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Classic AutoRAI 99: post-war cars:

Aston Martin, Bentley & Chevrolet

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Aston_Martin_DB_4_1961.jpg (60204 bytes)A true classic, this meticulously restored Aston Martin DB 4. The bright red paintwork emphasizes the elegant lines of the bodywork designed by Carrozzeria Touring of Milan.
The DB 4 was powered by a straight 6-cylinder 3760 cc engine that produced 267 hp @ 5700 rpm. Top speed was an ample 225 kph and the aluminium bodywork limited vehicle weight to 1296 kg. Only 1110 of these cars have been made; it's one of my favorite GT cars of all time.

Bentley_MK_VI_Sports_Saloon_1950.jpg (40387 bytes)Quite a contrast to the light-weight and elegant DB 4 is this stately Bentley. The Mk VI model was designed just before WW 2 in 1939, but was first produced in 1946. It was the first Bentley available with a standard factory produced bodywork, but also rolling chassis could still be ordered. The standard bodywork as shown in this picture was rather homely looking and this specimen lacks the arched wheel covers that were fitted in the rear wings.
This 1815 kg car had a 6-cylinder 4257 cc engine that gave "sufficient" power and top speed was about 150 kph. About 5000 of these cars have been produced and a large number of them are still around and are very popular as a chauffeur-driven rented car for weddings and other special occasions.

Chevrolet_Corvette_1955.jpg (52008 bytes)This is one great looking example of the rare first series Corvette. This first ever Chevrolet sportscar had a troublesome start. It's fiberglass bodywork was way too complicated to be produced efficiently (which made it too expensive) and the original 6-cylinder engine lacked power. In 1955 an additional V8 was introduced, but it had only 10 hp more than the straight 6. As a result of this and because of the competition of Ford's new Thunderbird only 674 Corvettes were manufactured in 1955.
So maybe it lacked appeal in the fifties, nowadays the crisp and flowing body lines of the original Corvette look very modern and well-designed. It's one of the most beautiful Corvettes in my opinion, even if it did only 165 kph...

Chevrolet_Corvette_1961.jpg (38420 bytes)Still very nice, but far less exotic is this two-tone second generation Corvette, nicknamed "ducktail" after its distinctive rear-end styling. Like all Corvettes it had a fiberglass bodywork, but it was far more potent that the first generation Corvette: it had a 5345 cc V8 engine as standard and its power output ranged from 230 hp to 270 hp without fuel injection and from 275 hp to a really interesting 315 hp with fuel injection. With the most powerful engine top speed exceeded 200 kph, in standard trim it could do about 180 kph. 10,939 units have been built of this 1961 model .

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