Ferrari and Porsche are  Italian and German sides of the same coin, respectively.

A red Ferrari and a black Porsche

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  Each represents a distinctive interpretation of the concept of a sports car. Both were founded by a dominant patriarch,  both honed their craft in racing, both designs are more than 50 years old, and both possess styling and engineering  integrity. Whether they are on the track on urban streets, or  of Le Mans, the two brands have constantly been put head-to-head to be compared and contrasted. Even those motorists unmoved by sports cars associate these two names with both style and performance.

Take for instance the passionate Ferrari F430 and the methodical Porsche 911 Carrera 4S. Both cars amaze the driver with their performance while successfully maintaining a respectable amount of practicality, but neither pretends to be anything aside from a sports car. Read more . . .

Ferdinand Porsche was an automobile engineer with more than a thousand patents to his name, and played a vital role in the development of airplanes and the construction of tanks for the Wehrmacht as well. In the 1920s, he was chosen chief engineer at Mercedes-Benz in Stuttgart and later set up his own engineering workshop.  Among other things, there he designed the Volkswagen. He acted as Chief of Operations at the plant where the Volkswagen was made, Wolfsburg, and at the end of the war he was jailed by the Allies.

He was released a few years  after and immediately went to work building his first car with his son, Ferry Porsche. This car was named the Porsche 356, after Ferry, and was a sports car with styling similar to that of the Volkswagen. It had, in fact,   the same four-cylinder boxer engine, and wore it rear-mounted, just as the VW did. This meant that it was far from being a great sports car, boasting a mere 40 bhp and a maximum speed of 87 mph (140 km/h). Read more . . .

When the discussion turns to the Chrysler Airflow, the sum of the  talk  is normally: early attempt at streamlining that the public didn’t like.Classic car Chrysler AirflowIn others words, nice attempt; call us again when you have a winner.

This thumbnail model considerably under-rates the importance of the Airflow because, despite its commercial failure, Chrysler’s brave  trial  at innovation may well have been the most important vehicle of the 1930’s. Not only did the Airflow lead the way in terms of aerodynamics (or “streamlining” as it was then named), it was the first mass-market car in the world to use the “modern” architecture that has now become the benchmark.

Chrysler was great marketer

The man, Walter P. Chrysler was an American “automobile man.” A promoter with a genius for Read more . . .

If you ever wondered why the quintessential Brit hero, The Saint, drove a Volvo, there is a particular reason. Classic car Volvo P1800 redThe  P1800 Volvo he drove, was, at least at first, a British car. It was assembled by Jensen,  the renowned English sports car maker,  after Karmann Ghia lost out on the bidding to build the car. And in one of the most productive marketing moves in the car industry, Volvo decided to capitalize on the British connection by supplying vehicles for the British TV show, “The Saint,” which starred Roger Moore as the slightly shady,  free-lance,  womanizing, good guy. Read more . . .

If the history of the Volkswagen Beetle were presented as an imaginary tale, no one would believe it was plausible. Classic car Beetle blackWhat is now the most  famous car the world has ever known suffered so many false starts and survived so much hardship, that it is difficult to imagine a harder road to victory. Yet, somehow, the Volkswagen Beetle not only endured but prospered. Read more . . .