In looking for something interesting about the Ford Ranger I discovered that it was also sold as the Mazda Navajo. I already knew about the odd-looking sad-face Fiesta that Mazda sold as their own 121 (presumably as part of the same Ford-Mazda partnership of the 80s and 90s) and wondered if there was anything else interesting with the 121 name in the Mazda range and it turns out that's another name for the RX-5. The reasons it's another name for it is while the RX-5 uses the amazing rotary engine, the 121 had to make do with a regular old conventional piston engine. It's pretty amazing to consider that rebadged Kia Prides and Ford Fiestas followed on from a 'personal luxury car' with very heavy American styling influences.
The Polonez was based on Polski Fiat 125p that FSO built under license from Fiat, but the body was an entirely new hatchback body which was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, the man who also penned the exquisitely beautiful...
Yes that's right, there's a link between the Iso Grifo and the humble Skoda Favorit. Guigiaro worked at Bertone when he designed the Iso Grifo, you see, and Bertone's designs have graced just about every type of car you can think of. As with Ghia, towards the end Bertone was a shadow of its former self, seemingly little more than a prestige badge on Astras, which is a great shame. Bertone's designs have, for the most part, stood the test of time very well and their cars are often iconic (if a little left field), of the eras in which they were produced. The Favorit is a rare sight now, but there's no mistaking the clean, uncompromising design that blends form and function so very well.
The Favorit was of course produced in numerous bodystyles, and all take to Bertone's styling well, especially the estate, but it's the hatchback that I think deserves to be here.
the astra bertone was launched at NEC motor show in october 1986. although an in-house opel design (an afterthought due to the success of the golf and escort cabriolet models) it can at-least claim to be the only astra model made in the bertone factory Italy.
the mk2 astra was never designed to have a cabriolet version, there were strengthening ribs inside the sills but the floor plan lacked forethought to strengthening and as a result they famously suffered with terrible scuttle shake. the bertone lasted two years longer than the production run of the standard mk2 astra, this runout model the "astra exclusive" seen on K plates.
Post by The Rascal King on Jul 20, 2018 12:17:45 GMT
Outside of Europe, the Nexia used the LeMans model designation, borrowed from GM's Pontiac division and sold under that brand here in the states. The name was first used by Pontiac as the top trim level of their Tempest sedan in 1961:
in parallel to the rover P5B in 67, a new luxury 4x4 SUV was being developed from the ground up to receive the new V8. originally coined the road rover, and eventually became the range rover. land rover claim to have invented the SUV with this vehicle, but it borrowed heavily from the ford bronco. this is prototype no.1 from 1967
The Viva HB was afflicted with a Borg Warner automatic, a gearbox that found its way into an awful lot of cars, particularly the model 35. The above is a 1965 AMC Ambassador and they too got the Borg Warner box behind their six cylinder engines. There's plenty of interesting quirks and features (Dough DeMuro moment there) on those that can provide a fun link. AMC loved their extruded alumininium and reversible trim to save on costs.
Post by surprisingskoda on Jul 25, 2018 20:58:47 GMT
According to Wikipedia:
The Ambassador nameplate was used continuously from 1927 until 1974 (the name being a top-level trim line between 1927 and 1931); at the time it was discontinued, Ambassador was the longest continuously used nameplate in automotive history.
The holder of that record now is the Chevy Suburban, having started out life in 1935:
From one pillarless two door coupe named after a sword to another; the Sunbeam Rapier. This one is notable for being an ex-Custom Car feature car and for an extra link of sporting American influenced styling additions.
Post by The Rascal King on Aug 7, 2018 11:47:28 GMT
The Sabre came about when the Managing Director of Autocars, Itzhak Shubinsky, visited the 1960 London Racing Car Show and saw the Ashley 1172 fibreglass body and also a Leslie Ballamy-designed chassis, the EB Debonair, exhibited on the LMB Components stand. He ended up forming a partnership including Reliant to put those together, which involved some redesigning of each, of course.