1967 Lamborghini Marzal Concept

The 1967 Lamborghini Marzal concept car is distinctive for its expansive glass roof, spanning 48.4 square feet

The 1967 Marzal with doors open

The four-seat Lamborghini Marzal was created as a concept for a true four-seat grand-tourer. (Photos courtesy of Lamborghini)

 

BY MARK MAYNARD

The 1967 Lamborghini Marzal was a one-off show car that became a worldwide icon of style and design. The ultramodern four-seat Marzal was designed by Marcello Gandini for Carrozzeria Bertone https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gruppo_Bertone
Among its many special design elements were:

  • An interior upholstered in silver-colored leather;
  • A hexagonal central design theme. The geometric shape was repeated in the dashboard, the rear window, and in the console cut-out;
  • 6 narrow S.E.V. Marchal headlamps in the thin, wedge-shaped nose;
  • The extensive glass surface covers 4.5 square meters, reaching from the gullwing doors to the roof.

Lamborghini calls the Marzal “a fully operational show car with the largest glass surface in history.”

The hexagonal design theme.

The central design theme for the Marzal centered around the hexagon.

4 Seat Grand Tourer

Lamborghini president Ferruccio Lamborghini had the Marzal created as a concept for a true four-seat grand touring car. In his lineup already were the 400GT 2+2 and the Miura.

The Marzal remained a one-off, though the general shape and many of the ideas would later be used in the Lamborghini Espada.
According to the Marzal page in Wikipedia, Ferruccio Lamborghini initially viewed the creation of the Marzal as advertising rather than a production model.

“The Marzal was not developed as a production car. If you present a car like the Marzal at automobile shows such as Geneva, Turin, and Frankfurt, all the magazines report on the first page about it. You would rather spend 100 million lire for building such an automobile which is still less expensive than paying for all the advertising. That would cost almost a billion lire. So it compensates in any case to build such a throwaway car.”

The silver leather interior

The Marzal interior is entirely upholstered in silver-colored leather.

Lamborghini Marzal Specifications

The rear-engine and rear-wheel-drive Marzal was a relative lightweight at 2,960 pounds on a 103.1-inch wheelbase. It was 14.6 feet long (175.2 inches) and stood 43.3 inches tall by 66.9 inches wide. The concept car shared a chassis, suspension, steering, and brakes with the Miura.

The Marzal is powered by half of the Lamborghini 4.0-liter V-12 engine. The 175-horsepower, 2.0-liter inline-six-cylinder engine produced peak torque of 132 foot-pounds at 4,600 rpm. Top speed was estimated at 118 miles per hour (190 kmh).

The Marzal from behind

Lamborghini President Ferruccio Lamborghini had the Marzal created as a concept for a true four-seat grand touring car.

Lamborghini Marzal History

The Lamborghini Marzal made its public debut at the 1967 Monaco Grand Prix. Prince Rainier III, accompanied by his wife, Princess Grace, drove the car on his traditional parade lap before the start of the race.

The car made a second public appearance at the 1996 Concorso Italiano in Monterey, Calif.,  in honor of Carrozzeria Bertone. The Bertone-designed Lamborghini Athon concept was also exhibited at the ’96 Concorso Italiano.

Later the Athon was driven by Prince Albert II during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Historic Grand Prix of Monaco.

The Marzal had been maintained in the Bertone Design Study Museum until it closed in 2014.  The Marzal was then sold at RM Sotheby’s Villa d’Este auction on May 21, 2011, for $1,750,449.96 (1,512,000 Euros) including buyer’s premium.

The Marzal on the track in 1967

The Lamborghini Marzal at the 1967 Monaco Grand Prix.

Lamborghini Marzal Lap of Honor

On May 7, 1967, shortly before the Monte Carlo Formula 1 Grand Prix, His Serene Highness Rainier III, Prince of Monaco, completed the lap of honor on the track in a legendary car: the Lamborghini Marzal. Its glazed gullwing doors provided an almost unimpeded view of the interior and the silver leather upholstery.

Princess Grace sat in the passenger seat, next to Prince Rainier. Photos of the couple in the Marzal traveled all around the world, turning this unique car into a legend.

Fifty-one years since its first track appearance, the Lamborghini Marzal was displayed at the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique. Lamborghini Polo Storico, celebrating its history with several laps on the same roads as in 1967.

On display at the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix historics.

The Lamborghini Marzal and Espada as displayed at the 2018 Grand Prix of Monaco.

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1966 Dodge Charger — “Leader of the Dodge Rebellion”

The Dodge Charger debuted in 1966 as a midsize sporty car that would compete with the Rambler Marlin, Ford Mustang, and Plymouth Barracuda

A Hemi V8 and transmission on a display stand 1966 Dodge Charger

The first generation 1966 Dodge Charger introduced a fastback roofline and pot-metal “electric shaver” grille. (Photography courtesy of Stellantis)

 

BY MARK MAYNARD

During the early-1950s, automakers were exploring new ideas in the personal luxury and specialty carsA 1966 print ad for the Dodge Charger

The Hemi engine package included heavy-duty suspension, four-ply nylon Blue Streak tires, and “big” 11-inch brakes. According to Wikipedia, Chrysler had been slow to enter the specialty car market, but tapped its Dodge Division to enter the marketplace. Its first offering would be a midsize B-bodied Dodge Charger. It would fit between the “pony car” Ford Mustang and “personal luxury Ford Thunderbird.

The design focus was to create a fastback look while sharing as much existing company hardware as possible. The result was the Coronet-based Charger. The exterior styling was, in general, a departure from Dodge’s mainstream cars. Introduced in mid-1966, the Charger would compete with the Rambler Marlin, Ford Mustang, and Plymouth Barracuda.

The 1965 Charger concept

The 1965 Dodge Charger II Concept created the desired fastback look shared much existing company hardware.

The interior design of the Charger was different from all other cars, according to the Wiki page. It debuted a full-length center console and “all bucket seating” front and rear. Also an innovation, the rear pseudo-buckets could be folded to create more cargo space through the enormous rear hatch.

The Hemi Halo

The Charger wasn’t intended to compete head-to-head in performance with pony cars but was available with Chrysler’s famed 426 Hemi V8.
On Jan. 1, 1966, The 1966 Charger had its big public debut at the Rose Bowl as the new “Leader of the Dodge Rebellion.” The Charger’s debut was also followed midyear by a new street version of the 426 cubic-inch, 7.0-liter Chrysler Hemi engine.

The Charger wasn’t intended to compete head-to-head in performance with pony cars but was available with Chrysler’s famed 426 Hemi V8.

With the Charger, Dodge had a new model to build a performance image with this engine.

The Charger was designed by Carl “CAM” Cameron and introduced a fastback roofline and pot-metal “electric shaver” grille. Its fully rotating headlights were a feature not seen on a Chrysler product since the 1942 DeSoto. The fastback design ended over a full-width six-lamp taillight in the rear with chromed and wide-spaced “C H A R G E R” lettering.

Dodge Charger Powertrains

According to the Wiki report, Charger powertrains for 1966 consisted of V-8s with three choices of transmission.

Four engines were offered:

  • 318 cubic-inch 5.2-liter with a two-barrel carburetor for the base-model Charger;
  • 361-cubic-inch, 5.9-liter two-barrel;
  • 383 cubic-inch, 6.3-liter with a four-barrel carburetor;
  • And the new 426 Street Hemi. Only 468 Chargers were built with the 426.

A cutaway illustration of the Hemi V8

The transmissions for the 1966 Charger:

  • Three-speed steering-column mounted manual with the base engine,
  • Console-mounted four-speed manual;
  • Three-speed automatic.

Total 196 Dodge Charger production came to 37,344 units for the mid-model year introduction.

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1959 Ford Country Squire with Push Button’ Station Wagon Living’ equipment

The Country Squire wagon concept packaged the car-camping essentials, including the boat and kitchen sink

The Country Squire concept packaged such camping essentials as a car-top tent with a double bed, an electric refrigerator, and a shower. (Ford)

BY MARK MAYNARD

Ford Motor cast a line for 1959 to test the waters of consumer interest for a car-camping concept based on a 1959 Ford Country Squire. The rig would provide push-button station wagon living with all the gear, including the kitchen sink.

According to Wikipedia, the U.S. and the world were emerging from the “Recession of 1958.”  And Ford marketers might have felt that consumers were ready to get out and enjoy the freedom of car camping.

That might have been so, but not so much for this outrageously sophisticated concept. I came across these two photos at the Ford media site, but there were no other details.

In this era before the modern SUV, the big Ford Squire wagon was a good starting place. Built on a bigger platform for 1959, the Country Squire body was 5 inches longer and the new 118-inch wheelbase was 2 inches longer than the 1958 model. In addition, the second and third rows were re-engineered to fold flat.

The 1959 Ford Country Squire wagon concept with Push Button ‘Station Wagon Living’ equipment and rooftop boat

The rooftop boat neatly contained the concept’s camping essentials. (Ford)

Country Squire Concept

An online search for information on this concept car brought up Shorpy.com, an American historical photo archive.

Shorpy has a news item from the Washington Post of July 3, 1958, highlighting the details.

“Travelers and sportsmen who would like to park their cars after a day’s drive and set up camp by pushing a few magic buttons may be able one day to do just that.

“With the ‘pushbutton camper,’ a specially equipped experimental Ford station wagon, a traveling couple could pull into a parking area, lower a boat from the roof top, pitch their tent and set up a kitchen unit protected by an overhead awning — almost without getting out of the car.

“One push button lifts the boat and swings it over the side so it can be easily removed for launching. A car-top tent, containing a full-sized double bed, already made up and equipped with a reading lamp, is erected by another button.

“After the tailgate is opened, a third button slides out the compact kitchen unit complete with an electric refrigerator and two-burner stove, a work table and meat cutting block, and a sink with hot and cold running water.

“The roof compartment also houses a shower head, complete with curtain. Ford has no definite plans for mass producing such a vehicle.

“If consumer demand warranted it, a company official said, the automatic equipment could be produced by independent suppliers and installed by a Ford dealer.”

‘Louie Mattar’s Fabulous Car’

The Country Squire wagon concept was a feat of engineering finesse, but it was not the first such example.

I give that credit to Louie Mattar who upfitted a 1947 Cadillac with all the comforts of home. Then, in 1952, he and two other men established a cross-country endurance record. They drove the Cadillac from San Diego to New York and back without stopping. Their trip totaled 6,320 miles and required refueling from a moving gas truck three times.

“Louie Mattar’s Fabulous Car” is on view at the San Diego Automotive Museum.

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17 Years of the Lamborghini Countach

Automaker celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Lamborghini Countach in a series of four social-media videos

Five generations of the Lamborghini Countach.Five generations of the Lamborghini Countach. (Remi Dargegen)

BY MARK MAYNARD

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Lamborghini Countach supercar, Automobili Lamborghini is launching a series of four videos on its social media channels. Every Monday, the Italian carmaker will recount the legacy of the Lamborghini Countach, including interviews with significant personalities who shaped the car.

The first is Marcello Gandini, head of style at Carrozzeria Bertone. He sketched the futuristic lines of this supercar and added its now-iconic scissor doors.

 

The 1970s was one of ultimate creativity, Gandini says, and one of the important moments for design.

It was an era of individualism, the jet age, and the space race. And it embraced the geometric patterns of the period and the bright colors of fashion trends.

The Countach LP 5000 S badge.

(Remi Dargegen)

Lamborghini  Countach as style and performance icon

The Countach depicted much more than a commercial success. Images and posters of the supercar were on bedroom walls of an entire generation. The supercar also played a starring role in dozens of films.

The Lamborghini Countach fulfilled the role of style and performance icon. As a result, it rightfully won the title in the annals of world automotive history, Lamborghini says.

The Countach had a total production of 1,999 cars (not including the first LP 400 prototype).

Since the beginning of production, the Countach was exported to the U.S. But it was not until 1986, and the debut of the LP 5000 Quattrovalvole, that the Countach was officially approved for North America.

The word “Countach” is an exclamation of the Italian Piedmontese dialect that translates to astonishment and admiration for something.

1971: Countach LP 500 ‘idea car’

Lamborghini Countach LP 500.

Lamborghini Countach LP 500. (Lamborghini)

In the summer of 1970, Ferruccio Lamborghini wanted a revolutionary car to succeed the Lamborghini Miura.

The new car had to be technically advanced and faster. And it had to become the sports car symbolizing the 1970s.

The 12-cylinder engine remained but with a displacement increase from 4.0 to 5.0 liters. The engine also was repositioned from rear transverse to rear longitudinal.

The five-speed synchromesh manual transmission was placed in front of the engine and practically abutted the seats.

1973: First-generation Lamborghini Countach LP 400

The Countach LP 400

Countach LP 400. (Remi Dargegen)

Early road tests of the 5.0-liter engine uncovered problems that would take more time to sort. So a quick fix was for the engineers to instead use the 4.0-liter engine.

The Countach LP 400 made its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1973. It was chassis No. 1120001 car. LP 400 was a prototype very similar to what would become the production car.

The LP 400 adopted a tubular trellis frame instead and aluminum was used for the body, not steel panels.

A front view of the Countach LP 400Countach LP 400. (Remi Dargegen)

The 4.0-liter (3929cc) engine used six Weber 45 DCOE twin-body carburetors. The engine developed 375 horsepower at 8,000 rpm and could reach a top speed or 186 mph or 300 kmh.

A red LP 400 was shown at the Geneva Motor Show. It was later repainted medium green for the 1973 motor shows in Frankfurt, Paris, and Earls Court, London.

The show car was sold to a buyer in Switzerland after the show and rediscovered in the early 2000s. Today LP 400 is owned by Automobili Lamborghini. It is now on display at the company museum, the MUDETEC.

The Countach LP 400 is the most sought-after version by collectors, Lamborghini says, with 152 units produced until 1977.

1978: Lamborghini Countach LP 400 S

A red Lamborghini Countach LP400S.

Countach LP 400 S. (Remi Dargegen)

The LP 400 was replaced in 1978 by the Countach LP 400 S.

It sported lower profile and wider Pirelli P7 tires. The staggered-width tires mounted on magnesium rims had sizes of 205/50 VR 15 on the front and 345/35 VR on the rear. Wheel-arch extensions were added to contain the larger tires.

The 375-hp, 4.0-liter V-12 engine in the Countach LP 400 S.

The 375-hp, 4.0-liter V-12 engine in the Countach LP 400 S. (Remi Dargegen)

Other updates include an optional ultra-low front spoiler and a rear wing. The wing would become one of the most distinctive features of the Countach.

Never before had a “normal” car with such a racing appearance been seen on the road, Lamborghini says. It was the source of inspiration for each of the subsequent Countach series. Production of the LP 400 S totaled 235 units.

1982: Lamborghini Countach LP 5000 S

An overhead shot of the Countach LP 5000 S.

Countach LP 5000 S. (Remi Dargegen)

The 1982 Lamborghini Countach had an engine upgrade to a 5.0-liter V-12. The new LP 5000 S debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1982.

The new engine developed 375 hp at 7,000 rpm, and it retained the six Weber horizontal twin-body carburetors. After import to the U.S., some cars were retrofitted with the Bosch K-Jetronic electronic injection.

With 323 cars produced, this model was replaced by the LP 5000 Quattrovalvole. It debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1985.

1985: Lamborghini Countach LP 5000 Quattrovalvole

The Countach LP 5000 Quattrovalvole.

Countach LP 5000 Quattrovalvole. (Remi Dargegen)

The technical evolution of the 5.0-liter V-12 added four valves per cylinder. The Quattrovalvole (QV) engine displacement increased to 5.2 liters and the six Weber carburetors were mounted vertically, not in the horizontal position.

Cars for the U.S. market were fitted with Bosch KE-Jetronic electronic injection and a catalytic converter. As a result, horsepower rose to 455 hp at 7,000 rpm.

Aesthetic alterations were few but included a new engine hood with a more prominent bulge to contain the vertical carburetors.

There were 631 Quattrovalvole models produced until 1988.

1988: Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary

Countach 5000 S (left) and Countach 25th Anniversary (right).

Countach 5000 S (left) and Countach 25th Anniversary (right). (Remi Dargegen)

The Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary was the final evolution of the model. It debuted at the Paris Motor Show in September 1988.

The aesthetic updates were significant, but changes to the mechanics and chassis were minor. An improved cooling system updated the engine, and the chassis was modified to accommodate the new Pirelli P Zero tires. 

The Countach interior.

Countach interior. (Remi Dargegen)

The passenger compartment was updated with power windows and more comfortable power seats with less bolstering. In addition, the body style was decisively revised by young Horacio Pagani, who was working for Lamborghini at the time. He rounded the shapes and better integrated the wheel-arch extensions and the plates under the doors.

The Countach 25th Anniversary,

Countach 25th Anniversary, (Remi Dargegen)

The last Countach, a 25th Anniversary, was produced on July 4, 1990, with European specification. Its exterior was Argento Metallizzato (metallic silver) with a gray leather interior. It has not been sold and is still on display at the MUDETEC.

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1950 Chevrolet Styleline Bel Air Sport Coupe

A 1950 Chevrolet Bel Air Sport Coupe

The Chevrolet Bel Air Sport Coupe was new for 1950.  (Chevrolet)

BY MARK MAYNARD

Chevrolet’s exterior styling of the 1950 Bel Air Sport Coupe was revolutionary and set a pattern for decades. According to ClassicCars.Fandom.com, “The Bel Air Hardtop (on the DeLuxe line) was styled as a convertible with a non-detachable solid roof.”

The redesign followed the 1942-1945 shutdown of vehicle production during World War II. And even as production restarted, the “new” 1946-1948 models were mildly updated carryover models from years earlier.

New for 1950

According to Hagerty.com, Chevrolet overhauled its entire lineup in 1949 and moved from prewar designs to new cars. The modern styling emphasized full-width bodies and pontoon fenders.

The exterior two-door hardtop styling might have been new, but visual changes were minimal from 1949.

Special and Deluxe models were offered in Fleetline and Styleline series. According to Hagerty’s “History of the 1949-1952 Styleline,”  a bare-bones business coupe cost as little as $1,300. Pricing rose to $2,200 for an eight-passenger station wagon.

The only powertrain available was a 216-cubic-inch six-cylinder engine. It was mated to a three-speed manual transmission. However, cars with the automatic received the 235-cubic-inch truck engine.

Bel Air Sport Coupe

The model is named for the city of Bel Air on the west side of Los Angeles.

According to Wikipedia, the Bel Air Sport Coupe name was used only from 1950 to 1952 for the two-door hardtops. The first-year production reached only 76,662.

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Ford wins at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans

The 2021 89th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will take place Aug. 21-22

A Ford GT 40 racecar passes beneath the big Dunlop tire race bridge at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans.

A Ford GT40 Mk II at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans. (Ford PR archive)

BY MARK MAYNARD

Perhaps overlooked in the Juneteenth celebrations this year was the historic win for Ford Motor at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It was June 19, 1966, when Ford won the endurance race, placing first, second and third, according to a post at AutomotiveHistory.org.

“When the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans came to an end on this day in 1966 it was a Ford GT40 in first, second and third place, marking the first time an American automobile won the race. With the three Mk. II Fords so far out in front.”

89th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans

After last year’s closed-door event, the 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans will take place Aug. 21-22 with trackside spectators. Tickets went on sale today, June 21. Learn more at the track’s website. 

2021 ticket prices

  • Race Week General Enclosure Pass: $106.05 (€89)
  • Weekend General Enclosure Pass: $94.13 (€79)
  • Practice/Qualifying Pass (valid for Wednesday and Thursday: $58.38 (€49)
  • Wednesday General Enclosure Pass: $43 (€36)
  • Thursday General Enclosure Pass: $51.23 (€43)
  • Weekend Grandstand Pass (general enclosure admission + grandstand seat): from $165.62 (€139)
  • Race Week Grandstand Pass (general enclosure admission + grandstand seat): from $177.54 (€149)

Free access

General Enclosure is free to those younger than 16, born on or after Aug. 22, 2005.

The grandstand is free to children younger than 8, born on or after Aug. 22, 2013.

Pandemic restrictions

Some COVID-19 restrictions are still in place for the race. Attendance is limited to 50,000 or 20 percent of the usual attendance.

The latest French government health pass (June 9, 2021) requires proof of one of the following:

Full vaccination (completed at least two weeks prior);

A negative PCR or antigen test result within the last 48 hours;

A person has recovered from COVID-19, attested by a positive PCR or antigen test result, at least 2 weeks and no more than 6 months old.

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