Even timeless cars have a very specific date of birth and in 2022 we will celebrate the birthdays of many famous models that have written the history of motoring.
In particular, today we remember the Ferrari 250 GTO, the Alfa Romeo Giulia and the AC Cobra, extraordinary sexagenarians, and the Dodge Viper, which celebrates its first thirty years of age: 4 of the most important automotive birthdays of the year, 4 icons for which time is just a detail.
Ferrari 250 GTO - 60 years
Happy birthday to the legendary Ferrari 250 GTO: one of the most desired cars of all-time. Developed by engineer Giotto Bizzarrini, modeled by Enzo Ferrari's favorite panel beater, Sergio Scaglietti, it had such a threatening appearance that for the Maranello engineers it was “the monster”. It was designed with one goal: to win. And it did: between 1962 and 1964, it obtained 24 class victories and 8 overall victories, of which two overall second places at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Produced in only 39 units (3 of which with a 4.000 cm³ engine), after retiring from racing it continued to burn desirability records, up to being valued between 50 and 60 million of dollars. The most expensive of all-time.
Alfa Romeo Giulia - 60 years
Happy birthday to the beloved Alfa Romeo Giulia, the small sedan that revolutionized the world of sports cars. Also known as the 105 series, it was designed for a very difficult task: to succeed the legendary Giulietta, “The Italian Girlfriend”. Thus this small four-door sedan came to life, boxy and agile, equipped with dual-cam engines from 92 to 102 HP, as well as a five-speed manual gearbox: “the car designed by the wind”, as a slogan of the period said. Launched in 1962 in the 1300 version, then in the coupé, spider and rare station wagon version, it is still a milestone in the history of the Milanese car manufacturer and of the automobile.
AC Cobra - 60 years
It is difficult to think about the AC Cobra without thinking about Carroll Shelby, the visionary who back in 1962 combined for the first time an American Ford V8 engine and a British body of only 1311 kg, with the idea of creating a powerful yet agile car to counter the Ferrari. After the first 4.3-liter Ford V8 engine models, the transition to the 4.7-liter gave the car explosive speed, so much that it is said that the introduction of the 70mph speed limit on British motorways, which took place in 1964, is due to a Cobra launched at 180 mph on the M1. The roughly 900 Shelby A.C. Cobra originally produced are still a sight to behold and drive today!
Dodge Viper - 30 years
The Viper, the sports car produced by Chrysler group under the Dodge brand, also blows out the candles. Inspired by the AC Cobra, but much more powerful and bulkier, the Viper was developed over five generations without ever losing an iota of aggression and remaining one of the most sought-after muscle cars by collectors. The first prototype, from December 1989, featured an engine derived from the design of the V10 for trucks, lightened by Lamborghini to create an 8-liter 400 HP that gave 0-60mph in 4.6 seconds and a top speed of 165mph. The track debut came in 1991 when three Vipers were used in the role of pace car in the Indianapolis 500. From there, it's history.