Viewer’s Vehicles

In a change to our conventional format, we’ve been taking submissions from viewers like you for articles on your own cars. Thus, we’ve been able to delve into the history of some of the most intriguing and rare cars ever produced. Supplementary to our regular weekly newsletter every Sunday covering all the latest releases and most relevant information pertaining to the contemporary automotive industry and classic reviews, we’ll be continuing our viewer’s vehicles project, which will go out via dedicated newsletter and here on the dedicated page. If you’re interested in having your own car featured or are just simply interested in having us take a delve into a model of your choice be sure to get in touch via social media on Instagram and Facebook over @torquedaily.

To any classic automotive enthusiast, the name Lancia resonates strongly. An Italian marque famous for its long history of expertly combing technological innovation and breathtakingly beautiful aesthetics, Lancia is responsible for some of the greatest classic cars of the 20th century. Without a semblance of doubt, one of the Italian marque’s most successful products was the Fulvia Coupe. Brought to life by the expert hand of designer Piero Castagnero at the Geneva Auto Show in 1965, 

Drawing aesthetic inspiration from the contours of Riva motorboats, the then manager of the Lancia Style Centre designed an elegant 2+2 sports coupé with a spacious cabin, featuring large windows and a much more raked windscreen and rear window compared with the more pedestrian saloon variant. The first Fulvia Coupé was fitted with a 4-cylinder 1216 cc engine producing 80 hp, which was soon augmented to 1.3 litres and subsequently to 1.6 litres. The model's defining elegance and class didn’t prevent Lancia's factory racing team Squadra Corse HF Lancia from using it in competitions, particularly in rallies, the inception of Lancia’s dominance in the world of rally racing. 

With its unique combination of a short wheelbase facilitating agile handling, beautifully proportioned lines, characterful engine and rallying pedigree, it is no surprise that the Lancia Fulvia Coupe has become highly revered amongst classic car collectors today. Many thanks to @gwynners1981 for allowing us to include your own Lancia Fulvia Coupe and providing insight on this historically-rich, beautiful car.
In a world where ostentatious supercars have become largely commonplace over the last several decades, engraining themselves in the fabric of popular culture, the Spyker C8 refreshingly differentiates itself as a beautifully contrarian choice. The car itself rose onto the automotive sphere in the year 2000, a product of the previously defunct Dutch airplane manufacturer, Spyker, that first delved into the world of luxury automobile manufacturing in 1899.

Its first supercar, the C8, which took visual cues from the 1999 Spyker Silvestris V8 concept, was highly aesthetically reminiscent of a vintage aircraft such as those the Dutch Company formerly built at the onset of the 20th century, with an optional “engine-turned” metal-effect dash, jet-engine inspired louvres and intakes and beautiful turbine alloy wheels. Housed within the svelte body, is a 4.2-litre powertrain courtesy of Audi, that in conjunction with the mid-engined aluminium space frame chassis facilitates visceral and capable performance.

When discussing the Spyker, one must adopt a different perspective to that held towards the somewhat more conventional Italian exotics, as it is a car removed from just raw numbers and statistics that too many exotics are held too close to. Conversely, the Spyker is all about having a mesmerising and non-conformist automotive experience, by indulging in the unprecedented levels of material craftsmanship and bespoke nature of the car that makes it more akin to a piece of art, than simply a fast means of transportation. Perhaps this can be most enveloped by the Dutch carmaker’s motto, ‘Nulla tenaci invvia est via’, which when translated in the literal sense from its Latin form reads, ‘For the tenacious no road is impassible’. 

In the words of one of the longstanding owners of the car,
“Every time you drive the car, it feels like an event. You’re experience something wonderfully unique and pure. It’s an immediate attitude adjustment, better than any prescription drug on the market.”

Thus, the Spyker C8 is not a car designed to appeal to the status quo but a car designed to provide an unrepeatable experience like no other. Many thanks to @urgetodrive for allowing us to delve into the mesmerising details of the C8.
Thirty-eight years ago, Mercedes-Benz presented a highly revolutionary model that initiated a foray into an entirely different vehicular segment, the W201-series 190 and 190 E. The internal aim of the 190-class was clear to the Stuttgart marque, which was to create a saloon more compact in dimensions and more fuel-efficient than any car that had preceded it, while retaining all of the monumental safety innovations and secure driving characteristics that had defined their larger models for almost a hundred years.

The 190's inception came at the time of the fuel-crisis in Europe and North America that had threatened the very existence of larger more luxurious models around the globe and hence Mercedes-Benz desired to produce a model that protected their future as a luxury vehicle manufacturer. While the repercussions of the fuel crisis had largely diminished by the time of the 190's release in 1982, its highly impressive technological capabilities still provided quite the impact.

Penned by Mercedes-Benz’s chief designer for almost twenty-five years, Bruno Sacco, the 190 series adopted a highly minimalistic and aerodynamic aesthetic, with an exceptionally low drag co-efficient of 0.34cd, lower than any other Mercedes-Benz model upon its debut in 1982.

The 190 E’s avant garde approach to design and harmonious combination of form and function extended to one of its most important attributes, exceptional active and passive safety for a compact vehicle. Mercedes-Benz themselves, claimed that the 190 series had been designed to be just as safe in an accident as even the larger 126-series S-Class which was achieved through intelligent design characteristics that make it a highly competent performer, even today. A host of modern safety innovations were implemented into the “Baby Benz” including the independent multi link rear suspension, that continues to be a widely used design in contemporary vehicles along with ingenious structural design that allowed the car to protect its occupants in the advent of an offset collision and the utilisation of optional airbags, ABS brakes and seatbelt pre-tensioners.

The 190 E wasn’t just praised upon its excellent safety-conscious design and efficiency but also on its more sporting potential. The inauguration of the performance variants of the W201 rose out of Mercedes-Benz’s desire to take their new compact class vehicle onto the world rally stage, to replace the highly capable yet overweight C107 Coupes, and thus had British tuning firm, Cosworth, develop a 320hp four cylinder engine that would make the 190 E a formidable opponent within its class. However, when the Audi Quattro entered the rallying scene with its revolutionary combination of four-wheel-drive and a turbocharged five-cylinder engine the 190 series was considered unworthy of entering and hence the performance 190E was catered to an all new class of motorsport, the Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft (German Touring Car Championship).

Even more excitingly, the competing vehicles had to be based upon a road-going variant and hence, the 190 E 2.3-16 and 2.5-16 were born, which provided the Stuttgart marque with a foray into the compact sports saloon world, with its advanced engine, dog-leg Getrag transmission and impressive suspension geometry. Over the years, the range of the 190 class expanded to encompass multiple drivetrain configurations, ranging from more pedestrian 2.0-litre diesels to the aero-adorned Evolution II variant.

The 190 series eventually metamorphosed into the W202 series at the end of its life cycle, now with the nomenclature of ‘C-Class’, and to this day has amassed an enviable reputation for dependability, safety and technological innovations. Thus the Mercedes’ first “Baby Benz” was proof that great things, really can come in small packages.

Encapsulated by the words of the owner of this particular example, "The 190E was the smallest Mercedes-Benz at its time, combing ahead of its time technology with timeless design". Many thanks to the very fortuitous custodian of this 190 E 2.0, Vehicle Engineering Student Shareen, for submitting this entry this week. You can follow her journey through 190 E ownership over @shareenqueen.
Thanks to a certain moustachioed, Hawaiian shirt-attired TV detective the Ferrari 308 has become one of the most well-known models in Ferrari’s longstanding mid-engined lineage, with a beautiful concoction of curvaceous lines by way of Pininfarina, gated manual transmission and harmonious flat-plane crank 3.0 V8. While Ferrari had long been valued amongst enthusiast circles, it was the 308 that managed to cement the name of the Maranello company as a household name as it reached millions of people over the silver screen.

Introduced in 1985, the Ferrari 328 represented an iterative yet noticeable improvement over the predecessor 308, introducing a larger displacement 3.2-litre all-aluminium V8 engine and making valuable alterations with the aim of improving the reliability and usability of the car without sacrificing the classic attributes that made its predecessor so inherently special. Certain modern amenities such as Anti-Lock-Braking made their way into the 328, but overall it is still thoroughly a true analogue driving experience, one that isn’t diluted by the interference of the electronic driver’s aids of traction control and stability programs.

The example pictured here owned by @dino328gts, is a particularly storied and unique variant, even among other 328 GTS models. From the exterior it is finished in the classic and iconic Ferrari shade of Rosso Corsa, but inside there is an unconventional twist. While the blatant majority of Ferraris of the era, especially 328s were finished in an interior combination of tan leather supplemented by black or brown contrasting elements, Dino’s example has a very rare Crema and Rosso combination, being perhaps the only surviving example of the 6,608 produced over a four year production run finished in this configuration. Dino’s beautiful car has been part of the family since it first went on sale in late 1989 and in his own words, “It is a car that is so involving to experience that I never tire of looking at it, listening to it or driving it.”
To many Porsche aficionados, the 993-generation 911 represents the pinnacle of the historic lineage and the culmination of over thirty years of iterative refinement of an iconic concept. The unique character of the 993 in the eyes of classic enthusiasts is multi-faceted, as it represents the perfect compromise between the analogue driving characteristics of the earlier F and G Series 911s but combines it with more contemporary aesthetics, amenities and technology that make it a highly useable sportscar, even today.

According to Porsche themselves, approximately only 20% of its components were carried over from its predecessor, the 964, and thus the car expanded upon the already impressive sporting package the 964 provided. A plethora of technological advancements were implemented in the 993, most prominently a radical new alloy multi-link rear suspension which was actually derived from the Porsche 989, a four-door saloon the Stuttgart marque developed in the late 1980s but consequentially never finalised into production, although it managed to live vicariously though its spiritual successor, the Panamera. This change was highly praised upon the debut of the 993-generation 911 as mitigated much of the 911’s infamous tendency to oversteer when the throttle was lifted during cornering, making it more compliant and forgiving without sacrificing the 911’s inherently traditional  driving characteristics.

The debut of the 993 also brought another exciting alteration for customers as it was the first production 911 to include a 6-speed manual transmission as standard equipment, which made if more engaging to drive at lower speeds and considerably more refine during Autobahn-esque cruising. 

In an aesthetic regard, as with all 911s, the 993-generation car was in iterative improvement over its predecessor 964 but a successful one at that. While the 964 is a very classic design, at the time of the 993’s release in early 1994, the more contemporary and curvaceous shape by Englishman Tony Hatter was extremely well received. Contrary to all previous generations of the 911, the headlights were faired back into the frontal bodywork and the rear fenders were widened giving it a very well-proportioned design. 

This particular 911 seen here, courtesy of @getoutanddrive968, is an early Carrera example 993, finished in an extremely classic colour combination of Metallic Silver over Red Leather, a highly rare combination. While the 993 spawned a host of variants, it is perhaps the Carrera that provides the perfect amalgamation of visceral driving characteristics and everyday usability, which to us is the perfect encapsulation of the Porsche 911 concept.

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