Oldsmobile Toronado XSR, 1977. A T-roof version of the 2nd generation Toronado converted by the American Sunroof Company. They created a power T-top with glass panels that slid under a wide centre bar. The mechanism proved troublesome and despite having begun to market the car the (ironically the ad refers to an experimental prototype) the XSR was abandoned. Only one prototype was made which was restored and refinished in red by Collectible Automobile Magazine in the late 1990s.
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Oldsmobile Toronado, 1970. This was the final version of the first generation Toronado. The Toronado had pioneered the Unitised Power Package (UPP), combining a Rocket V8 with Turbo-Hydramatic 400 transmission and a transaxle driving the front wheels. It was the first US made front-wheel drive automobile since the demise of the Cord in 1937.
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Isuzu Bellett MX1600 II, 1970, by Ghia. The second of two mid-engined concepts designed by Tom Tjaarda (Bellett MX1600). Powered by a 140hp version of Isuzu's 1.6 litre DOHC 4-cylinder engine, 3 prototypes were built and tested. However Isuzu was withdrawing from circuit racing so the business case for building a mid-engined sports car was weak and the project was cancelled.
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Isuzu Bellett 1600GT & 1500S brochure (Canadian market), 1965. The Bellet was the second Isuzu car to be developed in-house, previously they had made Hillmans under licence for the Japanese market. It was also the first Isuzu to be exported widely
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Isuzu Gemini Coupé, 1974. Because of General Motors shareholding in Isuzu they became part of the T-car program. The Gemini Coupé shared its bodywork with the Opel Kadett. It was sold in Australia as the Holden Gemini and in the US as the Buick Opel (pictured). Initially Buick had sold Opel Kadetts sourced from Germany but when the Dollar/Deutschmark exchange rate become unfavourable they switched to Isuzu
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Isuzu 117 Sport Concept, 1966, by Ghia. This was Ghia’s prototype for Isuzu’s 117 coupé that was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro who joined Ghia in 1965. It was presented at the Geneva Motor Show in Spring 1966 and then again at the 13th Tokyo Motor Show in October. It went into production in Japan in 1968
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Isuzu Stylus XS, 1991. The US version of the third generation Isuzu Gemini. The XS was powered by a 125hp 1.6 litre DOHC 4 cylinder engine. The JT151 series was the last saloon car made by Isuzu, it remained in production until 1993 after which Isuzu decided to concentrate on the production of pick-ups, SUVs, commercial vehicles and trucks. It was replaced by a badge engineered Honda Domani that was sold in Japan but Isuzu withdrew from car sales on all international markets at this time.
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Moke Electric, 2022. The markers of replica Mini Mokes, Moke International, have announced plans to be come all-electric by January 1, 2022. The electric Moke can manage 144km between charges and has a top speed of 100km/h, it can accelerate to 55km/h in 4.5 seconds. Orders are now open with prices starting at £29,150
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Cadillac Seville Gucci Edition, 1982 (2021), by Hot Wheels. As part of their centenary celebrations Gucci have teamed with toy maker Hot Wheels to make a scale model of the 1980s Gucci special edition Seville.
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KD Sport 900, 1963. A Soviet-era Russian sports car based on the ZAZ 956 Zaporozhets. A group of employees of the Central Scientific Research Automobile and Automotive Engines Institute (aka NAMI) began a project to make a sports car for the masses. They had the support of Kuzma Durnov (the KD in the car's name) who was the director of the Moscow Automobile Body Plant. The car had a fibreglass body and used the ZAZ 887cc air-cooled V4 engine mounted in the tail. The development of the car carried in throughout the 1960s and 6 prototypes where built it but was eventually canned in 1969. More recently automotive designer Artem Popkov (nimco_works on instagram) had rendered as restomod KD 900
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What a difference 26 years makes juxtaposition of Lexus LX, 1996 & Lexus LX, 2022. The new generation of the Land Cruiser-based large SUV has been revealed. It will be powered by a 409hp twin turbo 3.5 litre V6. The new model is around 200 kg lighter than the previous generation
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Honda e:N series, 2022-25. Honda have revealed their electrification plans for the Chinese market. The e:N series begins with the HR-V based e:NS1 and e:NP1 that will go on sale in spring 2022. The e:N Coupe, e:N GT and e:N SUV concepts preview upcoming production models. The e:N series concepts are based on a new electric platform that can be adapted to front drive, rear drive or all wheel drive. In all Honda plan to introduce 10 new EVs onto the Chinese market in the next 5 years.
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Mercedes-Benz 350 SLC, 1971. Another car reaching its 50th birthday this week, the C107 series was launched at the Paris Motor Show in October 1971. Initially available with a 3.5 litre V8, the range was later extended to include 4.5 and 5.0 litre V8 and a 2.8 litre DOHC straight-6. The C107 is the only example of an SL-class being extended to create a 4-seat fixed roof coupé. It was discontinued in 1980 and replaced by the C126 S-class based coupé
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AC Ace/Aceca brochure, 1954. AC's 2 litre straight-6 engine dated right back to the 1920s so from 1956 the Ace/Aceca was offered with Bristol Cars more modern 2 litre straight-6 that was based on a BMW design. The Aceca was an early form of hatchback coupé
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AC Ace RS, 2022. AC Cars have announced a continuation series based on the 1961 Ace model updated with a 350hp 2.3 litre 4 cylinder engine. It will be their last ICE model as they have already announced the Ace RS Electric. Priced at £89,500, deliveries will start in Summer 2022
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Austin Zanda Concept, 1969. Designed by Roy Haynes and Harris Mann to promote British Leyland's Pressed Steel body plant’s newly developed computer-aided design techniques. It was powered by an Austin Maxi 1750cc transverse engine placed amidships driving the rear wheels.
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Austin Champ, 1951. Produced by Austin under a military contract for the British Army, alas the Champ was complex and expensive. The army terminated their contract with Austin early and switched to Land Rovers instead. A limited number of civilian versions were also made.
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