The Tale of the Tiger

Editor's Note: An oldie, but a goodie. Be sure to click on "Read more..." Anyone that can tell me who the author was gets bonus points.

Interesting cars tend to mirror the personality of their creators. Ever since the world of cars began, they have been studded with the original ideas of great designers and engineers who have expressed themselves in the automobiles they have developed and driven. This is particularly so in the case of high performance cars — Bentley, Ferrari, Bugatti, and Porsche, for example: These designers at different times made great contributions to the development of the high performance car as we know it, and their cars were conceived with two ends in view — Speed and Safety. The means to those ends however, were very different.

Ettore Bugatti, for instance, was a wildly temperamental artist by instinct, whose cars were built with the delicacy of a watch, and were just about as easy for the average mechanic to repair. W. 0. Bentley, as typically English as Bugatti was Italian, produced powerful, imposing, solid sports touring cars that somehow reflected their Anglo-Saxon designer.

However, exotic engineering tour-de-forces are very much inclined to be too expensive to be a practical proposition in today's competitive markets. Consequently, recent sports car trends have been towards highly tuned production engines to give the necessary power; nevertheless, some owners here in America still regard foreign sports cars fitted with these engines as underpowered and "fussy." ( In Europe crippling taxes on gas restricted manufacturers from developing larger and more powerful engines.) This then was the problem we at Rootes were confronted with after nearly 20 years of selling Sunbeams in the U.S.A.


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