Fiat Dino

The Fiat Dino was a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive coupe that was built using the Dino V6 engine designed in part by Enzo Ferrari’s Son, Alfredo “Dino” Ferrari. The Fiat Dino originally used a 2.0L version of this engine that produced 158 horsepower and 120 lb-ft of torque. In 1969 Fiat introduced a larger displacement engine of 2.4L that produced 178 horsepower and 159 lb-ft of torque. Two different body styles were used for the coupe and convertible versions, with Bertone designing the hard top and Pininfarina designing the open top. These cars would be produced from 1966 to 1973 with a total of 7,803 cars being produced. These were one of the more stylish coupes of the early 1970s.

Lamborghini Countach

The Lamborghini Countach is one of the earliest cars to be called a “super car”. The Countach was produced from 1974 to 1990. The car was originally powered by a 4.0L V12 engine that produces 375 ps and 266 lb-ft of torque. This car had a top speed of 192 mph in 1974, which was ridiculously fast at the time and still to this day. In my opinion the car looked its best in the 1970s as the LP400. It had a sleek and sexy look that the newer models with the flared fenders and large rear wings just didn’t have. The car got heavier and the displacement grew as well. Some people hate it, others love it, but you have to admit it was one of the most discussed sports cars of the 1970s.

The video below discusses the Lamborghini Countach.

De Tomaso Mangusta

De Tomaso Mangusta

The De Tomaso Mangusta is a exotic sports car built by Italian Auto manufacturer De Tomaso built between 1967 to 1971. The word Mangusta is Italian for Mongoose. The De Tomaso Mangusta is powered by either a 289 CID or 302 CID Ford V8 depending on when they were produced. The early cars were equipped with the 289 HiPo while the later cars had the 302 engine. In total, 401 Mangustas were built and about 150 of them were European specification. One of the cars were built with a Chevrolet engine for GM Vice President, Bill Mitchell. The De Tomaso Mangusta was built from 1967 to 1971 and was replaced by the De Tomaso Pantera.

The video below shows a De Tomaso Mangusta in excellent condition.

Lotus Esprit S1

Lotus Esprit S1

The Lotus Esprit S1 was launched in 1975 at the Paris Auto Show and went in production the following year in 1976. The Esprit replaced the Europa in the Lotus line up of sports cars. The S1 was constructed with a steel backbone chassis with fiberglass body. The S1 was featured in the James Bond film The Spy who Loved me in 1977. Lotus claimed an 0 to 60 mph acceleration time of 6.8 seconds and a top speed of 138 mph. This car was powered by a 2.0L four-cylinder mated to a 5-speed manual trans-axle.

Below is some footage of the Lotus Esprit S1

DOME Zero

The Dome Zero is a Japanese prototype sports car that is powered by the L28 inline-six cylinder engine. The project was started by Minoru Hayashi in 1975 and the goal was to produce a small volume of the Zero. He would use knoledge gained from his racing career to make the Dome Zero a great performer. The Dome Zero ended up not making it into production but it was a ground breaking design to come out of Japan.

The video below shows some great footage of the Dome Zero. The video is in Japanese.

De Tomaso Pantera

De Tomaso PanteraThe De Tomaso Pantera was first shown at the  New York Motor Show in 1970. Production started in 1971, with a total of around 7,200 cars being built. These cars combine beautiful Italian styling and a powerful Ford V8 engine. The Pantera replaced the more expensive to built De Tomaso Mangusta. These cars often had bad fit and finish and were some what known for being unreliable. Elvis Presley once fired a gun at his Pantera after it wouldn’t start. Several Panteras broke down on Fords test track, and crash testing done at UCLA showed that safety cage engineering was not very well  understood in the 1970s. But with that said, the De Tomaso is a beautiful sports car from the 1970s and the Ford V8 engines sound great.

Porsche 928

The Porsche 928 was first shown at the 1977 Geneva Motor Show. This car was originally meant to replace the Porsche 911 however that never ended up happening and both models were sold side by side until the 928 ended production in 1995. The Porsche 928 had very good handling for a grand touring sports car. This can be attributed to its perfect 50/50 weight distribution. The V8 engine was mounted at the front and the trans-axle at the rear to help with weight distribution.

The 928 never sold as many units as Porsche had hoped, but it has a strong group of enthusiasts within the Porsche community. Some Porsche purist often turn their back on anything that isn’t a 911, however the 928 could match up with the 911 on the track due to its V8 power and predictable handling.