« When the flag fell, she didn’t just want to beat the girls, she was out to beat the men as well”, Stirling Moss, Pat Moss's brother.
Take the wheel of one of the greatest success stories of British design. Like a wildcat ready to spring, its hips arched, sleek and powerful, the Austin Healey is a master-piece of balance and elegance designed by designer Gerry Coker. Pat Moss, the highly successful female rally driver, won 11 class victories, 14 female victories and 2 victories in the female European championships behind the wheel of the Healey. A few years later, Brigitte Bardot and Sacha Distel could be seen in the Healeys rounded lines, with its purring engine, at the port of Saint Tropez.
Donald Healey, the inventive and ingenious car manufacturer, began his adventure with the Austin Healey in his sons garage where, together, they built it piece by piece. Despite a short production of 18 years, the “Big” Healey has become, little by little, the symbol of British know-how during the 1950s and 60s and today stands for one of the most glamorous models of this era.
"An icon of West America"
With this Mustang, Lee Lacocca, the Managing Director of Ford, launched a new 2+2 sports car corresponding to a precise specification and completely innovative for its era: 1200 Kg max, length 4.5m max and all for a fixed price of 2500 dollars. For its launch, it was completely dismantled and the pieces taken by lift to the top of the Empire State building where it was reconstructed. This extravagant inauguration foretold this cars destiny to become a real star of the cinema. Seen in numerous classic films (+3000 to its name) such as “Un homme et une femme” (a man and a woman) (Claude Lelouch 1966), “Bullitt”(Peter Yates 1968) and “Goldfinger” (Guy Hamilton 1964), it is the symbol of the American Dream.
« We’d take the convertible and with the top down, we’d go sailing along the highway. We both liked to feel the wind in our faces... », Amy Greene, friend of Marilyn Monroe.
The photographer, Milton Greene, offered Marilyn Monroe the Ford Thunderbird Continental Kit as a Christmas present. Thanks to the vision and ambition of Henry Ford II, this rare model was created. Low slung, sleek and marvellously well balanced, the Ford Thunderbird can stand its own against its English, French and Italian counterparts. Marilyn Monroe, a fanatic of fast cars, adored the purity of its lines and chose it as her wedding car when she married Arthur Miller.
« A Jaguar isn’t a copy of anything », Sir Lyons
Discover the elegance and the English chic of the 1950s and 60s by getting behind the wheel of our 1961 MK2. Find the cosy warmth of an English parlour, sat in a Connolly leather armchair surrounded by intricate wooden marquetry. The Jaguar MK2, the most luxurious sporty sedan of the 1960s, had no match in its time. It was the most beautiful, the safest and the most stable of the compact Jaguars, a revolution in terms of performance, handling, comfort, driving quality and introduced an innovative 4-disc braking system. This model was the vision of its charismatic creator, Sir William Lyons, knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1956. It proved itself in competitions and international rallies in the hands of Formula 1 drivers such as Stirling Moss, Mike Hawthorn, Graham Hill and even Bernard Consten, 4 times winner of the “Tour de France automobile” between 1960 and 1963.
"A break with tradition "
Driven by Elvis Presley in “Blue Hawaii”, and the choice of Petula Clark, the MG A was born out of the prototypes from the 1955 24 hours of Le Mans and manufactured in the purest tradition of the English roadsters. One of the first sports models created by Cecil Kimber, the charismatic founder of the MG brand (Morris Garage), it was a breakthrough in its time. Being light (both the doors and the bonnet were made of aluminium), its performance was remarkable for its era, achieving 100km/h in 15 seconds and able to hit 160 kmh. With its sensual, curved silhouette and its relative ease of driving, the MG A represented technology advances in terms of comfort, performance, security and, of course, design.
« In a Morgan, we don’t move, we voyage. We don’t drive, we steer », Pierre Henri Mahul, the French importer.
The American fashion designer, Ralph Lauren started his career in a cream 1961 Morgan 4/4. Impressed by its elegance, he still owns one today as part of his collection. This model, a unique classic, full of charm, incarnates the “savoir faire” of English craftsmanship. An icon of the English automobile industry, the Morgan, created in 1909, is manufactured from a wooden structure studded with metal plates. This hand-made conception has not changed since the 1930s. To fully appreciate the Morgan experience, you need to take the top down: owners of this model prefer to open their umbrellas when stationary rather than put the top up. Ralph Lauren was a prime example, being known to say that “real Morgan owners don’t drive with the top up” .
« I looked around but couldn’t find the car of my dreams ….so I decided to build it myself. », Ferry Porsche
The unusual destiny of the Porsche 356 is also the story of a long metamorphosis. From its plebeian origins, the first Porsche was to grow into an archetypal sports car. From its craftsmen beginnings, it became a universal commercial success story as well as a sporting triumph. The secret of this success being its strong personality. Steve Mc Queen, James Dean , Herbert Von Karajan (the conductor), George Pompidou (French President) and even the Greek shipowner, Aristotle Onassis, one of the most internationally renowned personalities of the 50s and 60s, all owned this mythical model.
The Porsche 356 was born out of Ferry Porsches’ ambition to offer a practical, compact and elegant model. Designed in the autumn of 1954 at the request of Max Hoffman (the American importer of the Porsche brand) to seduce the gentleman driver, attached to their Corvette or Thunderbird, this automobile with its windscreen reduced by 9 cm offered fast acceleration, unbeatable braking and an excellent road-holding. The Porsche 356 Speedster incarnates the talent of the German automobile industry. It was manufactured for only a few short years with less than 5000 being produced thus adding to the international reclaim which surrounds this model.
« Porsche. There is no substitute », Tom Cruise - Risky Business.
The story of the Porsche family is a story of passion: that of Ferdinand Porsche, a brilliant engineer who invented the first electric vehicle for the Paris Universal Exhibition in 1900, and of his only son, Ferry Porsche who, as well as being a talented engineer, also took great pleasure in testing the cars until his father stopped him, stating “ I have enough drivers, but only one son” Le Porsche brand is synonymous throughout the world with speed and seduction and symbolises, for most, the ultimate sports car.
Ferry Porsches’ son, Ferdinand Alexander (nicknamed “Butzi”), made cars out of play dough as a child but left his own mark in the Porsche story through the 911. Behind his pencil drawings that gave life to the 911, Butzi conceived a model that would widen the attraction of the Porsche brand. It offered a model much easier to drive than the 356 and a smoother road holding. The 911 quickly appealed to the celebrities already fan of the German manufacturer such as Steve McQueen and Herbert Von Karajan. The Porsche 911 and 912 heralded competition victories for models such as the Porsche 917, the first Porsche to win the 24hrs du Mans, thus fulfilling one of Ferry Porsches greatest wishes.
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