[xj-s] Golden Age of Sports Cars

The Jaguar E-type was introduced in 1961. The Ferrari 250 GTO and
the AC Cobra were introduced in 1962. The Corvette Sting Ray was
introduced in 1962 for the 1963 model year.

Four of the most beautiful cars ever made, IMHO. I was born in 1955,
making me a young and impressionable kid in the early 1960’s. Is
that the reason I’m so impressed with this particular era of
automotive design? Does everyone here favor cars introduced about
the time they were 7 years old? Or was 1961-62 really as special as
it seems to me?

– Kirbert

// please trim quoted text to context only

Hi Kirby,

Nostalgia is a sign of mellowing with age – I guess it’s even getting
to you :wink:

I would agree that the 60’s were the pinnacle of auto design and raw
power, affordable by the average consumer. I’m 10 years older, so I
was 17 when I saw my first E-type in 1962: a yellow coupe at the beach
at Ocean City. I still remember today just stopping and looking at it
in amazement. At that time, I lived in a small town in VA, so rarely
saw any “foreign cars”, and certainly no Ferrari’s.

In the period from 66 to 69, I had a TR4A (NOT a beautiful car, but a
good starter sports car), then a 427 Stingray, and finally an E-type
coupe. I didn’t buy ANY of those new, but got each for 25 to 40% less
than new price when 2 years old or less.

Until 1968 when the emissions laws began to tighten in the US, and then
within a few years other safety laws started regulating bumpers, etc.,
the automakers could do most anything that looked good and made a lot
of power. The 427 'Vette in 1966 would do 0-60 in the 5’s (until the
plugs fouled in ~ 100 miles), and simply adding Koni shocks and Pirelli
Cinturato’s, allowed it to beat Porsche 911’s on a tight autocross
course set up by the Porsche club where top speed never got over 60
(the 427 never got out of 1st gear which went to 65 @ 6,500 RPM).
Admittedly, it was still doing it on straight-line acceleration, but
the cornering wasn’t so far behind the Porsche that it couldn’t stay
ahead of it.

Of course, if you drove that same car today, you would be appalled by
the understeer handling characteristics of the steering and heavy front
end. The one I had didn’t even have power steering. However, for its
day, it was a tremendous car, and as long as you could “see your way
out of a turn” and floor it at 4000 RPM or more, the understeer went
away and it handled quite nicely.

As for power and speed, the only time I had it close to top speed was
at 2AM on an interstate with no one else in sight. The Lucas
“flamethrowers” in the high beam sockets were still pointed into the
air and it was still accelerating at 140 MPH in 4th like most good cars
do in 2nd, when I decided that was fast enough for me. (I found out a
month or two later that one of those Pirelli HP’s had a boot in it :wink:
I never have been a fan of high speed on the highway since then.

The US V-8, which just got bigger and bigger, was a cheap solution to
power as compared to more “technically correct” European powerplants,
to the extent that Ford got banned from LeMans in what, 67 - 68? With
my 427 in the US, it really didn’t matter that I couldn’t get more than
15 MPG cruising (MUCH less when having fun with the throttle :wink:
because gas only cost ~ $.35 per gallon (that’s 35 cents).

A friend of mine had a 64 Lotus Elan in the mid-60’s, and that 1500 lb.
car with a 140 HP DOHC 4 cylinder and special exhaust was the most
exhilarating car to drive on a winding country road that I ever
experienced. A perfectly-balanced blend of handling and acceleration,
and it looked like a sports car as well, with just the right exhaust
“blurble” for top-down back-road enjoyment.

Of course safety and emissions regulations have their place, and in
most ways, cars today are better designed, safer, last longer, are more
reliable, and are much better for operation by mindless drivers who
have given up getting where they are going at any reasonable speed, and
are more intent on their electronic gizmos than their driving.

For sheer beauty of design and rate of automotive performance
advancement, available to the average consumer, the 60’s were the
golden age as far as I am concerned, but one could argue that began ~
1955 with the advent of the first powerful OHV V-8’s, or even in the
late 40’s with the XK120. But then whoever paid ~ $1.3M for Howard
Hughes 1953 Buick Roadmaster (Dynaflow transmission and all) just
doesn’t get it. :wink:

George Balthrop, Clifton, VA USA
89 and 85 XJ-S Coupes; 89 XJ40 VDP-----Original Message-----
From: Kirbert palmk@nettally.com

The Jaguar E-type was introduced in 1961. The Ferrari 250 GTO and
the AC Cobra were introduced in 1962. The Corvette Sting Ray was
introduced in 1962 for the 1963 model year.

Four of the most beautiful cars ever made, IMHO. I was born in 1955,
making me a young and impressionable kid in the early 1960’s. Is
that the reason I’m so impressed with this particular era of
automotive design? Does everyone here favor cars introduced about
the time they were 7 years old? Or was 1961-62 really as special as
it seems to me?

// please trim quoted text to context only

In reply to a message from Kirbert sent Mon 13 Aug 2012:

Kirby,

I was born in 1957. I concur with your opinion. I think we may
just have a better eye than others born later.
When I was young I could identify just about every make and model
of car. There was always something that set them apart from their
piers. Now they all look alike to me. Same lines, wrap around
headlights, LED tail lights, etc., etc. The ‘’ sports cars’’ now are
luxury cars. I think of a sports car as a car you have contact with
not get coddled by.

Stephen–
The original message included these comments:

The Jaguar E-type was introduced in 1961. The Ferrari 250 GTO and
the AC Cobra were introduced in 1962. The Corvette Sting Ray was
introduced in 1962 for the 1963 model year.
Four of the most beautiful cars ever made, IMHO. I was born in 1955,
making me a young and impressionable kid in the early 1960’s. Is
that the reason I’m so impressed with this particular era of
automotive design? Does everyone here favor cars introduced about
the time they were 7 years old? Or was 1961-62 really as special as
it seems to me?
– Kirbert


dizmando
West Jefferson Hills PA, United States
–Posted using Jag-lovers JagFORUM [forums.jag-lovers.org]–
–Support Jag-lovers - Donate at http://www.jag-lovers.org/donate04.php

// please trim quoted text to context only

Does everyone here favor cars introduced about the time they
were 7 years old?

The rule doesn’t work for me. There weren’t many new cars introduced in
1946!

Ed Sowell
'76 XJ-S coupe, red
http://www.efsowell.us/ed/myJag.html

// please trim quoted text to context only

I think what Kirby is talking about it the exterior design of classic
sports cars in the early 60’s. That design seemed to go away as
dedicated racing sports cars got more spoilers, ground effects, etc.
and the cars offered to the public followed that trend by cars getting
more of a “tough” or pseudo-racing look with spoilers, scoops, ground
effects, etc.

I think what you are referring to as a “better eye” is rather the
reaction of US “car people” to the marketing techniques of the US
manufacturers in the 50’s and 60’s. There were only about 12 - 15
common brands, and each manufacturer changed SOMETHING in the exterior
design each year to distinguish it from the prior year’s model, so ALL
your neighbors would know when you had bought a new car.

Most changes were superficial and NOT substantive (no disc brakes, rack
& pinion steering, IRS, etc.) just chrome, windshield, tail lights,
headlights, grill, chrome trim on the sides, fins, etc., but we all
learned to tell a 57 Chevy from a 56 just by the side trim, tail lights
and fins. By 58 and 59, things got ridiculous :wink: It didn’t take any
“eye” at all to tell a 59 Cadillac from any other car made before or
since :wink:

George Balthrop, Clifton, VA USA
89 and 85 XJ-S Coupes; 89 XJ40 VDP-----Original Message-----
From: dizmando sjniznik@msn.com

I was born in 1957. I concur with your opinion. I think we may
just have a better eye than others born later.
When I was young I could identify just about every make and model
of car. There was always something that set them apart from their
piers.

// please trim quoted text to context only

In reply to a message from George Balthrop sent Mon 13 Aug 2012:

To me, there’s another odd thing about those days that I
only recently came to realize. My best friend drove a
hand-me-down 51 Mercury when we were in high school (61-64).
My next door neighbor had a 53 Chevrolet, in addition to
his newer family car. I considered both of these to be
quite old and out-of-date, as I think everyone else did, too.

Now, we have a 2000 car in 2012 (equivalent to the 51 Merc
in 1963) that doesn’t, to me at least, look any different
from the ‘‘new’’ ones. My daughters, who drive it, don’t
notice that it’s old either, although both are embarrassed
to be seen in my 63, 72 and 73 cars–too yucky and old.–
The original message included these comments:

Most changes were superficial and NOT substantive (no disc brakes, rack
& pinion steering, IRS, etc.) just chrome, windshield, tail lights,
headlights, grill, chrome trim on the sides, fins, etc., but we all
learned to tell a 57 Chevy from a 56 just by the side trim, tail lights


Bob Wilkinson, 73 XJ6
Saint Louis, MO, United States
–Posted using Jag-lovers JagFORUM [forums.jag-lovers.org]–
–Support Jag-lovers - Donate at http://www.jag-lovers.org/donate04.php

// please trim quoted text to context only

In reply to a message from Kirbert sent Mon 13 Aug 2012:

Greetings Kirby

I’m that 7yr old rule follower for sure, I would come home
from school and see our neighbors '71 Mach 1 out in the drive
and go , ‘‘man that’s so cool!’’ so (you guessed it) I’ve been
totally hypmotized with the 71-73 so called ‘‘biggie mustangs’’
since.

Hope I never snap out of it either

Cheers
Slov jr–
The original message included these comments:

automotive design? Does everyone here favor cars introduced about
the time they were 7 years old? Or was 1961-62 really as special as


SloverJr.
–Posted using Jag-lovers JagFORUM [forums.jag-lovers.org]–
–Support Jag-lovers - Donate at http://www.jag-lovers.org/donate04.php

// please trim quoted text to context only

In reply to a message from SloverJr. sent Mon 13 Aug 2012:

Since I was born in 1964 I have found memories of checking
out all the muscle cars that were coming out in the late
60’s and early 70’s along with British cars, German cars and
the 1971 Datsun 240Z. I can remember the first 240Z I was
able to check out-Just memorized with the simple
lines-reminded me of a E-type but accessible to the masses.
As much as I love the cars from this era I am tired of going
to car shows and seeing 10 older Mustangs, 10 Corvettes etc.
I do enjoy having a car like an XJS that you do not see
very often. Does not take away the simple beauty and raw
power of the cars of the 60’s and early 70’s-just tired of
seeing the same car restored.–
TVE
Boise, Idaho, United States
–Posted using Jag-lovers JagFORUM [forums.jag-lovers.org]–
–Support Jag-lovers - Donate at http://www.jag-lovers.org/donate04.php

// please trim quoted text to context only

Does everyone here favor cars introduced about the time they
were 7 years old?

The rule doesn’t work for me. There weren’t many new cars introduced
in 1946!

Your favorite cars are fighter planes and tanks?

– Kirbert

// please trim quoted text to context onlyOn 13 Aug 2012 at 11:22, Ed Sowell wrote:

I’m that 7yr old rule follower for sure, I would come home
from school and see our neighbors '71 Mach 1 out in the drive
and go , ‘‘man that’s so cool!’’ so (you guessed it) I’ve been
totally hypmotized with the 71-73 so called ‘‘biggie mustangs’’
since.

See, I think the Mach 1 is OK, but it’s nothing special to me. Gotta
be something about one’s age.

I wonder if the automakers are missing out on a market for retro
cars. I mean, they try to build retro cars, but they miss as often
as they hit (note the recent Ford T-bird as well as the current
Mustang, two ends of the success spectrum). Perhaps they should put
together a focus group of people all the same age and have them
provide feedback on their designs.

I’m really impressed by what Superformance is up to. Rather than
just building a replica of the Cobra Daytona Coupe, they’ve updated
the design a bit, scaled the whole car up to provide reasonable
interior space, and shoehorned a boatload of modern hp under the
hood. I think the result is even prettier than the original Daytona:

– Kirbert

// please trim quoted text to context onlyOn 13 Aug 2012 at 13:45, SloverJr. wrote:

Now, we have a 2000 car in 2012 (equivalent to the 51 Merc
in 1963) that doesn’t, to me at least, look any different
from the ‘‘new’’ ones.

Yeah, but it probably doesn’t have Bluetooth or in-dash voice-
activated GPS navigation or an iPod dock. IOW, a hopelessly outdated
POS!

– Kirbert

// please trim quoted text to context onlyOn 13 Aug 2012 at 12:27, Robert Wilkinson wrote:

In reply to a message from Kirbert sent Mon 13 Aug 2012:

I was born in 1948.
To me the best appearing cars are, XK120, MGTC, XK-E series
1&3, Gary Coopers Boat tail Dusenberg. The Boat tailed
special in The Thin Man series, 1957 Ferrari pontoon fender,
Bugatti Type 57, All roadsters & Ferrari Daytona, Bugatti
Royal.–
MGuar
Wayzata Minnesota, United States
–Posted using Jag-lovers JagFORUM [forums.jag-lovers.org]–
–Support Jag-lovers - Donate at http://www.jag-lovers.org/donate04.php

// please trim quoted text to context only

In reply to a message from Kirbert sent Mon 13 Aug 2012:

Several years ago on these forums I suggested that Jaguar
should perhaps build another good road burner without all
the frills. I pointed out that I’d like a stick shift,
lightweight car with perhaps a 4 liter 6 cylinder engine
that went really well but did not have things like electric
windows, super mega stereo, navigation and other electronic
junk that I didn’t really need.

Well I thought other might agree but no,the chorus told me I
was a fossil and should just stick with an E type because no
one now would buy such a car.

Interesting, I guess its more important to have all the
gizmos now.

Alex P–
alex paterson
–Posted using Jag-lovers JagFORUM [forums.jag-lovers.org]–
–Support Jag-lovers - Donate at http://www.jag-lovers.org/donate04.php

// please trim quoted text to context only

In reply to a message from alex paterson sent Tue 14 Aug 2012:

Took my first ride in a Porsche (356?) in 1954 on the Autobahn,
from Frankfurt to … very quick, over 100mph
in a little silver ‘‘road car’’ belonging to my dads friend. What a
kick to feel the downforce as the speed increased. 1955, my dad
chases down a ‘RED’ machine on the Autobahn at an Esso Station and
Gasthouse. We stopped to look at this thing with Gull Wing doors
open and the drver filling it up. ‘’ you like the new MBZ machine?
It is a 300SL I am delivering up to Zandvoort for a race driver. It
has an inline 6 engine and revolutionary fuel injection system,
notice the beautiful German workmanship. I am pleased to meet
you…my name is Juan Manuel Fangio. My beginning in the sports car
world as a teen. Later in college Austin Healey and road race
rallies, I navigated while my friend Chris Barden (ex-Air Force)
proceeded to run the tread off a set of new Pirellis from the top
of Mulholland Drive down to Malibu in one run. Thank God for seat
belts, would have felt better with a roll bar. We had a lot of fun
those days. My brothers Bug Eye Sprite in autocross races and blown
head gaskets…Super 90 from LA to Mammoth Mtn off Hwy 395 on
ski weekends, the ladies were beautiful and hungry, they still are
but now everyone drives ‘‘Suuuuuuubaruuuuuuuuuuuuuus’’ or whatever. I
always thought the Porsches, Jag120,140,150 and Mercs the best
designs, the rolling Bannana was ???. JW–
The original message included these comments:

Several years ago on these forums I suggested that Jaguar
should perhaps build another good road burner without all
the frills. I pointed out that I’d like a stick shift,
lightweight car with perhaps a 4 liter 6 cylinder engine
Well I thought other might agree but no,the chorus told me I


86XJ-S cpes,Ballet I,Act II,Lutz stg.1,288 Dana
Fresno, CA, United States
–Posted using Jag-lovers JagFORUM [forums.jag-lovers.org]–
–Support Jag-lovers - Donate at http://www.jag-lovers.org/donate04.php

// please trim quoted text to context only

Several years ago on these forums I suggested that Jaguar
should perhaps build another good road burner without all
the frills. I pointed out that I’d like a stick shift,
lightweight car with perhaps a 4 liter 6 cylinder engine
that went really well but did not have things like electric
windows, super mega stereo, navigation and other electronic
junk that I didn’t really need.

I’m with you! I would be happy with a DCT, though. And an aluminum
body. And supercharged.

I’d REALLY like to own a car without power steering. Nothing beats
the feel of a car that doesn’t need power steering.

Well I thought other might agree but no,the chorus told me I
was a fossil and should just stick with an E type because no
one now would buy such a car.

Interesting, I guess its more important to have all the
gizmos now.

I don’t horribly mind the electronic gizmos because I’m not convinced
they weigh much. I’m more upset about the ever-increasing US crash
test regulations which are making tanks out of cars. The Smart
weighs more than about half the cars of the 1960’s.

– Kirbert

// please trim quoted text to context onlyOn 14 Aug 2012 at 10:47, alex paterson wrote:

While driving around my Japanese appliances, just about the only car
that tempts me these days is the Ariel Atom – and that’s just about
as far from mainstream as you can get. Why don’t the major car
companies produce something like that? Or, better question, why
don’t the major motorcycle companies produce something like that? I
would think any company that manufactures a CBR600RR could easily
produce something akin to an Atom.

– Kirbert

// please trim quoted text to context only

In reply to a message from Kirbert sent Tue 14 Aug 2012:

I was born in 1966 and have never been into the muscle cars. I was
always partial to the cars from the 1980’s sepcifically teh Porsche
928, Porsche 911 (with the big whale tale), and of course my XJS.
I too like the Toyota Supra (turbocharged of course) and the Nissan
280 Z then the 300 ZX. I love the cars that you just don’t see
very often. In addition I agree about the issues with all of the
electronic devices in cars today; too much of a distraction and
certainly detracts from driving. One of the most pleasurable
things that I do is get out on the interstate with my XJS and just
tool along at about 80. I don’t even have the stereo on half of
the time because I just love to listen to my car. I am not one who
is looking forward to the day when cars will drive themselves.
What’s the fun in that?

Just my opinion.

Regards,

Eric

West Jefferson Hills, PA–
Eric J. Randolph
–Posted using Jag-lovers JagFORUM [forums.jag-lovers.org]–
–Support Jag-lovers - Donate at http://www.jag-lovers.org/donate04.php

// please trim quoted text to context only

In reply to a message from Kirbert sent Tue 14 Aug 2012:

I was born in 1966 and have never been into the muscle cars. I was
always partial to the cars from the 1980’s sepcifically teh Porsche
928, Porsche 911 (with the big whale tale), and of course my XJS.
I too like the Toyota Supra (turbocharged of course) and the Nissan
280 Z then the 300 ZX. I love the cars that you just don’t see
very often. In addition I agree about the issues with all of the
electronic devices in cars today; too much of a distraction and
certainly detracts from driving. One of the most pleasurable
things that I do is get out on the interstate with my XJS and just
tool along at about 80. I don’t even have the stereo on half of
the time because I just love to listen to my car. I am not one who
is looking forward to the day when cars will drive themselves.
What’s the fun in that?

Just my opinion.

Regards,

Eric

West Jefferson Hills, PA–
Eric J. Randolph
–Posted using Jag-lovers JagFORUM [forums.jag-lovers.org]–
–Support Jag-lovers - Donate at http://www.jag-lovers.org/donate04.php

// please trim quoted text to context only

In reply to a message from Kirbert sent Tue 14 Aug 2012:

I was born in 1966 and have never been into the muscle cars. I was
always partial to the cars from the 1980’s sepcifically teh Porsche
928, Porsche 911 (with the big whale tale), and of course my XJS.
I too like the Toyota Supra (turbocharged of course) and the Nissan
280 Z then the 300 ZX. I love the cars that you just don’t see
very often. In addition I agree about the issues with all of the
electronic devices in cars today; too much of a distraction and
certainly detracts from driving. One of the most pleasurable
things that I do is get out on the interstate with my XJS and just
tool along at about 80. I don’t even have the stereo on half of
the time because I just love to listen to my car. I am not one who
is looking forward to the day when cars will drive themselves.
What’s the fun in that?

Just my opinion.

Regards,

Eric

West Jefferson Hills, PA–
The original message included these comments:

While driving around my Japanese appliances, just about the only car


Eric J. Randolph
–Posted using Jag-lovers JagFORUM [forums.jag-lovers.org]–
–Support Jag-lovers - Donate at http://www.jag-lovers.org/donate04.php

// please trim quoted text to context only

In reply to a message from Kirbert sent Tue 14 Aug 2012:

I was born in 1966 and have never been into the muscle cars. I was
always partial to the cars from the 1980’s sepcifically teh Porsche
928, Porsche 911 (with the big whale tale), and of course my XJS.
I too like the Toyota Supra (turbocharged of course) and the Nissan
280 Z then the 300 ZX. I love the cars that you just don’t see
very often. In addition I agree about the issues with all of the
electronic devices in cars today; too much of a distraction and
certainly detracts from driving. One of the most pleasurable
things that I do is get out on the interstate with my XJS and just
tool along at about 80. I don’t even have the stereo on half of
the time because I just love to listen to my car. I am not one who
is looking forward to the day when cars will drive themselves.
What’s the fun in that?

Just my opinion.

Regards,

Eric

West Jefferson Hills, PA–
The original message included these comments:

While driving around my Japanese appliances, just about the only car


Eric J. Randolph
–Posted using Jag-lovers JagFORUM [forums.jag-lovers.org]–
–Support Jag-lovers - Donate at http://www.jag-lovers.org/donate04.php

// please trim quoted text to context only