Open sports cars



A.C. ACE Stand 135

The well-known Ace continues to elude our road testers and also continues without change except that disc brakes are now standard equipment and the Ace engine develops 102 b.h.p. at 5,000 r.p.m., although the Bristol engine is more popular.

Prices : Ace, £1,836; Ace-Bristol. £2.197.


The Pininfarina designed open body on the Sprint Spider remains unchanged except that the optionally extra hard-top has been improved. The 2000 Spider with body by Touring of Milan is gaining in popularity and its 115-b.h.p. 2-litre engine gives a top speed of around 110 m.p.h. It is being exhibited at Earls Court for the first time.

Prices : Giulietta Spider, £2,091; Spider Veloce, £2,480; 2000 Spider, £3,111.


Both the Sprite and the 3000 continue unchanged and three examples of each can be seen on the Healey stand, all of them being finished in ice blue. Also displayed is the Austin Healey 3000 with which Pat Moss and Ann Wisdom won the Liége-Rome-Liége Rally.

Prices : Sprite, £632; Supercharged Sprite, £711; 3000, £1,168.

BERKELEY Stand 107

The new Berkeley Bandit (described on page 899) is the highlight of the Berkeley stand. This Ford-engined, disc-braked sports car will sell for £798 I0s. and looks like adding interest to production sports-car racing. The Royal Enfield-engined B95 and 105 will continue in production.

Prices : B95, £628; B105, £652; Bandit, £799.


Still the only American sports car, the Corvette offers high performance from the well-known V8 engine which has powered so many race-winning cars in the U.S. It develops 230 b.h.p. in standard form but 300 b.h.p. can be obtained, which makes several European ” high-performance ” sports cars look a trifle sick.

Price : Not yet available.

DAIMLER SP250. Stand 128

At the time of going to press we have no news of any changes to the specification of the SP250 but as it is such a recent introduction 310 major alterations are expected. The car does not appear to be selling well in this country but racing successes in the United States will probably boost Sales there. Jaguars may well use the lusty V-8 engine in one of their long-rumoured new models.

Price : £1,395.


Successor to such great names as Bugatti, Delage and Delahaye the Facel Vega is the only remaining French quality car. The little Facellia with 1,600-c.c. twin overhead camshaft. engine and Dunlop disc brakes on all four wheels offers 115 b.h.p. and a top speed in excess of 100 m.p.h. Right-hand-drive models are imported into Britain.

Price: Not yet available.


Well known as builders of do-it-yourself kits, Fairthorpe continue with the Climax-engined Electron, Triumph Herald-engined Electron Minor, Ford Zephyr-engined Zeta, and introduce the Electrina, which is a saloon version of the Electron Minor.

Prices : Electron Minor; £799; Electron, £1,198; Zeta, £1,281; Electrina, £799.

FIAT 1200 AND 1500 Stand 138

Outwardly similar to the 1200, the 1500 houses a twin overhead camshaft OSCA-inspired engine and, although giving a modest 80 b.h.p., a 100-m.p.h. performance should result. A full road-test of the 1500 appears in this issue.

Prices : 1200 Cabriolet, £1,460; 1500, £1,844.

JAGUAR XK150 Stand 127

How Jaguar make a profit still amazes us as their range of high-performance cars offer perhaps the finest value in the world’s motor industry. The XK150 series continues completely unchanged except that a new range of metallic colours will be available in future.The XK150S is offered with 265 b.h.p. and a performance well in excess of I30 m.p.h.. while those who are not so performance conscious can settle for the 210-b.h.p. version or the 220-b.h.p. 3.8-litre.

Prices : XK150, £1,666; 3.8-litre XK150. £1942; 3,8-litre X K 150S, £2,176.


The fantastic 300SL can be seen in unchanged form on the Mercedes stand but the 190SL is not displayed. The latter is generally regarded as a fast tourer although its 1.897c.c. engine develops 120 h.b.p. and propels the car to around 112 m.p.h.

Prices : 190SL, £2.735; 300SL, £5,314.

M.G.A Stand 112

With no announcement and few regrets the Twin-Cam model has been allowed to slip out of the M.G. assembly lines and pass into history as one of those inexplicable failures which beset the best of manufacturers from time to time. This appears to be a little premature as Dick Jacobs had gained a fair measure of reliability and not a little Speed with his two privately-owned cars. One consolation for prospective M.G.A owners is that the Twin-Cam chassis with four-wheel disc brakes and the centre-lock disc wheels is available as an optional extra. Otherwise the M.G.A 1600 introduced last year remains unchanged.

Prices : M.G.A., £940: M.G.A. Coupe, £1,027.


It will indeed be a sad day when the specification of the Morgan undergoes a major change, and we are happy to report that the TR3-engined Plus Four continues without major alterations except that disc brakes are now standardised and the steering has been redesigned to give lighter control. The 1172 Ford-engine Series II 4/4 is replaced by a Series Ill model which utilises the 105E Anglia engine and four-speed gearbox but remains otherwise unchanged.

Prices : Plus Four two-seater, £929; four-seater, £950; two-seater drophead coupe, £1.007; 4/4 Series III, £738.


Although more of a sports tourer than an ont-and-out sports car, the Alpine has been in constant demand since its inception just over a year ago and nearly 90% of production has been exported. For 1961 the engine capacity is increased front 1,191 c.c. to 1.592 c.c., putting the power up to 85.5 b.b.p. at 5,000 rpm while the driving position, which has been criticised in road tests, is considerably altered. A new range of colours will keep the Alpine in the public eye for another year.

Price : Not yet. available.

TRIUMPH TR3 Stand 142

regarded as the World’s best all-round sports car, the TR3 sells in large numbers all over the world to drivers who want an almost unbreakable car which will stand up to terrific punishment and still offer 100-m.p.h. performance. Its road-holding is not beyond criticism but as an all-round sports car the TR3 is difficult to beat.

Prices : TR3A, £991; hard-top, £1,041