A-Z of Classic Sporting Cars 1950-1975

Part Two

Jensen 541 1954-1963

Glass-fibre body, 4-litre straight-six engine but styling is an acquired taste. 541 introduced 1957 with rack-and-pinion steering and disc brakes. More power from the same engine but replaced by 541S version with auto transmission in 1961. Bigger and heavier, the S didn’t catch on either. Less than 600 examples produced from start of Production. Not an earth-shattering design but an interesting one, which deserves consideration if you find one at the right price.

Jensen CV8 1962-1966

Revised styling with quad headlamp layout, glassfibre retained for body. American Chrysler 5.9-litre V8 up front. 1964 Mk2 fitted with 6.3-litre lump, which propelled the beast up to 145mph. 1965 Mk3 got dual-circuit brakes and revised quad headlamps. Mechanically and bodily durable, handling reasonable, fuel consumption heavy but affordable if you keep the annual mileage down.

Jensen FF/Interceptor 1967-1976

One of the exciting new designs at the 1967 Motor Show, the FF (Ferguson Formula 4WD) and its 2WD sister the Interceptor were ahead of their time. Flip-up glass hatchback was unique, novel and practical feature FF Dropped in 1971 after 320 cars made, but Interceptor soldiered on and was joined by attractive drophead in 1974. Smooth auto gearboxes, torquey 6.3-litre Chrysler engines (7.2-litre in drophead) and power everything, but bodies are rust-prone. Specialist companies offer quality rebuilds at a price. Tempting but expensive running costs.

Lagonda Rapide 1961-1964

Large attractive 4-door saloon styled by Touring with alloy lids and doors, and 4-litre straight-six Aston engine. Quad headlamps not to everyone’s taste but a competent cruiser good for 120mph plus. Disc brakes with De Dion rear suspension layout inspire confidence but don’t expect opposite lock and power slides on country roads, this is a big, heavy car. A Grand-Tourer, and very exclusive — just 54 made. The last great Lag?

Lamborghini 350GT 1964-1967

Beautiful and undervalued Ferrari alternative, with Bizzarrini-designed quad-cam V12 and independent rear suspension. Top speed in the region of 145mph, plus first-class handling to see you remain safely between the hedgerows. Cabin well appointed. reasonable size boot for touring but only enough room inside for two. Not many about, but something to write home about if you can find one.

Lamborghini 400GT 1966-1968

Revised 2 + 2 body with 3.9-litre V12 four-cam in the pointed end. Like the 275GTB Ferrari, there were six Webers forever thirsting for another squirt of 5-star but, with 150mph on tap it wasn’t quite as quick as Enzo’s classic. Like its predecessor, running costs are far from cheap and restoration costs are eye-watering.

Lamborghini Miura 1966-1971

Sixties dream car with transverse 3.9-litre fourcam V12 set amidships. Stunningly beautiful Bertone styling with pop-up headlamps, and raw power all the way to 170mph. Engine, transmission and dill is one ally casting and highly complex. Exceptionally strong monocoque with alloy bonnet and bootlid; Lambo was the first manufacturer to paint external trim black instead of chromium plating. Superseded by more powerful S in 1969 and SV with wider track and big wheel arches in 1971. Highly desirable: prices now at an all-time low.

Lamborghini Espada 1969-1978

Attractive four-seater with front-mounted quadcam V12 with 150mph performance and high trim level. DSJ reported on one for MOTOR SPORT when they were new and noted that small spots of rust were visible in the paintwork — in a new car! Survival rate is surprisingly good from 1200 made, but expect big restoration costs.

Lamborghini Urraco 1970-1979

The affordable ‘baby Lambo with 2.5, 3.0 or 2-litre V8 engines and 2+ 2-seater coupe body with retractable headlamps. A commendable effort by Bertone on the styling front: performance a little disappointing but good entertainment value if you enjoy baiting Dinos. Excellent roadholding, flat cornering ability and agile, but usual Lambo restoration costs. Be prepared for irritating questions from teenagers.

Lamborghini Countach 1974-1982

Pronounced ‘Koontash’, angular brash styling again by Bertone with 3.9-litre V12 mounted north-south amidships. A two-seater that should have achieved great things at Le Mans and elsewhere, but despite 180mph and endless tuning possibilities, most owners were reluctant, which is a pity. Like the Miura, prices have tumbled, so great value. But be careful. An enterprising New Zealander once made a near perfect fake out of old Morris Marinas. What next? Daytonas from old Allegros?

Lancia Aurelia B20/2500GT 1953-1958

Elegant, bold coupe with gorgeous 2 5-litre V6 and 112mph. Crisp steering, good gear change, a well-behaved chassis and inspiring exhaust note all conspire against sensible, economic motoring. You need to be an enthusiast to own one, rust is the principal enemy and you’ll tear your hair out trying to find replacement body panels. A great car. Best of luck.

Lancia Aurelia B24 1955-1958

Available as a spider with odd-looking wraparound windscreen and convertible — both twoseaters with 118bhp 2.5-litre V6. Well proportioned Pininfarina design, but arguably not as pretty as contemporary Alfas. Predictable handling, comfortable cabin, draught-free hood; one of the better post-war Lancias. Rare in Britain.

Lancia Flaminia GT 1959-1967

Poor man’s Maserati, but a good looking one with 2.5-litre V6, or 2.8 from 1963. Available as a coupe or cabriolet, both well proportioned but the overall appearance is compromised by plain steel wheels and trims. For traditionalists there’s still rear-wheel drive, though not for much longer.

Lancia Flavia Coupe 1962-1968

A regular production car with coupe styling by Pininfarina, but, sadly, few left in Britain. Fourcylinder ‘boxer’ engines in 1.5 and 1.8-litre guises reduced centre of gravity, giving excellent roadholding and addictive exhaust note up through the gearbox. A front-driver and one that understeers, but don’t let that put you off — a good example will give you thousands of miles of motoring pleasure.

Lancia Flavia Coupe 1969-1973

Stereotypical ’70s middle-class conveyance with convincing coupe body without the chromium clutter of its fashionable contemporaries from Munich. Restricted rear headroom, but it wouldn’t be a good Italian coupe otherwise. Ultimate development of flat-four engine pushed out to two litres and, from 1971, a five-speed gearbox came as standard. Usual rust and restoration problems.

Lancia Fulvia Coupe 1965-1976

Various models include 1200, 1300 and 1600 V4 engines, all driving the front wheels. The best looking and most agile post-war Lancia. Successful in international rallying — Pat Moss inverted one on the 1968 RAC Rally — and special road cars reflect this: alloy lids and doors on 130bhp 1.6-litre HF model. All-round disc brakes, some with five-speed gearboxes and attractive alloy wheels. A driver’s car and still cheap. Zagato-bodied versions also desirable but are generally double the price, and styling is not everyone’s pint of Bass.

Lancia Stratos 1973-1975

Mid-engined plastic-bodied Dino Ferrari built for rallying, at which it excelled. Genuine ones can be distinguished from replicas by appalling build quality and laughable panel fit. But ignore the ingress of rainwater, the 2.4-litre V6 provides ‘go’ in a chassis that will bring out the best in you. Fewer than 500 made — superb as a road, race, rally or hillclimb car.

Lotus VI 1953-1956

Simple and basic but effective clubman’s racer — Chapman’s first step on the road to ‘super stardom’. Spaceframe chassis with alloy body, four-speed gearbox and a choice of 1172cc, 1250cc and 1508cc engines courtesy of Ford/MG. Excellent power/weight ratio and easy to shine on a circuit without much skill. Not as good or as desirable as a Seven but historically important.

Lotus Seven (Super Seven and S4) 1961-1972

Revised bodywork prettier than the VI. Spec down to owner’s choice — a bewildering variety of engines were made to fit depending on use. The 1172cc Ford was good for 80mph if the wind didn’t knock your helmet off. Coil spring suspension, neutral handling with tail-happiness at will. As much fun as a motorbike, but be careful because no-one will see you coming. Super Seven introduced in 1961 with bigger Ford engines and more performance; dropped in favour of unloved rebodied S4 version in 1970.

Lotus Elite 1958-1963

Much cover-led stying sculpture in glass fibre. Architypical clubmans racer with first class road manners but some reliability and build quality problems. Delightful Coventry Climax OHC 1.2 litre 4-cylinder is still exciting today if kept in good tune. Fewer than 1000 built so survivors are relatively expensive. Join the Lotus Club and enjoy endless debates over the real Les Lesion car,DADIO.

Lotus Elan 1962-1973

A real sports car with backbone chassis, allround independent suspension, disc brakes and lively 1600 engine. Pretty glass-fibre body. S1 until 1964. S2 with veneer dashboard and better brakes, and S3 from 1966 with revised final-drive ratio and close-ratio gearbox. S4 from 1968 with wider arches and fatter tyres the most desirable. Sprint model from 1971-1973 with big-valve head and 126bhp. Take your pick, they’re all wonderful handlers, collectable and plentiful.

Lotus Elan +2 1967-1974

Much under-rated, good looking Elan for grownups with carrycots. The same 1600 engine up front, better trimmed +2S 1969— 1970 and a Sprint version from 1971 with 126bhp. Bigger than regular Elan, the road holding is near perfect — a beefier feel but crisp and precise with rewarding responses. As with all Elans, chassis frame can rot badly and there are the usual electrical problems associated with glass-bodied cars. In both guises, the Elan represents Chapman at his best.

Europa 1966-1975

A mid-engineci ‘breadvan’ in the nicest possible sense, there was nothing like the glass-fibre bodied Europa in the ’60s. Renault’s 16 saloon provided 1.6 litre in-line 4-cylinder power unit and gearbox. which made it pick up its feel, tut the twin-cam Lotus engine installed from 1971 made the little car go like stink all the way to 120mph Superlative handling, good fuel economy, nothing comes close on a twisty road.

Marcos GT 1959-1972

Jean Marsh’s earliest cars were… ugly. But later Dennis Adams design was not. Early cars utilise marine ply monocoque held together with Aerolite glue, bodies are glass-fibre. Bewildering number of engines include 114bhp Volvo 1800, 85bhp 1500 Cortina GT engine from 1966 and tuned 120bhp 1650cc Ford unit. The crossflow Ford 1600 was offered from mid-1968 and the 136bhp V6 Zodiac 3-litre from early 1969. 51/2J alloys and 175 tyres were fitted to cope with the extra power. Wooden chassis replaced by steel spaceframe from late ’69 and the 1600 were replaced by 103bhp Ford 2-litre V4. Volvo 3-litre joined line-up for 1971 — good for 125mph and 6-cylinder. Triumph 2.5-litre that went into the 4-seater Mantis also fitted, but the company went into receivership in 1972 after 1000 cars had been built. A pity.

Maserati 3500GT 1958-1964

Attractive coupe and spider versions with 3.5-litre straight-6 and tubular chassis. A competent Grand Tourer with civilised road manners and good equipment including all-round disc brakes, 5-speed gearbox and automatic on later cars. Not a Ferrari but not intended to be either. An acquired taste but, like Guinness, once you’ve got it you’ll want a lot more!

Maserati Mistral 1964-1970

A choice of 3.7 or 4-litre straight-6 fuel-injected engines. Stunning coupe styling from Frua with single headlamps being more readily accepted by loyal Maserati clientele than previous quad layout Sebring. Top speed close on 150mph and healthy mid-range ‘grunt — a car worthy of its name but as usual with Italian exotica, restoration costs.

Maserati Ghibli 1967-1973

Under-rated, undervalued, under-produced ‘supercar’ with 2-seater coupe and spider bodies, 4.7 or 4.9-litre 4-cam V8 engines, and still enough power today to blow both your mind and the cobwebs in your wallet away. Cartsprung rear is crude but tried, tested and proven, and, on the Riviera Autostrada you only need the muscles in your right foot and not those in your wrists. Ghia styling with retractable headlamps still inspires Manuals still better than autos.

Maserati Bora 1971-1978

Handsome mid-engined two-seater brute with Ghibli’s 4.7-litre or 4.9-litre 4-cam V8, but allround independent suspension brings the Bora up to date. Stunning body includes ‘flying buttresses’ over rear wings, which work well, and beautiful cast-alloy wheels. Again, much under valued ‘supercar’ well capable of holding its own with the best, and close on 170mph maximum speed for club days out on the race track.

Maserati Merak 1972-1983

Similar styling to Bora — again with ‘flying buttresses’ — but with 3-litre V6 quad-cam and Citroen 5-speed gearbox. Faster than a Dino 246 (155mph) much cheaper to buy and just as much fun on the road or track. As a product of the 1970s, it’s got most of the electrical toys, which are useful when they work properly. Highly desirable but still a largely ‘undiscovered’ classic Maserati.

Mercedes-Benz 300SL Coupe 1954-1957

Definitive ‘supercar’ of the 1950s. 1400 made, 29 alloy-bodied cars, one in fibre-glass — all were left-hand drive (approx two converted to rhd privately). 3-litre straight-6 — the world’s first production petrol engine with direct fuelinjection — and 155 mph with high axle ration. Swing-axle rear suspension proved tricky for some, but Stirling Moss and the car’s designer, Rudi Uhlenhaut, never experience handling problems. A complex tubular space frame chassis is not for DIY restoration. Beautifully engineered throughout, the ‘Gullwing’ remains one of the world’s truly great cars, but is definitely not for the impecunious. Be careful not to invert one — you won’t escape easily.

Mercedes 190SL 1955-1963

The ‘baby Merc sports car with Gullwing looks but, without the performance, complexity or running costs. A two-seater with conventionally hinged alloy doors (and lids) and soft or hardtop. 4-cylinder 1.9-litre engine gives genuine ‘ton’ — plus performance, but the twin Solex carbs are notoriously difficult to keep in tune, some owners have give up and switched to Webers. Alfin brake drums and excellent handling from robust chassis. A comfortable cruiser rather than an out-and-out sports machine.

Mercedes 300SL Roadster 1957-1963

Drophead version of the Gullwing with conventional doors and revised spaceframe chassis. Coupe’s 3-litre 6-cylinder engine retained but the more satisfactory low-pivot swing-axle system adopted to answer on-the-limit-vagaries of high pivot system. Weight penalty for chassis revisions and ‘ragtop’ aerodynamics reduce top speed to 130mph, but a more civilised road car than the Gullwing all round. Hardtop available but now difficult to locate, disc brakes from 1961. Mercedes 230SL/250SL/280SL ‘Pagodas’ 1963-1971

Truly elegant second generation SLs start with 2.3-litre fuel-injected straight-6, 2.5-litre 7-bearing engine from 1966 — the rarest model — and 2.8-litre from 1967, 115-120mph top speed. Choice of hardtop of convertible and auto transmission or 4-speed manual (optional 5-speed on 280SL). Superlative roadholding with low-pivot swingaxles and standard Continental radials. Late cars are best equipped and most powerful but are also heavier. Quality engineering and excellent spares back-up and restoration specialist but, such is legendary reliability that you won’t need either very often. 230SL is the purist’s choice but 280SL makes more sense.

Mercedes-Benz 350/450SL 350/450SLC 1971-1980

Third generation SLs with a choice of 3.5 or 4.5litre V8 engines and short or long-wheelbase bodies. Angular styling but retaining Merc elegance: built with American safety and emissions legislation in mind. Bigger engines than second generation SLs but, because of power-sapping emissions equipment, not a great deal more in the way of useable performance. Revised rear suspension gives better roadholding, there’s more comfort in the cabin and the usual Merc build quality. A luxury Grand Tourer that brought sanity to the 1970s. And there are some real bargains about.

MG TD 1950-1953

For purists this was the last ‘proper’ MG because of the detached headlamps, but it’s not in the styling league of its predecessor. The 1250cc in-line four gives ample acceleration, but low gearing means that motorways are virtually out of the question. Find a deserted Highland road though, and you’ll have the time of your life. Good handling with coil-sprung front suspension, reasonable fuel consumption and a beautiful dashboard, if that’s important. It could only have happened in Britain during the 1950s.

MG TF 1953-1954

Restyled TD with wire wheels instead of discs, but the same 1250cc engine until 1954 when the 63 bhp 1500cc unit arrived. A driver’s car by any standards, and a pretty one too, but a vintage hangover just the same. Crisp handling that is vastly improved by radial tyres, which most appear to have these days. A serious Morgan alternative: which badge and grille do you prefer’?

MGA 1955-1962

Traditional MG qualities with cosy up-to-date two-seater body at last. Attractive, honest sports car that looks well with standard disc wheels or optional wires. The BMC 1500 in-line four develops a healthy 72bhp -1600 with 80bhp from 1959 and late models have 1622cc 86bhp engine. The twin-cam, of which there were just over 2000 made between 1958-60, develops 108bhp, but reliability problems are not unknown. Disc brakes fitted to ‘twinks’ and later pushrod cars. Many now rusted out, but restoration is not difficult for devotees. A minor classic with competition history.

MGB 1962-1971

Bread-and-butter sporting two-seater with a bigger following than ever. Joined by the GT coupe in 1965 fitted with the same four-cylinder 1.8-litre engine. MkII version launched 1967 with revised rear axle, optional auto ‘box and synchro on bottom for manuals. Good for 105mph in standard form but the engine is easily tuneable for much more. A good old slogger with predictable handling, disc brakes up front and reasonable fuel economy. Principal enemy is rust but all new parts are available including complete bodyshells. ‘Big bumper models continued throughout the ’70s — only you can decide if they’re worth the effort. Excellent clubs campaign tirelessly for all models.

MGC 1967-1969

Roadster and coupe version share the same bodyshell as the B except for the bonnet ‘power bulge’. which conceals the 3-litre straight-six Austin saloon engine. Unloved when new for its much criticised nose-heavy handling, but with a top speed of 120mph it was appreciably faster than its four-pot sister. Needs the delicate touch to be fully understood. Learn to drive one and you’ll get a lot of performance for your money. There’s the usual body rot, of course.

MGB GTV8 1973-1976

Now much coveted by enthusiasts, the extra power of the all-alloy pushrod Rover 3.5 litre V6 which, incidentally, is lighter than the 1.8-litre ‘iron’ motor in the standard B. gives tremendous straight-line power all the way to 130mph. Handling as predictable as ever and rewarding on the limit. Attractive alloy wheels ‘lifted’ a sound but ageing design. Launched during the 1973 oil crisis, just 2,500 examples were made before BL killed it off. The poor man’s V12 E-Type, the Passage of 20 years has increased affection for these cars, and rightly so.

Mini Cooper 1963-1971

Diminutive 997cc twin carb engines with 55bhp on tap (the same as the current Cinquecento). Joined by Cooper S in 1968 with 1071cc, 970cc and 1275cc engines. Astonishing rally and race history — amazing handling and 100mph-plus performance with the 1275. Excellent spares situation and the bits are cheap. Absolutely marvellous if you can stand the quirky driving position, dreadful gear change and considerable cabin noise. And beware of ‘rogue’ cars: it’s very easy to fake a Cooper. Writing a bogus history takes less time than bolting on a set of Minikes and a set of spot lamps.


Myriad enigma variations from Malvern, the lovable cars from Pickersleigh Road soldier on, despite predictions to the contrary by Sir John Harvey-Jones. Since 1950 engines have included Standard Vanguard 2-litre, and a number of four-cylinder units from Ford, Triumph and Fiat. The 161bhp Rover V8-engined Plus 8 model arrived in 1968 and offered 125-130mph performance. But the same basic ‘vintage’ chassis, ash frame and a choice of steel or alloy two-seater (or 2 + 2) bodies has remained almost unchanged throughout. An enduring classic loved by all until it comes to ‘spot the rot’ time.

Peerless GT 1957-1960

Durable glass-fibre 2 + 2 body clothing tubular frame chassis and 2-litre four-cylinder TR2 engine and gearbox. Low volume production — between 3-400 in all — but a surprising number have survived. Excellent roadability and handling, 100mph-plus top speed and the distinction of minor Le Mans history. Evolved into the Warwick GT with revised styling and Rover/Buick engine from 1961. The project was finally laid to rest in 1962. Cheap to buy, easy to restore.

Peugeot 504 1970-193

Handsome 2 + 2 Pininfanna coupe and cabriolet with 1.8-litre or 2-litre 4-cylinder engines from ‘cooking’ saloons. The 2 7-litre V6 was fitted from 1974 and offered 125mph top speed. All to a high spec with safe handling and auto ‘box as a cost option. A comfortable, dependable long-distance tourer, but rare in Britain and body rot is a problem. The V6 is the ‘sensible shoes’ alternative to to the Citroen SM.

Porsche 356 1950-1965

Misunderstood Beetle-inspired sporting twoseater coupe or cabriolet body with rear-mounted 1100, 1300 and 1590 engines, some with rollerbearing crankshafts. All synchromesh gearboxes from 1952. One-piece windscreen on 356A from 1955 and complex 1500 4-cam Carrera. 1600 engines from 1957, restyled 356B introduced 1959 and 356C introduced in 1963 with all-round disc brakes, by which time, the Carrera had grown through 1600 to 2 litres with 130mph top speed. Desirable but basic Speedster debuted in 1954 but most exported to US. All models great to drive once you know how Carrera engines incomprehensible for DIY.

Porsche 911 1965>

Butzi Porsche’s air-cooled rear-engined flat-six designed around a boot big enough to accept a set of golf clubs. 2-litre engines to start but 2.2-litres and fuel injection from 1968. Avoid earliest cars with troublesome Solex carbs. Targa top and semi-auto Sportomatic arrived in 1967. Engine enlarged to 2.7 litres in 1972 and 3.0 litres in Carrera the following year. Lightweight 2.7-litre Carrera is the most sought after. All 911s have durable engines and gearboxes but, if they do go bang, overhauls are far from cheap. The best all-round sports car?

Porsche 912 1965-1969

For Porsche owners who don’t want to stretch to a 911, there’s the same body and mechanical package except for the 4-cylinder 1600 engine. Not in the same performance league as the 6-cylinder car but not to be underestimated all the same. Five-speed gearboxes and dual-circuit brakes desirable on later cars. Comparatively rare in Britain, rhd was available, but unrestored examples are usually tired.

Reliant Scimitar GTE 1968-1975

Clever sporting four-seater hatchback raised eyebrows back in 1968, and still looks well today, even if the Ford 3-litre V6 feels harsh by modern standards. Non-rot fibreglass body is long-lived and the mechanical bits are as durable as any. 120-mph performance, good torque spread and excellent roadholding. Prices vary enormously according to condition. First rate spares back-up and strong national club.

Renault Alpine A110 1966-1977

Jean Redele’s beautiful rear-engined, fibre-glass bodied two-seater coupe became the car to beat in international rallying, especially after the lightalloy 1565cc Renault 16 engine and gearbox was fitted. Developing 138bhp, its a tail-happy flyer with unrivalled ability to change direction quickly. With its tubular frame chassis and ‘paper thin’ body, this ultra-lightweight missile made a fabulous road car and still does. Nine different engines ranging from 1300-1951cc, but usual production units were 1300 and 1600. Also made in Spain, Brazil and Bulgaria as well as Dieppe. A truly great sports car.

Triumph TR3 1955-57/ T-R3A 1957-62/ TR3B 1962

Originally developed in ’53 as the TR2 and aimed at the American market, the TR3 featured shorter doors than its predecessor, and had 95-100bhp on tap. In ’56 front discs were introduced, a novelty at that time, plus an optional triple overdrive and rear seats. The TR3A differed in grille styling and featured door handles, with the option of a 2138cc engine from ’59 where previously was 1991cc was standard. The TR3B was made for America only in ’62 and carried the all synchro box used in the TR4. Now high sought after.

Triumph TR5 1967-1968

The TR5 PI represented an important landmark as the first British production car to have fuel injection for the UK market. The 2498cc sixcylinder engine pushed out a maximum 150bhp at 5500rpm and gave a top speed of 125mph. A US model, the TR250, fitted with Stromberg carburettors, managed 104bhp and a maximum 107mph. The bodywork is as for the TR4A, but larger brakes and an uprated rear suspension helped to control the greater performance. If you come across a TR5 with racing stripes on the bonnet check to see if it is in fact the TR250 with Stomberg as values for the US model are much lower. When purchasing, watch out for rust in the chassis and check the engine running, as the fuel injection system can give trouble. Like the TR3s the TR5 is a much sought after model though the ride can be rather harsh!

TVR 1958>

Fibre glass bodied two-seaters with same basic styling throughout and mind-boggling engine variants from usual four-cylinder Ford, CoventryClimax and MG units in the Granturas, and the Ford 4.7-litre V8 in the Griffith from 1963. The V6 3-litre arrived with the Tasmin in 1969 and the Triumph 2.5-litre straight-6 in the 2500 from 1971. Spec varies from one model to another. V8s not for wimps. Parts supply good, fun factor high, the later the better for improved build quality.

VW-Porsche 914 1969-1973

Karmann-built replacement for the VW Type 3 Karmann-Ghia with ‘push-me, pull-you’ twoseater Targa body. VW four-cylinder 80bhp engine in 914/4 but 2-litre six-cylinder 110bhp engine in 914/6 version. Engine mounted amidships, so excellent handling, but servicing is difficult in restricted engine bay. Cabin is basic and complex bodies can rot.

Volvo PV544 1959-1965

Oddball styling and a large car for the 1600 engine — enlarged to 1800 in 1962 — to drag around, but a decent turn of speed nevertheless. A predictable understeerer which is very ‘chuckable’, several were brought to Britain privately in the absence of official imports. Successful competition history and still notching up points in historic rallying today.