Many people regard the Motor Shows of the Autumn season as so many images of Earls Court. Perhaps this is partially true, but it would be quite wrong to assume that each is devoid of its own peculiar atmosphere, its own styling trends and its own nationalistic influence. Two recent Shows were those of Tokyo and Turin, and to compare their beneath-the-surface implications would be as to differentiate between Spumante and Saki.
At Tokyo, one of the surprises was the announcement by Honda of an open version of the S.600, powered by a 791-c.c. engine claimed to produce 70 b.h.p. at 8,000 r.p.m. and a top speed of 100 m.p.h. A 4-seater version was also on display, with the Formula One car in which Richie Ginther won the Mexican Grand Prix taking the place of honour, surrounded by examples of the range of Honda racing engines.
The Toyota GT 2-litre prototype, not planned for production until 1967, had, of course, already been seen at Earls Court, where it caused several eyebrows to be raised. It is claimed to be capable of 155 m.p.h. The 2-seater Mazda Cosmos featured a Wankel rotary engine in the front, but this again is not due off the production lines until 1967. Suzuki have followed Honda’s example by extending their production of motorcycles to include cars, and were showing their first saloon, the Fronte 800, a car of very conventional design with a choice of either 800 or 360-c.c. engines.
In contrast, the Turin Motor Show remained as the traditional show place of the body stylists. Exhibitors included such staunch providers of elegance as Pininfarina, Ghia, OSI and Superleggera, with Lamborghini showing a chassis fitted with a 4-litre V12 engine mounted transversely at the rear. This has been discussed in more detail by the Continental Correspondent on another page. OSI showed a Mustang-engined prototype with fibreglass body and disc brakes, whilst Pininfarina had their latest version of the Ferrari Dino and a luxury Fiat 2300S. Fiat themselves had very little to offer, but so many of the body designers and builders were using Fiat bases that the name was to be seen everywhere, the 850 still being a firm favourite for styling variations. Among the relatively few new production cars was the Lancia Fulvia Sport, a 100-m.p.h. version of the V4 Fulvia, with Zagato body,
The many “one-off ” models at Turin certainly did not detract from the Show’s appeal to the enthusiast, for many of them stemmed from the drawing boards of some of the world’s best stylists. Similarly, the Tokyo exhibition provided a glimpse at oriental trends hitherto undisplayed, both salons lending weight to the argument that to combine the national exhibitions into one World Show would be a retrograde step.—G. P.