Final Gear's Greatest Cars of the 60s - 53rd place - 5pts

Overheat

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onto the 5 point car



Alfa Romeo GTA

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The Alfa Romeo GTA was a coupe automobile manufactured by the Italian manufacturer Alfa Romeo from 1962 to 1971.

In 1962, the successor for the very popular Giulietta Coup?, internally called the "Series 105", was introduced. It used the shortened floorpan from the Giulia Berlina car and was designed by Bertone. The name of the car evolved from Giulia Sprint GT to Giulia Sprint and to GTJ (Junior) and GTV (Veloce) in the late sixties.

At the time, Alfa was very active in motorsport. Autodelta, the racing division of Alfa, developed a car for competition close to the roadgoing model. These cars were named GTA instead of GT, the 'A' standing for "Allegerita", Italian for lightweight.

Using lots of aluminium panels and by fitting a new 8-spark plug (twin spark, twin plug) cylinderhead, this car boasted 170bhp in the 1300cc car and up to 240bhp in the 2000cc car - A car usually related to the GTA but unlike the GTA derived from the GTV 1750, the 2000GTAm was created in 1968: There are 2 schools of thought about the "Am", neither one of them ever being confirmed by the factory: one says Allegerita Maggiorata, the other America. Most likely the latter is closest, since the car did not contain any aluminum parts and therefore not "Allegerita", and the base was a GTV 1750 with American injection system for homologation purposes for the American market. Spica was the injection system brand. The 1750 cc was later bored to 1985 cc to meet the 2000 cc limitation of its class to the maximum. Both types the GTA/ GTA 1300 Junior and the GTAm were very successful, these cars were lead to numerous victories. In the opening season at Monza, they won the first seven places. Andrea de Adamich claimed the title in 1966. Later on, the 1750 GTAm and the 2000 GTAm cars were lead to victory by Toine Hezemans, who won the 24 hours of Francorchamps with this car. These cars won hundreds of races before competition grew stronger in 1971. But the Giulia sometimes kept up with much bigger engined cars such as the 3 litre CSL BMW's.



Alfa Romeo Spider

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The Alfa Romeo Spider was a 2-seater roadster sports car produced by the Italian manufacturer Alfa Romeo from 1966 to 1993. Widely regarded as a design classic, it remained in production for almost three decades with only minor aesthetic and mechanical changes.

Based on an Giulia 105 series chassis, the Spider was launched in 1966. Unnamed at launch, the name "Duetto" was chosen in a write-in competition in Italy. The Italian firm of Pininfarina was responsible for the design of the body, as well as being involved in the manufacture of the vehicle's monocoque construction (designed with the relatively new principles of crumple zones incorporated into the front and rear). The engine was a 1570cc variant of the Alfa Romeo twin camshaft four cylinder engine, and produced 109 hp. Sparsely fitted inside but including five speed transmission, disc brakes and independent front suspension, the price on launch in Italy was 2,195,000 lire.

The original Spider was only in production for a year, replaced in 1967 by the 1750 Spider Veloce, powered by a 118 hp 1779cc engine. In Europe this was fitted with two twin carburettors, whereas models for the North American market had Spica mechanical fuel injection. Modifications were also made to the suspension, brakes, electrics and wheels and tyres though the car looked effectively the same. Visible differences were limited to the rear-view mirror repositioned to the door, and different badging on the tail. During the production run, the front repeater lights were moved ahead of the wheelarches. The car's official title was 1750 Spider Veloce, the name Duetto being dropped from this point onwards.
1968 Alfa Romeo 1750 Spider Veloce 'Roundtail'
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1968 Alfa Romeo 1750 Spider Veloce 'Roundtail'

A new Spider 1300 Junior, with a 1290cc engine producing 89 hp, was introduced in 1968. This lacked various features of the 1750, including the plastic headlight fairings, the brake servo, hubcaps and opening quarterlight.

In 1969 the first significant change to the exterior styling was introduced on the 1750 Spider Veloce, with the original's distinctive elongated round tail changed to a more conventional cut-off tail, which arguably made the car look more modern, as well as improving the luggage space. Numerous other small changes took place both inside and out, such as a slightly different grille, new doorhandles, a more raked windscreen, top-hinged pedals and improved interior trim.



Dodge Charger 1966

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There have been a number of vehicles bearing the Charger nameplate, but the name has generally denoted a performance model in the Dodge range. The 1966 to 1974 Chargers were the high performance B-body models. The 1975 to 1978 Chargers were based on the Chrysler Cordoba.

For years Dodge had to stand by and watch as the Pontiac GTO started the muscle car era in Detroit and ran away with the sales. The rest of GM's divisions were quick to jump on the muscle car bandwagon. Buick followed with the Gran Sport and even Oldsmobile brought out the 442. Yet Dodge, despite putting out cars that could meet or beat these cars, didn't have a performance image muscle car of their own. Despite a wide array of performance engines, their Coronet's styling and image was conservative. Dodge needed something that would show that they were capable of competing in the muscle car race.
1965 Dodge Charger II Show Car
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1965 Dodge Charger II Show Car

Burt Bouwkamp, the Chief Engineer for Dodge during the 1960s and one of the men behind the genesis of the Charger, related his experience during a speech in July 2004.

"Lynn Townsend was at odds with the Dodge Dealers and wanted to do something to please them. So in 1965 he asked me to come to his office - for the second time. He noted that one of the Dodge Dealer Council requests was for a Barracuda type vehicle. The overall dealer product recommendation theme was the same - we want what Plymouth has. The specific request for a Mustang type vehicle was not as controversial to Lynn. His direction to me was to give them a specialty car but he said 'for God's sake don't make it a derivative of the Barracuda': i.e. don't make it a Barracuda competitor.

"So the 1966 Charger was born.

"We built a Charger 'idea' car which we displayed at auto shows in 1965 to stimulate market interest in the concept. It was the approved design but we told the press and auto show attendees that it was just an "idea" and that we would build it if they liked it. It was pre-ordained that they would like it."

And like it they did. Enthusiastic reaction clearly indicated that all Dodge had to do was put on practical bumpers and start production.

Carl "CAM'" Cameron would be the exterior designer of Dodge's new flagship vehicle, and on January 1, 1966, viewers of the Rose Bowl were first introduced to the new "Leader of the Dodge Rebellion", the 1966 Charger. The Charger's introduction coincided with the introduction of the new street version of the 426 Hemi. Finally, Dodge would have the performance image to go along with this performance engine.

As the 1966 Charger's features would go, the "electric shaver" grille used fully rotating headlights that when opened or closed made the grille look like one-piece. Inside, the Charger used four individual bucket seats with a full length console from front to rear. The rear seats and console pad also folded forward, and the trunk divider dropped back, which allowed for lots of cargo room inside. Many other things were exclusive to the Charger such as the door panels, courtesy lights and the instrument panel.

The instrument panel was especially interesting as regular bulbs weren't used to light the gauges. Instead four electroluminescent dash pods housed the tachometer, speedometer, alternator, fuel and tempature gauges. In the rear the full length taillight read CHARGER.

The engine selection was all V8s. A six cylinder engine didn't make the option list until 1968. In 1966 four engines were offered; the base-model 318 in? 2-barrel V8, the truck-sourced 361 in? 2-barrel, the 383 4-barrel, and the new 426 Street Hemi. The majority of 1966 Chargers were ordered with the 325-hp 383.

Total production in 1966 came to 37,344 units, which was successful for the mid-year introduction.

In 1966 Dodge took the Charger into NASCAR in hopes that the fastback would make their car a winner on the high-banks. But the car proved to have rear end lift around corners which made it very slippery on the faster tracks.

The lift was because the air actually travelled faster over the top of the car than under it, causing the car to act like a giant airplane wing. Drivers would later claim that "it was like driving on ice." In order to solve this problem Dodge installed in a small lip spoiler on the trunk lid which improved traction at speeds above 150 mph. They also had to make it a dealer-installed option in late 1966 and through 1967 because of NASCAR rules (with small quarter panel extensions in 1967). The 1966 Charger was the first US production vehicle to have a spoiler. David Pearson, driving a #6 Cotten Owens-prepared Charger, went on to win the NASCAR Grand National championship in 1966 with 14 first-place finishes.



Dodge Charger Daytona

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NASCAR in 1969 stipulated that any car raced in their series had to be available for sale and must build a minimum of five hundred for the general public. Since the Charger 500 was not fast enough, Dodge went back into the wind tunnel and created one of the most outrageous and most sought after Chargers, the 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona.

The Daytona used a pointed nose piece that added 18 inches into the front of the car. This gave the car the downforce that the engineers were looking for, but the rear end still tended to lift at speed. To solve this, they mounted a large wing over the trunklid which would give the Charger Daytona and its sister car, the 1970 Plymouth Superbird, the nickname of "wing cars". The wing was 23 inches tall so that the trunk could be open without hitting the bottom of the wing. Slightly modified fenders and a hood from the upcoming 1970 Charger were used on the Daytona. Rear facing scoops were added to the front fenders, right above the tires, which mimicked their NASCAR brothers. But while they looked cool they didn't add any aerodynamic adavantage. They were only used to help with tire rub.

Only 503 Charger Daytonas were built with either 440 Magnum or 426 Hemi power. All Daytonas wore red, black, or white bumble stripes that bore the name "Daytona" in the middle of the stripe. The wings were painted the same color as the stripes. The "wing cars" would prove to be so fast and dominating that NASCAR effectively outlawed them for the 1971 season, as a new regulation was introduced that restricted all "aero" cars to a maximum engine displacement of 5.0 L (305 in?), down from the previous 7.0 L (429 in?).



Holden Monaro

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The Monaro is a car produced by Holden, the Australian branch of General Motors. The Monaro was produced from 1968 to 1979, and then re-introduced onto the Australian and New Zealand markets in 2001 (discontinued in late 2005). Since 1968, three generations of the Monaro have been produced.

It was originally introduced as a two-door pillarless hardtop coupe based on the HK series Kingswood sedan in base, 'GTS' and 'GTS 327' models. Base and GTS models could be ordered with a choice of a six cylinder engine of 161 in?/2.6 L capacity (base only) or 186nbsp;in?/3.0 L (GTS with an uprated 186S only) or a 307 in?/5.0 L capacity V8. The 'GTS 327' model were powered by Chevrolet's 327 in?/5. L 'small block' V8; in its first few months several 'GTS 327's were entered in the annual Bathurst 500 (now Bathurst 1000 - being 1000 kilometres rather than 500 miles), endurance race and won it. In early 1969 the Monaro range was Wheels magazine's Car of the Year for 1968. The model then continued through two minor facelifts creating first the HT series in mid 1969 (though 'GTS 327' became 'GTS 350' following an increase in engine displacement from 327 in?/5.4 L to 350 in?/5.7 L) which also contested and won the 1969 Bathurst 500 race and then the HG series in 1970. The HT and HG were distinguished from the HK by the adoption of a plastic grille (previously metal), round speedometer instead of "strip" style allowing for bringing the tachometer into the main instrument cluster instead of on the console, and larger taillights where the turn indicators also wrapped around the now slightly undercut edges. Stripes design (where fitted) varied for each series; HK were offset to the left of the bonnet and bootlid and HG had "sidewinder" stripes running along the top edge of the fenders, under the windows and finishing just before the rear pillar. HT and HG GTS's also had air scoops pressed into their bonnets.



Trabant 601

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The Trabant was an automobile formerly produced by East German auto maker Sachsenring AG. It was the most common vehicle in East Germany, and was also exported to other socialist countries. The selling points was that it had comfortable room for four adults and luggage, it was compact, fast and durable. Despite its poor performance and smoky two-stroke engine, the car has come to be regarded with affection as a symbol of East Germany and of the fall of communism, as many East Germans streamed into West Berlin and West Germany in their Trabants after the opening of the Berlin Wall in 1989. It was in production without any significant change for nearly 30 years.

The name Trabant means "satellite" in German; the cars are often referred to as the Trabbi or Trabi, pronounced with a short a. Since it could take years for Trabant to be delivered from the time it was ordered people who finally got one were very careful with it and usually achieved skill in maintaining and repairing it.

There were two principal variants of the Trabant, the Trabant 500, also known as the Trabant P 50, produced 1957-1963; and the Trabant 601 (or Trabant P 60 series), produced from 1963 to 1991. The engine for both the Trabant 500 and 601 was a small two-stroke engine with two cylinders, giving the vehicle modest performance. At the end of production it delivered 25 horsepower (19 kW) from a 600 cc displacement. The car took 21 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h and the top speed was 112 km/h. The main problem with the engine was the smoky exhaust and the pollution it produced.

The Trabant's body panels were made of Duroplast, a form of plastic containing resin strengthened by wool or cotton. This helped the GDR to avoid expensive steel imports, but did not provide much crash protection, although in crash tests it has actually proved to be superior to some modern small hatchbacks. The Trabant was the second car to use Duroplast, after the "pre-Trabant" P70 model (1954-1959).

Approximately 3 million Trabants were made.

Originally planned as a three-wheeled motorcycle, the decision to build a four-wheeled car came late in the planning process. The name Trabant was chosen in an internal contest in 1957, the year of Sputnik, the first artificial satellite. Previous motorcycle production at Sachsenring had been under the aegis of AWZ (Auto-Werke Zwickau).

The Trabant was not a particularly advanced car when it was launched; by the late 1950s small cars in western countries mainly used cleaner and more efficient four-stroke engines, like in the Volkswagen. The Trabant's designers expected production to extend to 1967 at the latest, and East German designers and engineers created a series of more sophisticated prototypes through the years that were intended to replace the Trabi; several of these can be seen at the Dresden Transport Museum. However, each proposal for a new model was rejected by the GDR leadership for reasons of cost. As a result, the obsolete Trabant remained in production unchanged; in contrast, the Czechoslovak ?koda automobiles were continually updated and exported successfully. The Trabant's production method, which was extremely labor-intensive, remained unchanged, and much of the work was carried out by Vietnamese guest workers.


6-pointers to follow shortly :)
 

BlaRo

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None of my cars here. I'm assuming there's more Chargers to come?

And a TRABANT! YES! :D
 

jetsetter

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The body panels on the Trabant 601 were one of the worst inventions produced out of the Soviet bloc. All the good material was used to produce military equipment so a lesser grade junk had to be used to create the body panels. When they first came out it was found that small animals such as rats would actually chew holes in the panels. Latter because of the weakness of the panels metal wire was embedded in the material to strengthen it. That led to one of the greatest inventions ever, plastic that rust.
 

patrick10

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damn if i woulda known about the alfa gta earlier, it woulda got a nice vote from me. 240 hp out of a 2L is definitly impressive.
 

flyingfridge

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Well, the HK Monaro GTS 350 was 'my fault' 8)

I can't believe none of the other Aussies voted for the icon!!! In the words of Derryn Hinch (non Aussies, don't ask) shame, shame shame. :eek:
 

Overheat

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patrick10 said:
damn if i woulda known about the alfa gta earlier, it woulda got a nice vote from me. 240 hp out of a 2L is definitly impressive.

well, I like to think that this whole exercise will open people's eyes to a whole new set of cars that were legends of the 60s, but perhaps might have been forgotton by the modern world. I'm certainly enjoying reading about all these classics and relaying the information to you lot, so I hope you get just as much of a thrill from it all.
 

Magnet

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Yes, the Trabant was all my fault. It was either that or the GT40. 8)

I went to the Teknischer Museum in Magdeburg and saw an older P50 Trabant and a few other East German products.
 

Z Draci

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patrick10 said:
240 hp out of a 2L is definitly impressive.

That is only in racing form. 250hp and thereabouts were the norm for 2.0 litre race car engines in the early 70's. Road versions of the same engines usually put out something closer to 150hp. These figures were the typical numbers you saw from GT cars in that era.
 

Magnet

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With all this 'Ostaligia' happening in Germany (I'm currently wearing a DDR t-shirt!), what we need is a retro Trabi in the spirit of the New Beelte and Mini. All technology would be new of course, just the design. :p
 

Silverstar

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None there from me! Though I had a Charger for my vote, it wasn't one of them!

Good to see another post for the rankings, keep up the good work! :thumbsup:
 

Silverstar

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I know, but I never posted a reply since I never saw the post :D

Good thing you bumped it ah?
 

swek

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The selling points was that it had comfortable room for four adults and luggage, it was compact, fast and durable. Despite its poor performance and smoky two-stroke engine

And I thought the selling point was that it was the only car available. :mrgreen:
 

Overheat

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sorry, I've been really busy at the moment, just moved into (another) new house and trying to settle in. Also, having issues with the database file that I saved all the votes in as I saved it in 2007 format and haven't currently got Access 2007 - will try and get it updated asap and get back on with compiling this list. Sorry for the major delay - I know, I suck!
 
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