|Glas 1300 sport car|
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Glas were known for small cars like the Goggomobil. However in 1964 the company introduced the Glas 1300GT coupe and later the 1700GT. The body was designed by Pietro Frua. However competition, mostly from British cars, was tough and in 1966 released the 2600GT powered by a SOHC V8 engine, with a volume just under 2.6 litres. However this didn't help and later the same year the company was sold to BMW. The Glas models were kept in production by BMW, but fitted with BMW engines. The Glas 1300 GT coupe was fitted with a 1.6 litre BMW engine and renamed BMW 1600 GT. BMW also fitted a 3 litre engine and named it 3000 GT. This model kept the Glas name, but had a BMW logo in the front and rear. In 1968 BMW created their own large coupe, the BMW 2500 CS, and this meant the end for Glas. 277 copies of 2600 GT was made and 389 of the 3000 GT.
|ASA 1000 GT|
The ASA (Autocostruzioni Società per Azioni) story is a fascinating tangent from the familiar Ferrari and Italian car scene of the late 1950`s and 1960`s. Originally conceived by Enzo Ferrari to showcase the traditional Ferrari design dogmas of styling, craftsmanship, and driving experience to a broader market, the car featured a number of technical features in common with contemporary Ferraris. Production was handled by an outside firm whose main activities were in electromechanical industrial production, but whose proprietors were already clients of Ferrari and who found the idea attractive. The engine was quite literally one third of a Ferrari 250 engine, with the same bore, stroke, and pistons, hence the approximate displacement of 1000cc`s. Fueling was provided by a pair of large Weber carburetors, and the suspension and chassis are reported to have been directly derived from the Ferrari 250, specifically the GTO. Even the valve cover retained the contours and crackle finish of the 250 engine. The braking system was the all around disc system carried over directly from the 250GTE, making the 1000GT a very capable stopper indeed! The styling and interior architecture also owe much to Ferrari, and the quality of construction was very high. Even the fuel tank is a beautifully crafted Ferrari-type riveted aluminum item. The cars were imported United States by Luigi Chinetti, but the $6000 price ($1500 more than a contemporary 427 cid Corvette!) meant that sales were very slow. Fewer than 75 examples were produced with just fewer than half coming to the United States.
|Ghia 1500 GT|
Ghia's career as a car manufacturer ended abruptly in 1967 when the company was acquired by De Tomaso, a constructor of sportscars. Ghia then concentrated on producing bodies for the De Tomaso Mangusta, a Ford-powered supercar, and worked on its successor, the Pantera. At the time the Ford Motor Company had a keen interest in the Italian car scene and took Ghia off the hands of De Tomaso in 1970. This more or less spelled the end for Ghia as a coachbuilder. It's still active as a design studio within the Ford concern and its badges appear on luxury versions of regular Ford models, reduced to only a mere shadow of what Ghia once meant.
|Ghia 1500 GT 1964|
Currently Ghia produced cars are undervalued, mainly because not many people know about them. They're not rare however, many 1500 GT models have survived and are avidly used in classic car rallies and alike. Obviously the Ghia 450 SS is the more sought after model but the 1500 GT is gaining recognition. It has simple mechanics which are easy to maintain and unique looks, the only downside is the sometimes disappointing built quality of the cars. The one shown here is a bit modified (hence "elaborata"), most notably the grill has been changed into a more classic "egg crate" look while the original was a more angular chromed affair which protruded from the front. Still it remains a wonderful example of Ghia's short spell as a car manufacturer.
Ford's Allegro II of 1967 was one such product of an "anything goes" mentality. The Allegro unabashedly melded Mustang and Cougar design cues with pillarless front and side glass, without even the slightest thought about all-weather protection. A sport bar, somewhat recalling that on the first-generation Viper, melted into a pair of fin-like flying buttresses on the back deck. The press release boasted of the Allegro II's low 33-inch cowl height and 41-inch overall height--not much taller than the company's own, ultra-low GT40 race car.
As opposed to the Alex Tremulis and Ken Spencer concept car images we recently pulled from the Ford image archives, this photo of the Ford Allegro II concept comes from a later era, specifically 1967, though it has its roots in an earlier concept that was integral to the development of the Mustang.
Any Mustang history naturally starts in about 1960 when the recently promoted Lee Iaccoca formed the Fairlane Committee to explore ways in which Ford could begin to capture the baby boomer market. Benchmarking the Corvair Monza, the committee was led to a design by Bob Maguire’s advanced studio called the Allegro, a four-passenger fastback with Ford’s then-signature round taillamps and a front end that could easily be mistaken for a Chevrolet Vega’s, were the two not separated by a decade. Who exactly designed the original Allegro remains a bit of a toss-up. Randy Leffingwell, in his book, Mustang: Forty Years, attributes the design to Maguire, while Gary Witzenburg, writing in Mustang: The Complete History of America’s Pioneer Ponycar, credits Gene Bordinat and Don DeLaRossa. Alternatively, Ponysite.de claims that Phil Clark had a hand in its design. Whoever the designer really was, Ford eventually built a fully functional version atop a Ford Falcon chassis, painted metallic gold.
That first Allegro was finished in late 1962 and, painted red, was shown with a group of other similarly sized concepts referred to today as Ford’s X-cars. Out of that program came the Mustang II concept, which would go on to influence the production Mustang. About all the Allegro contributed to the production Mustang were elements from its fastback roofline. And that was about all that was seen of the Allegro until 1967, when Ford pulled it out of retirement, sliced off its roof and tacked on some flying buttresses that connected via a basket handle with integrated headrests for the driver and front-seat passenger. (Those flying buttresses, incidentally, appear to come straight off a design study that the Lincoln-Mercury design studio proposed for the Mustang in 1962. Coincidence?) The metallic gold paint remained, but now with a pair of green-gold stripes. Ford simply described it as a contemporary version of the fastback Allegro, and one must presume that the same Falcon chassis that was under the original Allegro supported its predecessor as well.
We’ve yet to come across a designer’s name attached to the Allegro II or any mention of the Allegro II’s whereabouts. We suspect Ford has it stashed away somewhere in Dearborn. Can anybody confirm that suspicion?