vineri, 22 aprilie 2016

A Wedge For Less Wedge - World Of Classic Cars -


We’d all love a Lancia Stratos or a Ferrari 208 GT4, but you need some serious money to put one on your drive. Even cars like the Lotus Esprit are starting to get out of reach for the Average Joe looking for a reasonably priced classic. But, if the wedge is your thing, there are still some alternatives around for less money. Ok, you might need some deep pockets to keep these wedges on the road, but if all else fails they’ll make great door-stops.

TVR Tasmin

Later known as the TVR 280i, the Tasmin was the first of the TVR’s ‘Wedge’ series. Using mostly Ford parts this little rocket is relatively easy to live with. Styled by Oliver Winterbottom, who had drawn for Lotus six years earlier, the wedge styling was already out there but still looked good in these 80’s cars.
Top fact: The Tamsin was the first production car in the world to have a bonded windscreen and incorporate the aerial in the rear screen heater element!


Lotus Éclat

The Winterbottom-penned Éclat was part of Chapman’s drive to go more upmarket. This four-seat coupé was originally priced to compete with the likes of the Alfa Romeo Montreal and the Citroën SM. The Éclat however has been left behind (like most Lotuses) in the upward spiral of classic car prices. We think it is a wonderful looking car, although we know a few owners who are mindful of not travelling too far in their often fragile wedge.


Volvo 480

Volvo’s first front wheel drive car was a dramatic departure design wise. They hadn’t produced anything this radical since the P1800 was ferrying The Saint around. The 480’s handling wasn’t bad, thanks to input from Lotus, and these days they look pretty cool. Go for a turbo though if you’re looking for something sporty.


Reliant Scimitar SS1

The SS1 was pretty much out on its own in the early 80s British two-seater market. The MGB and TR7 were out of production and the M100 Elan was still nearly a decade away. It was the great Michelotti’s last design (but not his finest hour). The SS1 had heaps of light-weight, two-seater sporty appeal – but by the time Reliant had given it a facelift and sorted out the power, that appeal had started to wane. In the end only 1507 cars were produced over 10 years. Worth a look if you fancy something a bit different.


Fiat X1/9

The pretty Gandini-penned X1/9 is a great little driver’s car. It’s mid-engined, targa-topped and if you choose one of the great colours that are available (lime green, canary yellow) it’s a real head turner.
Even though it looked like a mini Ferrari, it was a little overlooked in the 70s and 80s due to everyone’s obsession with hot hatches. Admirers today still seem to be few and far between, but if you’re looking for something wedgy and edgy and love a real Italian, look no further.


Triumph TR7

Optimistically billed as ‘the shape of things to come’ the TR7 is finally starting to look like a great buy. Following on from the TR6 many found the wedge styling ugly, yet it sold faster than its predecessor ever had. Today it is one of the cheapest ways to get into a Triumph TR. Let’s just try and forget it was designed by the same guy who designed the Princess.