from Sir Michael Edwarde's "return to work or lose your jobs." The company sank deeper and deeper, till it was recognised a new full-time CEO was needed, John Egan was appointed in April 1980. His role included being part of a directorship of Massey Ferguson Machinery Division. Egan was 40 years old, full of ideas and above all inspired. This gave Jag and its employees hope with his first quote -
"One cannot have better ground to build on."   
Egan and his optimism reflected in Jaguar production and above all in the employees morale. 1985 saw the company stablise, once again it was recognised, we do not give up!
With John at the companies helm, Jaguar started engineered extremely efficient V12 cylinder heads, this gave them in 1981 the right to boast to producing the fastest production automatic car on the planet, the XJ-S HE, it was capable of reaching 155 mph. In time the AJ6 aluminum, 24-valve engine replaced all cars running the XK engine.
1984, saw Jaguar become once again an independent car company trading on the London stock market. Sir William Lyons passed away the year after. The XJ40 body with an AJ6 engine in the form of the XJ6 Sovereign, Majestic, Vanden Plas or Daimler was released in Europe in 1986 & in 1987 to US markets. The Series III XJ12 continued also.
Jaguar & Ford and the XJ150 Supercar
Ford acquired Jaguar in 1989 and In 1992, the XJ150 was developed and built to test exotic supercar market in Europe, this car never made it to the U.S. It was one of the fastest and most stunning cars ever designed, it was a rear engined supercar recognised globally and rumoured to have gained its name from the fact it could reach 150 mph. The car was a hit on paper and everyone wanted one, it was released as the XJ220.
The XJ12, the Daimler Double Six was re-released with a V12 6.0 in 1993 in the body of an XJ40.
1995 saw the introduction of the Jaguar XJ300 with models available as XJ6, Sovereign, Majestic, Vanden Plas or the new supercharged XJR -- this was the first ever supercharged Jaguar car released.
Ford did not fully show their presence till 1997 when the XK8 and supercharged XKR sports cars were unveiled. They both ran a new AJ-V8 engine, this engine was also the basis new XJ8.
Retro styling became a must in 2000 , to capture this trend they released the X200 body, S-type.  2002 saw the appearance of the compact X400 bodied, 4 wheel drive, V6 X-type.
2002 - 2006 Bibiana Boerio, appointed managing director of Jaguar Cars. The release of the all new Jaguar XK and the announcement of a new sports saloon, the Jaguar XF, publicly unveiled autumn 2007.
The XF is targetted at replacing the S-TYPE saloon in the Jaguar line-up. The car will be developed and built in the UK. "The XF a new sports saloon challenging people to think again about Jaguar as daring and different," commented Bibiana Boerio, Managing Director. The XF will appear from spring 2008, market dependant.
It appears that Ford have bitten off more than thay can chew with the proposed sale of Jag and Landrover, various companies are in the running check out the latest news on the Jag blog.


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