Renault R17

1972 Renault R17


Renault R12 (1970-1975)

1972 Renault 12

1972 Renault R12 Break


Renault R16 (1965-1979)

1972 Renault R16

Simca 1000

Simca 1000 (1962-1978)

The Simca 1000 was an immediate success when it was launched at the 1961 Paris Salon, It remained in production for 16 years In all, 1.6 million units were made.

Simca 1000
Simca 1000

What they said at the time: “One of 1962’s sensations was the introduction by Simca of their first rear-engined car, the 1000. Although the power unit employed, a 944 c.c. version of Simca’s five-bearing 1290 c.c. Rush engine, is their smallest, it develops 45 b.h.p. at 5,000 r.p.m. and a maximum torque of 54.2ft/lb at 2.800 r.p.m., giving a maximum speed of 75 m.p.h. Suspension is independent, front and rear, and there are 9 in hydraulic drum brakes all round. The electrical system is 12v. The engine revolves counter-clockwise, the opposite of classic engines, in order to compensate for torque and improve balance at any speed. The integral transmission/rear axle assembly is compact and fully synchronised.

Simca 1000
1963 Simca 1000

Although it is a small and economical car. the 1000 has many refinements. Its four doors open at right angles: the luggage boot locks from inside the car. The ventilation system allows both air flow and temperature to be regulated. The separate front seats have contoured triple-padded backs and a no-sag frame: they have seven adjustment positions, which can be changed while the car is moving. Sound insulation is effective. There are two sun visors, matching either of two ceiling tones.”

Simca 1000
1974 Simca 1000

Simca 1000
Simca Rallye 1

Simca 1000
Simca Rallye 2

The Simca 1000 Rallye 1 and 2 were popular among the more sporty motorists and with racing drivers, both in one-make championships and in saloon car racing.

Matra Bagheera

Matra Simca Bagheera 1973-1980

Matra Sports was established in 1965 when Matra (aerospace company) took over the René Bonnet company (Matra built the fibre-glass bodies for Bonnet). In 1969 Matra was taken over by Simca.

The Bagheera was a three-seater, fibre-glass bodied, mid-engined coupé. It was designed by Philippe Guédon. Although it had a top speed of 185 km/h, it always seemed under-powered.

1973 Matra Simca Bagheera

Matra Simca Bagheera


1973 Matra Simca Bagheera

Specification (1974 Matra Simca Bagheera)

Engine Straight 4, 1294cc (Simca)
Power 84 hp @ 6000 rpm
Top Speed 185 km/h

VW Type 2

VW Transporter (Bulli) Type 2 (1949 to date)

The transporter, bus or Bulli as it is known in Germany, has gained cult status. The Dutch VW importer, Ben Pon, is said to have made the first sketches for the Transporter. There have been 6 generations up to 2021, known as T1 to T6.

VW Transporter

VW Bulli

VW bus
VW bus
VW bus
1949 VW Type 2
VW bus

More illustrations to follow …

Vauxhall Cresta

Vauxhall Cresta (1954-1972)

The Vauxhall Cresta was from 1954 to 1972. The Cresta was introduced in 1954 as an upmarket version of the Vauxhall Velox, itself a six-cylinder version of the Vauxhall Wyvern. The Cresta models were the E (1954–1957), PA (1957–1962), PB (1962–1965) and PC (1965–1972). The Viscount (1966–1972) was an upmarket Cresta PC.

Vauxhall Cresta

Vauxhall Cresta
1955 Vaxhall Cresta

Vauxhall Cresta
1957 Vauxhall Cresta

Vauxhall Cresta
1958 Vauxhall Cresta

The US-styling of the 1958 Vauxhall Cresta was quite a shock (as were the colour schemes), nevertheless 1958 was a record year for Vauxhall, with 114,117 cars sold.

Singer Gazelle

Singer Gazelle (1956-1970)

Singer Gazelle
Singer Gazelle Convertible

1957 Singer Gazelle

1957 Singer Gazelle

4 Cylinder 1496 cc
52.5 hp @ 4500 rpm
4 speed manual
Unitary construction
Independent coil spring front, semi-elliptic leaf springs rear
Lockheed hydraulic drum brakes
Top speed
80 mph
LxWxH 4.15 x 1.54 x 1.50 m

Saab Sonett

Saab Sonett (1955-1957) and (1966-1974)

1956 Prototype SAAB Sonett

Data sheet, itself an extract from Saab Sonics no. 21


“The greatest sensation at the 1956 Stockholm Motorcar Show (with more than 400 different cars on show) was undoubtedly the Saab Sonett Super Sport, built by Saab’s Motorcar Division at Trolhattan. An experimental car, the Saab Sonett Super Sport has been built mainly to enrichen Saab’s experience in the design of advanced cars. As far as the chassis is concerned, the Saab Sonett is to nearly 100 per cent built on the standard Saab-93 chassis. The car is equipped with a Saab-93 engine, which has been boosted to give 57.5 h.p. at 5.000 r.p.m. (as against 38 h.p. in the standard Saab-93 car). Max. torque is approx. 63 lbs.ft. (9 kpm) at 3,500 r.p.m. By building the Saab Sonett, the motorcar division will get an opportunity to test the Saab-93 engine under exceptional conditions. Another design feature tested in connection with the construction of the new car is the glass fibre laminate (plastics) used in the body of the car. The most interesting design feature is perhaps the box type design used for the mounting of the chassis details. This has been built according to aircraft design principles and is of light metal. Thus, a very low weight of the unit (71 kg.) has been obtained.
The work on this car has been directed by Mr. Rolf Mellde, Chief Test Engineer at Saab’s Motorcar Division at Trollhattan. An experimental series of 5 cars is now being built.”

Although some books claim that the car shown at the Stockholm Motor Show remained a one-off, it seems that there are 6 Super Sports still in existance today (thanks to Robert Miller for pointing this out). It was not until the early ’60s that the idea for a sports car was revived. The Sonett II was introduced in 1966. In 1970 it was restyled by Italian Coachbuilder Sergio Coggida and produced as the Sonett III.

Saab sonett
1972 Saab Sonett III

Saab 99

SAAB 99 (1967-1980)

The 99 was introduced in 1968. It had a 4-cylinder 1700 cc 85hp in-line engine designed by Triumph. From 1970 onwards It sported many advanced features such as heated front seats and headlamp washers.

Saab 99

1971 SAAB 99