Archive for the ‘Auto’ Category

VW Golf MK1 GTi


Very few cars can lay claim to spawning an entire market sector, but the Volkswagen Golf GTi is one of them. Before we even started referring to cars of its ilk as hot hatches they were simply called GTis. For a while in the early eighties it seemed that almost every mainstream manufacturer had a hatch badged GTi on their books, riding on the coat tails of the Golfs phenomenal success. As with any such iconic car, a cult following has grown up around the Volkswagen Golf GTi and whilst todays versions are supremely well built and laden with luxury and safety features the two versions we examine here, the Mk1 and Mk2 cars are what most purists would refer to as real Golf GTis. The early Mk1 cars are the collectors items but the 16v version of the Mk2 is still the car most enthusiasts would point to as the car that marked the greatest GTi moment.

Peugeot 205 Rallye

From 1988 to 1992 Peugeot produced another variant of the 205, the 205 Rallye, which was engineered and produced by Peugeot-Talbot sport. This edition of the 205 was positioned as a cost effective alternative to the 205 GTI, retaining its sporty character, but being less expensive to buy or maintain. To achieve this, Peugeot used a derivative of the TU-series engine used in the post-1987 205s, which was designated TU24. The engine is essentially the same engine as was in the 1.1-litre 205 with the cylinders bored out to a total engine displacement of 1294 cc, a sports camshaft and twin Weber carburetors. While only a 1.3-litre engine, it still produced 103 bhp (77 kW) DIN (76 kW) at no less than 6800 rpm. The car got the 1.9 GTI front suspension with ventilated brake discs, and the 1.6 GTI rear axle with drum brakes. The 205 Rallye was completely stripped of almost all soundproofing, electrical systems or other luxury items, bringing down the weight to no more than 794 kg (1750 lb). Its minimalistic equipment, together with the high revs needed to unleash all of the engine’s horsepower gives the 205 Rallye a very spartan character and makes it a difficult but rewarding car to drive hard, which is one of the reasons it is now very popular among 205 GTI enthusiasts. Around 30,000 Rallyes were produced, and they were only sold in some countries on the European mainland (at least in France, Belgium, Spain and The Netherlands). This, together with the fact that a lot of these cars have been wrecked because it is a difficult (and for some drivers even dangerous) car to drive makes the 205 Rallye a very rare car nowadays. It is almost impossible to buy one in good shape anymore because Rallye owners now tend to hold on to their cars, knowing it will be a classic in the not-too-distant future.


BMW 2002 turbo

In 1973 up and coming German manufacturer, BMW, took the world by storm with the announcement of its new model, the 2002 Turbo. This pocket-rocket version of the already successful 2002 series became the first European production car to feature a turbocharger. Using the standard 2002 tii two door body shell the 2002 Turbo featured a racing style front spoiler, wider wheel arches and a boot lid spoiler. Underneath the 2002 Turbo bonnet sat a tuned 1990cc four cylinder which produced a staggering 170bhp. The new car certainly enjoyed a great deal of publicity in its one year of production, all 1672 examples were built in left hand drive form.

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Small and Simple

Fiat 500The Fiat 500 (the “cinquecento”, from the Italian word for “500”) is a car produced by the Fiat company of Italy between 1957 and 1975 (the Fiat 500 K alone was produced until 1977) and from 2007 on. It was designed by Dante Giacosa.



Launched as the Nuova 500, it was marketed as a cheap and practical town car. Measuring only 2.97 m (9 ft 9 in) long, and originally powered by a tiny 479 cc two-cylinder, air-cooled engine, the 500 redefined the term “small car” and is considered one of the first city cars.




MINIThe Mini is a small car that was produced by the British Motor Corporation (BMC) and its successors from 1959 until 2000. The most popular British-made car ever, it was superseded by the New MINI, which was launched in April 2001. The original is considered an icon of the 1960s,[2][3][4] and its space-saving front-wheel-drive layout (that allowed 80% of the area of the car’s floor pan to be used for passengers and luggage) influenced a generation of car-makers.





This distinctive two-door car was designed for BMC by Sir Alec Issigonis.[6][7] It was manufactured at the Longbridge and Cowley plants in the United Kingdom, the Victoria Park / Zetland British Motor Corporation (Australia) factory in Sydney Australia, and later also in Spain (Authi), Belgium, Chile, Italy, Portugal, South Africa, Uruguay, Venezuela and Yugoslavia. The Mini Mk I had three major UK updates: the Mk II, the Clubman and the Mk III. Within these was a series of variations including an estate car, a pickup truck, a van and the Mini Moke — a jeep-like buggy. The Mini Cooper and Cooper “S” were sportier versions that were successful as rally cars, winning the Monte Carlo Rally three times.




Citroen 2CV-The Citroën 2CV (French: deux chevaux, literally “two horses”, from the tax horsepower rating) was an economy car produced by the French automaker Citroën from 1948 to 1990. It is considered one of their most iconic cars. It was described in his book Drive On: A Social History of the Motor Car by longtime CAR magazine columnist the late LJK Setright as ‘The most intelligent application of minimalism ever to succeed as a car.






It was designed for low cost, simplicity, versatility, reliability and off-road driving. For this, it had a light, easily serviceable engine, extremely soft suspension, high clearance and for oversized loads a car-wide canvas sunroof. Between 1948 and 1990 3,872,583 2CVs were produced, plus 1,246,306 camionettes (small trucks).



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