Artofwheels’s Classic Car, Motorcycle Art Blog

Ford Cortina Mk2 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970

Cortina Mk2 1966 – 70

Classic Cortina Mk2 1966 - 1970

October 1966 gave first sight of the new Cortina. It offered crosp, clean almost European lines and a more powerful 1300cc engine complementing the 1500cc unit. Crossflow engines were available from August 1967. New safety features were strongly promoted – including door handles and switches that were designed to ‘break-away’ in an accident, child-proof locks on rear doors and dished steering wheels. Apart from the charismatic Lotus Cortina which was discontinued in 1970, the M II range will probably be best remembered for one particular model – the 1600E.

If you would like to find out more about the classic Ford Cortina car art featured in this guide please click here.


November 6, 2009 Posted by | Ford Cortina, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Classic Mini Cars: Mini Cooper S Mk2, Austin Mini Saloon, Austin Seven Countryman, Austin Seven

Classic Mini Cars

What is your favourite Mini car?

Morris Mini Minor

Classic Morris Mini Minor

The new Morris Mini Minor was almost exactly the same car as the Austin Seven ( or Austin Mini ), the only differences being the radiator grille, the colour schemes and the fact that it was built at Cowley rather than Longbridge, Super saloons available from 1961, key starts and Hydrolastic suspension from 1964.

Austin Seven

Classic Austin Seven

Launched to a dumb-founded motoring press in 1959, the Alec Issigonis designed Austin 7 and Morris Mini Minor introduced a whole new concept in car design. The new cars were more or less instantly referred to as the Mini and seemed to capture the mood of the swinging-sixties, they seemed also to break the class barriers that surrounded British cars in general, everybody wanted to drive a Mini.

Mini Cooper

Classic Mini Cooper

As the first sporting Mini, the Cooper was recognisable by its grille of 11 horizontal bars, Super-type body trim, remote control gearshift and front disc brakes. Twin carburettor engine gives 55bhp, and with the original 997cc unit (up to 1964) a top speed of 85mph, with acceleration to match. Total production, to 1967 – 44,859.

Austin Seven Countryman

Classic Austin Seven Countryman

During the first eight years of production, the trim and badging of  BMC’s Mini was reshuffled from time to time. One interesting new variant, announced in late 1962, was the plain metal-bodied Countryman estate, offered as an option to the “country cottage” wood battened variety.

Wolseley Hornet

Classic Wolseley Hornet

Introduced in 1961, the Hornet was basically a BMC Mini fitted with a lengthened box-shaped tail, a distinctive nose, and a more comprehensive trimmed interior. Except for its nose and badging, the Riley Elf was the same as this car. Both Wolseley and Riley versions were given a 998cc engine in 1963.

Austin Mini Saloon

Classic Car Prints

From late-1964, the Hydrolastic suspension system, interconnected front to rear, took over from the rubber cone systems, but only on the saloons, while from late 1965 the new four-speed AP automatic transmission was offered as an option on saloons only. The Austin Super Mini had slightly better trim and a different grille from the ordinary deluxe models.

Austin Countryman

Classic Austin Countryman

From 1960 the Mini range included an estate car version built on a longer chassis, which it shared with the mini van and mini pick-up. The model was badged as either the Austin Seven Countryman or the Morris Mini Traveller.

Mini Cooper S

Classic Mini Cooper S

The First of the Mini Cooper S types appeared in April, this being one step up from the Mini Cooper., with a special and more robust over-square version of the A-series engine, of 70bhp/1,077cc, and with larger disc brakes. This car was built with motor-sport in mind. Later in 1964 there would be other, even more specialized Cooper S models.


Classic Mini-Moke

Following several years of previews, the Mini-Moke finally went on sale, badged as an Austin or a Morris and fitted with the standard Mini 850 engine, transmission and suspension units. Though based on the Mini’s layout, the open-top structure was unique, with four-seats, very low sides and no doors. A rudimentary hood was provided but there were no side curtains.

Mini Cooper S Mk2

Classic Mini Cooper S Mk2

The Mini Cooper caught the motoring world’s imagination during the Sixties, notching up many Rally victories at the highest levels. Many consider the Cooper S to be the ultimate Mini variant, it originally appeared in 1963 powered by the 1,071cc A-series engine, with the 1,275cc engined S arriving in 1964. 1967 saw the introduction of the Mk II Cooper and Cooper S models, which received the Mk 2 Mini improvements in line with the rest of the Mini range.

Thank you for reading my guide and I hope you found it interesting!

November 6, 2009 Posted by | Mini Cars | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bubble and Micro Cars: Zundapp Janus, Peel Trident, Nobel 200, Messerschmitt KR

Bubble and Micro Cars

What is your favourite Bubble or Micro Car?

Classic Bubble and Micro Cars

The 1950’s “Bubble Car” ushered in a new era of inexpensive motoring, three-wheeled micro-cars that could be driven on a motorcycle license and were taxed accordingly. British models were soon added to foreign imports. This guide features some of the most popular and well known.

Berkeley T60

Classic Berkeley T60

The three-wheeled Berkley T60 effectively became an updated Morgan in the late 1950s. Initially a 4-wheeled sports version, Lawrie Bond modified the rear-end to create an instant success with genuine sports-car ability. The 328cc Excelsior engine gave a possible top speed at 60mph, and 1850 were built in just over two years. The marque died in the late 1960s with the collapse of its parent caravan market but faithful enthusiasts still keep many on the roads using the original moulds as the re-introduced Bandini.

BMW Isetta

Classic BMW Isetta

In 1955 Rennzo Revolta sold the manufacturing rights of his unsuccessful bubble car to BMW, and the rest as they say, is history. BMW replaced the two-stroke with their own 247cc single-cylinder 4-stroke. A 295cc engine came in 1956 for export, with different trim and sliding windows. The forward swing door enabled front on kerb parking. Production continued of this popular model, four-wheel for export and three-wheel for home used until 1962.


Classic Fuldamobil

In 1950 Karl Schmitt of Electro-maschinenbay in Fuldz produced his unique Fuldamobil. Built under licence in many countries, this wooden-framed, alloy-panelled bodied micro-car was powered by a variety of engines, from 200cc ILO to 360cc Sachs all with four-speed box and electrical reverse. The two-seater coupe was built along car lines, but with the engine mounted alongside and driving the rear wheel.

Heinkel/Trojan 200

Classic Heinkel and Trojan 200

Considered one of the prettiest bubbles, the Heinkel Kabinen entered the German market in 1955. The 175cc four-stroke air-cooled engine gave two adults/two children a top speed of 56mph with 100mpg. Soft-top convertibles were also built, sealing the front opening door and cutting the body to waist height. Production moved in 1958 to Dundalk Engineering in Northern Ireland, and again in 1962 to the Croydon based Trojan Company who with modification, marketed it as the 200 and built some 10,000 units.

Meadows Frisky

Classic Meadows Frisky

The Raymond Flowers designed Frisky began life as a four-wheeler in 1957. The first three-wheeled “Frisky Three” was powered by a 197cc two-stroke with coil front suspension and rear by pivoted-arm. Both coupe and convertible were offered, with Family Three in 1959 designed for 2+2 children. Production was abandoned in 1964 after the Prince model, which used a 328cc power plant. The design was then taken to Australia to become the Zeta.

Messerschmitt KR

Classic Messerschmitt KR

The Messerschmitt is probably the best known microcar, and was designed by Fritz Fend, technical officer of the famous aircraft company. Introduced in 1953, its unique welded steel structure was chassis-less, and had handle-bar steering and twist-grip throttle, which powered a 9hp 4-gear transmission. Over 20,000 KR175’s were produced, with further refinement on the more powerful KR200. A variety of cabriolet soft-tops and Plexiglass dome canopies lifted for access to the two-seat tandem cockpit.

Nobel 200

Classic Nobel 200

Starting with limited success in 1957 as Fuldamobil’s King, this attractive glass-fibre bodied vehicle was then produced by York Noble industries. The Fichtel and Sachs 191cc engine provided some 90mpg at 45-plus mph. Cable brakes to the front wheels only were insufficient for the potential all-up weight, which could provide seats for two adults, a cramped rear bench for kiddies or storage, and a large front foot-well for extra luggage.

Peel Trident

Classic Peel Trident

The Trident was a two-seat version of the earlier P50 and used the same 49cc DKW two-stroke. A front-hinged plexi-glass dome provided access to the twin-seat cabin. At just under 6ft long, and with the 5in wheels giving an 8ft turning circle, there was no need for a reverse gear, being light enough to lift the back end for parking. De-misting was a constant problem as there was no airflow inside the cabin.

Zundapp Janus

Classic Zundapp Janus

In 1956, Fritz Neumeyer of Zundapp (a previous collaborator with Porsche to produce the legendary Beetle), took out a licence from Dornier for a small 4-seat vehicle named the Delta, and from this developed the Janus 250. The unconventional back-to-back paired seating and similar front and back opening doors made for a more compact symmetrical car. Engine: 248cc single-cylinder 2-stroke, mounted centrally between the seats, with four-speed and reverse gearbox and hydraulic brakes on all four wheels. Top speed with accelerator hard to floor was 50mph.

Thank you for reading my guide and I hope you found it interesting!

November 5, 2009 Posted by | Micro and Bubble Cars | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Classic Ford Cortina Mk1 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966

Classic Ford Cortina Mk1 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966

What is your favourite Ford Cortina?

Classic Ford Cortina Mk1 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966

In the late 1950s, Ford identified the need for an all-new family car. Although tempted by BMCs mini-car concept, which had taken the motoring world by storm, their engineers took a very conscious decision not to try and emulate this, but instead to build a reliable roomy car at a low price – the Ford Cortina. The only car that Ford launched in 1962, it was a design that went on to become the benchmark for family and business motoring for the next two decades.

Classic Ford Cortina MkI 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966

The Mk 1 was launched in September 1962 with just one engine size of 1,195cc. The initial production of only 20,000 also carried a Consul bonnet badge. By January 1963, a 1,500cc-engined model was available with larger brakes and chome body strip embellishments. With prices including purchase-tax of £639 for the 2-door standard model and £666 10s 3d, for the deluxe model, Cortina soon became Ford’s most important car range, sweeping all competition aside to become Britain’s best selling car.

If you would like to find out more about the classic Ford Cortina car art featured in this guide please click here.

Thank you for reading my guide and I hope you found it interesting!

November 5, 2009 Posted by | Ford Cortina | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Classic Mercedes SL Cars: 500SL, 280SL, 190SL, 300SL Roadster, 350SL,

Mercedes SL

What is your favourite Mercedes SL car model?

This guide traces the development of the original 300SL of 1954 to the 500SL of the nineties.

Mercedes 300SL

Unveiled at the 1954 New York Motor Show as a fully equipped and stunningly specified production model, the 300SL stole the show. It was recognisably derived from the all-conquering racer of less than two years before and far from being toned down, it now offered even more performance and even an improved chassis. There was direct fuel injection, which was a world first for a production car and the exceptional aerodynamic styling of the 300SL was revolutionary. Not only was it the fastest production car in the world at the time, it was also a perfectly practical and civilised grand tourer. $6,820 when new, the Gullwing coupe was already being described as an all time classic.

Mercedes 190SL

Alongside the 300SL Gullwing coupe at its launch in New York in 1954 was another Mercedes sports car. It had something of the look of the 300SL around the nose, it sat on the same wheelbase and it seemed of similar proportions, but under the skin this neat two seater convertible was really a baby brother. Called the 190SL, its purpose was a commercial one and with clever marketing it capitalised on the 300SL’s already well established reputation. Far simpler than the space-framed, fuel injected Gullwing, the 190SL would be reasonably easy and economical to build in respectable volumes and for anyone wanting to buy on the first rung of the Mercedes sporting ladder, the price was affordable at less than $4,000.

Mercedes 300SL Roadster

The inevitable development of the Gullwing was a roadster version of the 300SL and this was finally unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1957. A great deal more than just a coupe with the top chopped off, the roadster was heavily redesigned almost from the ground up, which offered a convenient way of putting right some of the shortcomings of the original. All 300SL roadsters were fitted with the competition camshaft option from the coupe and had a higher compression ratio, taking power output to 250bhp at 6,200rpm. It was not quite enough to offset the higher weight of the roadster, but ultimate performance was no longer the requirement of the 300SL by the time it had reached the roadster stage.

Mercedes 280SL

The upgrade of the 230SL to the 250SL in 1967 proved to be remarkably short-lived, surviving less than a year before Mercedes introduced the 280SL, a model that would see the second generation through to the end of its production life. For the 250 in 1967 there was a new seven main bearing engine like those fitted in the 250 saloons, the option of a five speed gearbox and disc brakes all-round as standard. In 1968, the 280SL with its 2.8 litre engine gave another good boost in torque and with a host of detail changes inside the car, many connected with safety, the 280SL received the same enthusiastic welcome and praise from the critics as had the 230SL and 250SL models before it.

Mercedes 350SL

By the late 1960s Mercedes knew they needed to invest in the future and with environmental and safety legislation becoming ever more stringent, it would be necessary to invest in rather more than just another upgrading. By the time the third generation SLs appeared in 1971, they had little in common with their predecessors other than the SL badge. Moving ever more towards luxury and safety, the 350SL answered the critics through, with more power, all new suspension and a stylish new look with emphasis on low height and width. Perhaps the automatic transmission and weight kept it from being a sports car, but if one wants to drive fast in comfort, avoiding the clumsiness of a big sedan, the 350SL is the ultimate two-seater luxury car.

Mercedes 500SL

The flagship of the sporting end of the Mercedes range, the 500SL is the most expensive model in a three car family which has taken the SL philosophy into the 1990s. Launched at the Geneva Motor Show in 1989, these fourth generation models had been fully ten years in the design process. Highly refined, yet still very sporty, the 500SL features a wonderful V8 quad-cam 32 valve engine giving a capability of 157mph and an acceleration time from standstill to 60mph in just 5.9 seconds. Safety, typically for Mercedes, is also high on the list, with such advanced features as an automatic roll-over bar, which operates only when needed and seats that incorporate safety belts. An assured future classic.

Thank you for reading my guide and I hope you found it interesting!

November 4, 2009 Posted by | Mercedes SL | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Classic Ford Escort RS2000 Mk2 1975 (RS 2000 Mk 2)

Escort RS2000 (mk2)

What is your favourite Ford Escort?

Classic Escort RS2000 (mk2)

With its new droopsnoot nose, the new RS 2000 created a stir at the 1975 Geneva Motor Show. Like all previous RS Escorts, it was based on the two-door saloon body style and featured extensive used of matt black paint in place of conventional bright metal. Clearly aimed at the sporting buyer who wanted refinement and performance,the model was a success, gaining higher demand than earlier cars.

If you wish to find out more about the classic Ford Escort art featured in this guide please click here.

Thank you for reading my guide and I hope you found it interesting!

November 4, 2009 Posted by | Ford Escort | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Classic London Taxis: Austin FX3, Beardmore Paramount Mk7, Austin FX4 (Fairway)

London Taxis

What is your favourite London Taxi?

Classic London Taxis

The London Taxi is surely one of the most instantly recognisable motor vehicles in the world, as much a part of London as Big Ben, Piccadilly Circus, Tower Bridge and Trafalgar Square. This guide features the specifics of some of the classic London Cabs:

Austin FX3

Classic Austin FX3

Produced 1948-58. FX3 (petrol) 1948-58; FX3D (diesel) 1950-58

Specification 1948 (petrol)

Engine: 2,199cc, 4-cylinder ohv.
Transmission: 4-speed manual.
Wheels and Tyres: Disc-type wheels with six securing studs; 5.75×16 Super Taxi Dunlop tyres.
Brakes: Girling mechanical.
Turning Circle: 7.62 metres (25ft).
Maximum Speed: 96km/h (60mph).
Dimensions: Wheelbase, 2.81m, track, front and rear, 1.42m; overall length, 4.401m; overall width, 1.715m; height 1.797m
No. Produced: 7,267 examples
Bodybuilder: Carbodies

Beardmore Paramount Mk7

Classic Car Prints

Produced 1955-67
Beardmore Mk 7 (diesel) 1958-67

Specification1955 (petrol)

Engine: 1,508cc, 4-cylinder ohv (Ford Consul)
Transmission: 3-speed manual, column change.
Wheels and Tyres: Pressed-steel wheels with Dunlop 5.75×16 tyres.
Brakes: Lockheed hydraulic.
Turning Circle: 7.62 metres (25ft).
Dimensions: Wheelbase, 2.642m, track (front) 1.441m, (rear) 1.432m; overall length, 4.228m; overall width, 1.743m; height 1.829m
No Produced: 656 examples
Bodybuilders: Windovers, with later examples by Weymann.

Austin FX4 (& Fairway)

Classic Austin FX4 Fairway

Produced 1958-97. FX4 (diesel) 1958; FX4 (petrol) from 1962; FX4R from 1982; FX4S from 1985; FX4S Plus from 1987; Fairway from 1988; LT1 Carbodies Fairway from 1992.

Specification 1958 (diesel)
2,178cc, 4-cylinder ohv, diesel (Austin)
Transmission: 3-speed automatic (Borg-Warner).
Wheels and Tyres: Disc-type wheels with 5.75×16 Super Taxi Cord tubeless Dunlop tyres.
Brakes: 4-wheel hydraulic.
Turning Circle: 7.62 metres (25ft)
Maximum Speed: 96km/h (60mph).
Dimensions: Wheelbase, 2.81m, track, front and rear, 1,42m; overall length, 4.566m; overall width, 1.743m; height 1.765m.
No. Produced: approx. 77,000 examples (FX4/Fairway)
Bodybuilder: Carbodies.


Classic Winchester

Produced 1963-72. Series 1 (diesel) 1963-64, Mk2 1964-66; MkIII 1967-68, Mk IV 1968-72

Specification Mk IV

Engine: 1.6 litre petrol (Ford).
Transmission: 4-speed manual.
Wheels and Tyres: 14-inch wheels and tyres.
Brakes: Drum.
Turning Circle: 7.62 metres (25ft).
Maximum Speed: 105km/h (65mph).
Dimensions: Wheelbase, 2.69m, track, front and rear, 1.64m; overall length, 4.36m; overall width, 1.72m; height 1.83m.

No. Produced: approx 50 examples.
Bodybuilders: Wincanton Engineering.


Classic Metrocab

Produced 1987-99. Metrocab Series 2 from 1995; Series 3 from 1998.


Engine: 2,496cc, 4-cylinder ohv, diesel (Ford).
Transmission: 4-speed automatic.
Wheels and Tyres: 5JX16 pressed-steel wheels with 175R 16 radial ply tyres.
Brakes: Dual-circuit hydraulic to all four wheels.
Turning Circle: 7.7 metres (25ft).
Maximum Speed: 129km/h (80mph).
Dimensions: Wheelbase, 2.90m, track (front) 1.45m, (rear) 1.47m; overall length, 4.505m; overall width, 1.44m; height 1.755m
No. Produced: 4283 to end 1996.
Bodybuilder: MCW (S1 and 1995 model year S2s). Hoopers (post 1995 S2 and S3).


Classic LT1 TX1

Produced 1997-on.

Bronze, Silver and Royale.

Specification 1997

Engine: Nissan 2.7-litre
Transmission: 5-speed manual, 3-speed automatic.
Wheels and Tyres: 5Jx 16 pressed-steel wheels with 175R 16 radial ply tyres.
Brakes: Dual-circuit hydraulic to all four wheels.
Turning Circle: 7.7 metres (25ft).
Maximum Speed: 145km’h (90mph).
Dimensions: Wheelbase, 2.9m, track (front) 1.45m, (rear) 1.47m; overall length, 4.505m; overall width, 1.44m; height 1.755m
No. Produced: 60 a week in 1997, increasing to 70-80 a week in 1999.
Bodybuilder: Carbodies (LT1).

Thank you for reading my guide and I hope you found it interesting!

November 3, 2009 Posted by | London Taxis | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Classic Ford Escort RS1800 Mk2 1975, 1976, 1977 RS 1800

Classic Ford Escort RS1800 Mk2

Is the Ford Escort RS1800 your favourite car?

The RS 1800 was produced in very limited numbers between 1975 and 1977. Fitted with an enlarged version of the 16-valve BDA engine, cubic capacity was now 1,835cc and power output had risen to approximately 115bhp. The RS 1800 model was used with great success by the works rally team and numerous private owners.

If you wish to find out more about the classic Ford Escort art featured in this guide please click here.

Thank you for reading my guide and I hope you found it interesting!

November 3, 2009 Posted by | Ford Escort | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Land Rover Ninety, One Ten Defender (90, 110)

Land Rover 90, 110 and Defender

What is your favourite Land Rover model?

Land Rover Ninety, One Ten Defender

This is one of many illustrated classic car guides I’ve created for the community. I hope you enjoy it. If you wish to find out more about the classic Land Rover art featured in this guide please click here.

This guide details the coil-sprung Land Rover, covering the 90, 110 and Defender models produced in 1983.

Ninety Land-Rover (Pick-up with canvass tilt)

Ninety Land-Rover (Pick-up with canvass tilt)

The Land-Rover Ninety and One-Ten were phased in over 1983-1984 to replace the long serving Series III models. They represented a huge advance over the Series III because they had coil sprung suspension instead of leaf-springs, which improved the ride, and disc front brakes, which improved their stopping ability. The long-wheelbase One Ten model arrived first, replacing the Series III 109 in 1983. The Ninety arrived just over a year later to replace the Series III 88-inch. Its wheelbase was actually 92.9- inches between axle centres, rather than the 90 inches its name suggested.

Ninety (County Station Wagon)

Ninety (County Station Wagon)

The short-wheelbase companion to the One Ten was announced in June 1984 as the Ninety, and like the One Ten the model made its mark straight away. By comparison to the 88″ Series 3, the coil-sprung Ninety offered a much improved ride together with better carrying capacity. Four different bodies were available: soft-top, hard-top, pickup and seven-seater Station Wagon, with a choice of either a 2.3-litre petrol or 2.5-litre diesel engine. V8 power for the Ninety models was made available from May 1985.

Ninety (British Army Hardtop)

Ninety (British Army Hardtop)

It has been estimated that as many as 40% of all Land Rovers built have entered service with military or parliamentary organisations, a figure that proved a major influence on the choice of the Defender name for the coil-sprung Land Rovers of the Nineties. Short-wheelbase coil-sprung Land Rovers are far less common in military service than long-wheelbase versions, mainly due to their relatively restricted carrying capacity. They are often specified for communications and liaison duties rather than as cargo or personnel carriers.

Defender 110 (County Station Wagon)

Defender 110 (County Station Wagon)

In 1990, the Ninety and the One Ten were replaced by the Defender 90 and 110, which were simply evolutionary models wearing new badging. The key change that came with the Defenders was that the old turbo-diesel engine was replaced by a de-tuned version of the 200 Tdi turbo-diesel from the Discovery. The V8 remained available, and until 1994 so did the four-cylinder petrol. From 1995. however, all Defenders for the British market had Tdi engines unless to special order.

Defender 90 (County Station Wagon)

Defender 90 (County Station Wagon)

During the first few years of Defender production the vehicles specification changed only in small details. Most notable was the improved LT77S gearbox for the 1992 models and the June 1993 introduction of rear discs, replacing drums that had been used for all previous coil-sprung Land Rovers. At the same time the front discs on One Tens, and Nineties with the High Load Suspension option became ventilated. From March 1994, the 200Tdi engine was replaced by the quieter 300Tdi type, now coming in full 111bhp Discovery tune.

Thank you for reading my guide and I hope you found it interesting!

November 2, 2009 Posted by | Land Rover | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Classic Ford Escort RS2000 MkI Car (RS 2000)

Escort RS2000

Is the Escort RS2000 your favourite car?

Basically the original Mk1 RS 2000 was a re-engined and refined RS 1600, featuring Ford’s new overhead-camshaft Pinto unit. At 1.6 litres, the Kent engine was already at its size limit and to increase performance beyond Mexico standards, this 1,993cc engine was the ideal choice. In the RS2000 it produced 100bhp (DIN) at 5,750rpm.

If you wish to find out more about the classic Ford Escort art featured in this guide please click here.

November 2, 2009 Posted by | Ford Escort | , , , , , | Leave a comment