We've recently retraced the anniversaries of some of the most iconic cars of all time as they turn 60/70… but we're not done yet: like a driver pushing his car to the limit in a race, the second part of our article will take you on another exciting journey to celebrate as many anniversaries of cars that have made automotive history. Ready to restart?
Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale - 20 years
20 years after its launch, the Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale remains a symbol of automotive prestige for the Maranello-based company. What makes it so special? It is a snappy lightweight sedan with precise handling, as raw and mean as a pure racing car can be on the road. And it admits no compromises: Alcantara and carbon-ceramic composite materials lead the way, while the throttle is responsive and the handling is sharp. Produced by Ferrari at the height of Schumacher's F1 dominance, it has a winning DNA and a character all its own: powerful and engaging like nothing else on the road.
McLaren Mercedes SLR - 20 years
The McLaren Mercedes SLR is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, marking two decades of one of the most iconic supercars ever produced. The SLR, which stands for "Sport Leicht Rennsport" (Sport Light Racing), was developed in a collaboration between McLaren and Mercedes-Benz and was first presented to the public in 2003. Powered by a 5.4-liter supercharged V8 engine that produced an impressive 617 horsepower and 575 lb-ft of torque and with a 5-speed automatic transmission, it was not only a technological masterpiece, but also a statement of luxury, exclusivity, and performance of the early 21st century.
Ford Mustang II - 50 years
Someone called this car "the right car at the right time to keep the legend in the future." And despite the wariness of the time, at the dawn of its 50th year we can say that those who uttered these words were right! The second-generation Ford Mustang, which arrived with the 1973 oil embargo, was initially hated by intransigent enthusiasts for "betraying" essential aspects of the “Mustang heritage”, but later distinctly reevaluated for its compact shape, more refined design, and for enshrining a return to the pleasantness of more affordable cars.
BMW 2002 Turbo - 50 years
The BMW 200 Turbo, built on the basis of the 02 sedan by French designer Paul Bracq, also blows out its 50 candles. We remember it like the first supercharged gasoline car mass-produced in Europe, but above all for being an example of engineering wisdom contained in only 1,035 kilograms, with its 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and a 4-speed manual transmission, boosted by a KKK supercharger capable of delivering 170 horsepower and 240 newtonmeters of torque. A true revolution for the time, don't you think?
Ford Lotus Cortina MK1 - 60 years
But now it's time to raise a glass to an ultra-high-performance sports sedan produced between 1963 and 1966: the Lotus Cortina MK1, wanted by Walter Hayes – Ford's communications manager – with a desire to forge the brand with a flawless, winning thoroughbred racing car. Thanks to Hayes, Colin Chapman, Lotus Founder, developed a car with power increased to 105 horsepower, "saloon" bodywork, exclusively in Ermine White and Sherwood green. Just think of the legendary drives of Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Jacky Ickx, Jackie Stewart, Vic Elford, Jack Sears and John Whitmor to realize its greatness!
Aston Martin DB2/4 - 70 years
The last chalice in the air is all for the glorious seventieth anniversary of the Aston Martin DB2/4, a Grand Touring sports sedan with an unmistakable appeal still appreciated by hard-core classic car enthusiasts. Officially unveiled at the London Motor Show in 1953, it saw the light of day both as a convertible and as a 2+2 sedan with the first "fastback" the famous hatchback whose roofline continues, sloping and unbroken, to the rear. A design that also inspired the big screens: did you know that a convertible version example was featured in an Alfred Hitchcock film?
Our journey ends here: happy birthday to all these racing and collectible gems!