Automotive

Tracing automotive bloodlines: Gizmag goes exploring at Dutton Garage

Tracing automotive bloodlines:...
Walking into Dutton is like walking into a dream garage spanning almost a century
Walking into Dutton is like walking into a dream garage spanning almost a century
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The F50's paint is so thin, you can see the weave of the carbon fiber underneath
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The F50's paint is so thin, you can see the weave of the carbon fiber underneath
Built around a carbon tub, the F50 is powered by a 4.7-liter based on the block from Ferrari's 1990 Formula 1 engine
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Built around a carbon tub, the F50 is powered by a 4.7-liter based on the block from Ferrari's 1990 Formula 1 engine
The 959's interior is totally at odds with the stripped-out ethos that drove competitors like the Ferrari F40
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The 959's interior is totally at odds with the stripped-out ethos that drove competitors like the Ferrari F40
First built in 1986, the 959 was the fastest car in the world until the RUF CTR came along in 1987
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First built in 1986, the 959 was the fastest car in the world until the RUF CTR came along in 1987
Porsche's 959 Komfort was powered by a 2.85-liter twin-turbocharged flat six engine coupled to a six-speed manual gearbox
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Porsche's 959 Komfort was powered by a 2.85-liter twin-turbocharged flat six engine coupled to a six-speed manual gearbox
The 959 pioneered a number of modern supercar technologies, including adjustable ride height and all-wheel drive
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The 959 pioneered a number of modern supercar technologies, including adjustable ride height and all-wheel drive
The 959 was the first road car to ship with tire pressure sensors, magnesium wheels and an active differential
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The 959 was the first road car to ship with tire pressure sensors, magnesium wheels and an active differential
The 959's body is wider than a 911's to handle its extra all-wheel drive hardware
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The 959's body is wider than a 911's to handle its extra all-wheel drive hardware
The car's aerodynamics were designed with 'zero lift' in mind, making it incredibly neutral at high speeds
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The car's aerodynamics were designed with 'zero lift' in mind, making it incredibly neutral at high speeds
Using lightweight materials is in vogue at the moment, but the 959's body incorporated aluminum and kevlar back in 1986
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Using lightweight materials is in vogue at the moment, but the 959's body incorporated aluminum and kevlar back in 1986
Compared to the tires fitted to Ferrari's F40, the 959's 255-section rears are quite narrow
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Compared to the tires fitted to Ferrari's F40, the 959's 255-section rears are quite narrow
The 911 SC has a unique tweed-style trim inside as a throwback to classic Porsches
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The 911 SC has a unique tweed-style trim inside as a throwback to classic Porsches
Setting the 911 Sport Classic from other, more regular cars is lowered suspension and a limited-slip differential
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Setting the 911 Sport Classic from other, more regular cars is lowered suspension and a limited-slip differential
Porsche designed the 911 SC as a 'greatest hits' album for the nameplate - which is why the car sits on Fuchs alloy wheels
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Porsche designed the 911 SC as a 'greatest hits' album for the nameplate - which is why the car sits on Fuchs alloy wheels
The SC's rear wing is designed to reference the 'ducktail' spoiler on the 1973 2.7 RS
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The SC's rear wing is designed to reference the 'ducktail' spoiler on the 1973 2.7 RS
This particular shade of grey is specific to the Sport Classic, as are the stripes that run down the middle
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This particular shade of grey is specific to the Sport Classic, as are the stripes that run down the middle
Just 250 examples of the SC were built, and just one made its way to Australia
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Just 250 examples of the SC were built, and just one made its way to Australia
With Porsche Carbon Ceramic Brakes, this 911 Sport Classic's handling and stopping power are thorughly modern
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With Porsche Carbon Ceramic Brakes, this 911 Sport Classic's handling and stopping power are thorughly modern
When it was first launched, the Miura made its competition look incredibly old fashioned
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When it was first launched, the Miura made its competition look incredibly old fashioned
The Miura was penned by Marcello Gandini for Bertone
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The Miura was penned by Marcello Gandini for Bertone
This particular Miura belonged to supermodel Leslie "Twiggy" Nelson, who specially requested the stripe down the middle
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This particular Miura belonged to supermodel Leslie "Twiggy" Nelson, who specially requested the stripe down the middle
The car was perfonally delivered by legendary test driver Valentino Balboni
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The car was perfonally delivered by legendary test driver Valentino Balboni
The Miura's slick shape helped it onto a top speed of 280 km/h, making it the fastest car in the world at the time
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The Miura's slick shape helped it onto a top speed of 280 km/h, making it the fastest car in the world at the time
0-100 km/h took just 6.7 seconds - hot hatch numbers nowadays, but lightning quick when it was released in 1966
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0-100 km/h took just 6.7 seconds - hot hatch numbers nowadays, but lightning quick when it was released in 1966
As is now common with Lambos, there was an SV version of the Miura produced packing 287 kW
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As is now common with Lambos, there was an SV version of the Miura produced packing 287 kW
Modern road testers have labelled the Countach a bit of a pig to drive, but few cars can match it for sheer drama in the styling stakes
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Modern road testers have labelled the Countach a bit of a pig to drive, but few cars can match it for sheer drama in the styling stakes
Those beautiful wheels were manufactured by Campagnolo
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Those beautiful wheels were manufactured by Campagnolo
Lamborghini went all out with the spoilers and bodykits when it came time to create special edition Countachs
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Lamborghini went all out with the spoilers and bodykits when it came time to create special edition Countachs
This 25th Anniversary Countach was, as you might expect, built to commemorate 25 years since Lamborghini's foundation
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This 25th Anniversary Countach was, as you might expect, built to commemorate 25 years since Lamborghini's foundation
The spoiler could be removed with a toolkit, which raises questions about its aerodynamic necessity
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The spoiler could be removed with a toolkit, which raises questions about its aerodynamic necessity
Power comes from a 5.8-liter V12, enough to hit 100 km/h in just 4.7 seconds
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Power comes from a 5.8-liter V12, enough to hit 100 km/h in just 4.7 seconds
This particular car has done just 18,300 km, unsurprising considering its awkward driving position and heavy controls
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This particular car has done just 18,300 km, unsurprising considering its awkward driving position and heavy controls
A car identical to this starred in the "Wolf of Wall Street"
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A car identical to this starred in the "Wolf of Wall Street"
Repositioned air intakes and fans help to cool the more powerful V12 lurking down back
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Repositioned air intakes and fans help to cool the more powerful V12 lurking down back
The Speciale lost the 458's triple exhaust to make room for its larger diffuser
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The Speciale lost the 458's triple exhaust to make room for its larger diffuser
Thanks to its extra power, weight loss and more sophisticated aerodynamics meant it could lap Fiorano faster than the legendary Enzo
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Thanks to its extra power, weight loss and more sophisticated aerodynamics meant it could lap Fiorano faster than the legendary Enzo
Ferrari fitted the Speciale with something called side-slip control, which allows drivers to get the car sideways without worrying about punting it into a barrier
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Ferrari fitted the Speciale with something called side-slip control, which allows drivers to get the car sideways without worrying about punting it into a barrier
The closer you look at a car like the Speciale, the more neat details reveal themselves
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The closer you look at a car like the Speciale, the more neat details reveal themselves
The creases on the side of the car are fashionable and functional
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The creases on the side of the car are fashionable and functional
Spring loaded doors on the small air dam with the badge inside it open when the car hits 170 km/h. When they're open, the aero tweaks direct air across the radiators
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Spring loaded doors on the small air dam with the badge inside it open when the car hits 170 km/h. When they're open, the aero tweaks direct air across the radiators
The car's V8 revs to 9000 rpm, and signals the end of naturally-aspirated era for mid engined Ferraris. The new 488 GTB is almost as quick, but doesn't have the same soaring redline because of its turbo
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The car's V8 revs to 9000 rpm, and signals the end of naturally-aspirated era for mid engined Ferraris. The new 488 GTB is almost as quick, but doesn't have the same soaring redline because of its turbo
Ferrari's 458 Speciale gains an extra 35 hp over the standard 458 Italia, and it has lost 91 kg
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Ferrari's 458 Speciale gains an extra 35 hp over the standard 458 Italia, and it has lost 91 kg
Hispano-Suiza's name is a combination of Spanish and Swiss - a combination not seen on today's roads
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Hispano-Suiza's name is a combination of Spanish and Swiss - a combination not seen on today's roads
Hispano-Suiza lasted until 1968
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Hispano-Suiza lasted until 1968
Hispano-Suiza weren't the only ones to build the H6 and its variants. Some cars were built in Czechoslovakia by Skoda
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Hispano-Suiza weren't the only ones to build the H6 and its variants. Some cars were built in Czechoslovakia by Skoda
It's hard to imagine racing to the shops in this cabin, let alone racing across a country
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It's hard to imagine racing to the shops in this cabin, let alone racing across a country
The car's hood ornament is a stork
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The car's hood ornament is a stork
The H6 series was eventually replaced by the J12 in 1932
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The H6 series was eventually replaced by the J12 in 1932
Hispano-Suiza H6C "Short Chassis"
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Hispano-Suiza H6C "Short Chassis"
The SLS AMG was the first Mercedes to be sold as an AMG, not a Mercedes. That doesn't mean the brand forgot about its past - just look at those gullwing doors
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The SLS AMG was the first Mercedes to be sold as an AMG, not a Mercedes. That doesn't mean the brand forgot about its past - just look at those gullwing doors
Inside, the cabin doesn't differ too heavily from other Mercedes of the era, although the car's long bonnet is a dead giveaway that this isn't your mum's SLK
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Inside, the cabin doesn't differ too heavily from other Mercedes of the era, although the car's long bonnet is a dead giveaway that this isn't your mum's SLK
To make sure occupants can escape in a rollover, the car's door hinges are fitted with small explosive charge that goes off and allows the driver and passenger to push the doors out of their frames
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To make sure occupants can escape in a rollover, the car's door hinges are fitted with small explosive charge that goes off and allows the driver and passenger to push the doors out of their frames
The SLS' sleek rear end hides an electrically-activated spoiler that was replaced by a neat carbon fiber strip on Black Series models
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The SLS' sleek rear end hides an electrically-activated spoiler that was replaced by a neat carbon fiber strip on Black Series models
A 6.2-liter V8 producing 435 kW sends all its power to the rear wheels, making the standard SLS a bit of a handful on the road
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A 6.2-liter V8 producing 435 kW sends all its power to the rear wheels, making the standard SLS a bit of a handful on the road
It's clear to see where the SLS' inspiration came from - the 1955 300SL Gullwing is one of history's most evocative pieces
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It's clear to see where the SLS' inspiration came from - the 1955 300SL Gullwing is one of history's most evocative pieces
The car's low, wide headlamps were emulated on the SLS
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The car's low, wide headlamps were emulated on the SLS
With 16 MPG on the highway, the SLR wasn't exactly designed as an economy car
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With 16 MPG on the highway, the SLR wasn't exactly designed as an economy car
The McLaren-Mercedes SLR was born in 2003 as a result of a collaboration between Mercedes and McLaren. It might look like a supercar, but history has marked it down as a very capable grand tourer that was too heavy to truly boogie like a lightweight.
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The McLaren-Mercedes SLR was born in 2003 as a result of a collaboration between Mercedes and McLaren. It might look like a supercar, but history has marked it down as a very capable grand tourer that was too heavy to truly boogie like a lightweight.
The SLR's chassis acted as the base to a tribute to the legendary Stirling Moss
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The SLR's chassis acted as the base to a tribute to the legendary Stirling Moss
The SLR was originally released with a 460 kW 5.4-liter V8, but power was bumped up to 538 kW for a number of special editions paying tribute to Stirling Moss
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The SLR was originally released with a 460 kW 5.4-liter V8, but power was bumped up to 538 kW for a number of special editions paying tribute to Stirling Moss
If you're keen to feel like a fighter pilot, the SLR's starter button is hidden under a cover on the gearstick
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If you're keen to feel like a fighter pilot, the SLR's starter button is hidden under a cover on the gearstick
As is the case with the SLS AMG, there's Mercedes switchgear everywhere inside. That said, the interior feels absolutely perfect in terms of quality - including the real aluminum and chrome trim
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As is the case with the SLS AMG, there's Mercedes switchgear everywhere inside. That said, the interior feels absolutely perfect in terms of quality - including the real aluminum and chrome trim
The 300SL was designed as a sports car, but that doesn't mean it wasn't kitted out to tackle long distances
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The 300SL was designed as a sports car, but that doesn't mean it wasn't kitted out to tackle long distances
Power was transmitted through a five-speed automatic with paddleshifters, proving just how far the transmissions in modern supercars have come since the car's laucnh
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Power was transmitted through a five-speed automatic with paddleshifters, proving just how far the transmissions in modern supercars have come since the car's laucnh
0-100 km/h took just 3.8 seconds, although the car's soft leather seats, Bose speaker system and adaptive cruise control provide a hint at its true strength
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0-100 km/h took just 3.8 seconds, although the car's soft leather seats, Bose speaker system and adaptive cruise control provide a hint at its true strength
The doors open in a similar way to the 300SL's Gullwings as a tribute
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The doors open in a similar way to the 300SL's Gullwings as a tribute
McLaren and Mercedes were keen to illustrate their F1 history with the SLR's nose
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McLaren and Mercedes were keen to illustrate their F1 history with the SLR's nose
The blue car on the left combines Pre-A looks with disc brakes and better performance
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The blue car on the left combines Pre-A looks with disc brakes and better performance
There are just 29 examples of the SL made in all-aluminum, after that they were steel bodied
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There are just 29 examples of the SL made in all-aluminum, after that they were steel bodied
The black car is one of 394 Pre-A Reutter Cabriolets built in 1954
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The black car is one of 394 Pre-A Reutter Cabriolets built in 1954
Having seen a modern 911 alongside the 959, it was incredible to see how the cars have transformed since 'genesis' - the 356
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Having seen a modern 911 alongside the 959, it was incredible to see how the cars have transformed since 'genesis' - the 356
With a six-speed manual gearbox, the F355 GTS could hit 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds.
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With a six-speed manual gearbox, the F355 GTS could hit 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds.
The Ferrari F355 GTS is similar in looks to the F355 Spider, which reportedly spent 1800 hours in the wind tunnel having its shape honed by Pininfarina
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The Ferrari F355 GTS is similar in looks to the F355 Spider, which reportedly spent 1800 hours in the wind tunnel having its shape honed by Pininfarina
This particular Ferrari F355 GTS is fitted out with a manual gearbox, but the 355 was the first road car to be fitted with an F1-style paddleshift
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This particular Ferrari F355 GTS is fitted out with a manual gearbox, but the 355 was the first road car to be fitted with an F1-style paddleshift
Power in the Ferrari F355 GTS comes from a 3.5-liter V8 engine, which was heavily reworked in the move from 348 to F355
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Power in the Ferrari F355 GTS comes from a 3.5-liter V8 engine, which was heavily reworked in the move from 348 to F355
The GTS was the last of the Targa-topped Ferraris, after that the Italians stuck to Coupes and Spyders
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The GTS was the last of the Targa-topped Ferraris, after that the Italians stuck to Coupes and Spyders
The F355's successor did away with the option of a targa roof like the one on this GTS
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The F355's successor did away with the option of a targa roof like the one on this GTS
Ferrari's dedication to lightweight materials extended right down to the fuel flap on the F50
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Ferrari's dedication to lightweight materials extended right down to the fuel flap on the F50
With a 6.5-liter V12 lurking behind the bulkhead, it's no surprise the Murcielago SV could sprint to 100 km/h in just 3.2 seconds
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With a 6.5-liter V12 lurking behind the bulkhead, it's no surprise the Murcielago SV could sprint to 100 km/h in just 3.2 seconds
In a world that's becoming increasingly focused on turbocharging to save fuel, the Murcielago's V12 makes it something of a dinosaur. That said, it's the sort of dinosaur we'd love to spend some time driving.
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In a world that's becoming increasingly focused on turbocharging to save fuel, the Murcielago's V12 makes it something of a dinosaur. That said, it's the sort of dinosaur we'd love to spend some time driving.
Comparing the Murcielago's interior to that of the Countach proves just how far Lambo has come since Audi took over
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Comparing the Murcielago's interior to that of the Countach proves just how far Lambo has come since Audi took over
Based on road tester notes, the Gemballa Avalanche was quite a handful when you tried to get a move on
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Based on road tester notes, the Gemballa Avalanche was quite a handful when you tried to get a move on
Looking at the relatively small engine under the Avalanche's hood, you wouldn't believe it's packing 800 hp
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Looking at the relatively small engine under the Avalanche's hood, you wouldn't believe it's packing 800 hp
The Ferrari 365BB was a largely unloved predecessor to the Testarossa, with an unconventional flat-twelve engine under that long rear deck
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The Ferrari 365BB was a largely unloved predecessor to the Testarossa, with an unconventional flat-twelve engine under that long rear deck
The 365 BB was first shown at the 1971 Turin Motor Show
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The 365 BB was first shown at the 1971 Turin Motor Show
The car's flat-twelve puts out just 283 kW, which was still more than the Ferrari's own Daytona could manage at the time
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The car's flat-twelve puts out just 283 kW, which was still more than the Ferrari's own Daytona could manage at the time
Although it's often talked about as a Boxer engine, the 365BB's motor is miles removed from anything under the hood of a Subaru. This particular engine eschewed timing chains for belts, and is more of a V12 that has been flattened out
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Although it's often talked about as a Boxer engine, the 365BB's motor is miles removed from anything under the hood of a Subaru. This particular engine eschewed timing chains for belts, and is more of a V12 that has been flattened out
From one flat-twelve Ferrari to another, the Testarossa was made famous by a role in Miami Vice
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From one flat-twelve Ferrari to another, the Testarossa was made famous by a role in Miami Vice
The 365 BB preceded the 512 BB, which took a reworked version of the same engine and a very similar body to showroom floors in an attempt to add some appeal
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The 365 BB preceded the 512 BB, which took a reworked version of the same engine and a very similar body to showroom floors in an attempt to add some appeal
Just 501 512M's were built, with less than 50 units made in right hand drive
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Just 501 512M's were built, with less than 50 units made in right hand drive
This F512M could do 0-100km/h in 4.7 seconds thanks to its 324 kW, 500 Nm flat-twelve
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This F512M could do 0-100km/h in 4.7 seconds thanks to its 324 kW, 500 Nm flat-twelve
It's certainly not the prettiest car Ferrari has ever made, but the 512M has a certain presence about it when you see it up close and personal
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It's certainly not the prettiest car Ferrari has ever made, but the 512M has a certain presence about it when you see it up close and personal
Mercedes has used styling cues like the bonnet bulges and upright grille on most of its modern supercars as a homage to this car
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Mercedes has used styling cues like the bonnet bulges and upright grille on most of its modern supercars as a homage to this car
While the Testarossa played a starring role in Miami Vice, the 308 was made famous on Magnum P.I
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While the Testarossa played a starring role in Miami Vice, the 308 was made famous on Magnum P.I
The 308 GTB was powered by a V8, and was the first Ferrari that didn't have a V8 under the hood to be badged a "Ferrari" - previous V8's had been labelled "Dinos"
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The 308 GTB was powered by a V8, and was the first Ferrari that didn't have a V8 under the hood to be badged a "Ferrari" - previous V8's had been labelled "Dinos"
The 308 GTB was the first production Ferrari with a fiberglass body, something that particularly impressed Road & Track reviewers in 1977
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The 308 GTB was the first production Ferrari with a fiberglass body, something that particularly impressed Road & Track reviewers in 1977
This particular car has been "well-loved", as evidenced by the bonnet that won't close and slightly tatty trim inside
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This particular car has been "well-loved", as evidenced by the bonnet that won't close and slightly tatty trim inside
Ford's GT40 took out a 1-2-3 at Le Mans in 1966, ending almost a decade of dominance by Ferrari
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Ford's GT40 took out a 1-2-3 at Le Mans in 1966, ending almost a decade of dominance by Ferrari
Just under 3,300 SL's were built, with more than half of those Roadsters. Suffice to say, the roadster didn't have the coupe's dramatic gullwing doors
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Just under 3,300 SL's were built, with more than half of those Roadsters. Suffice to say, the roadster didn't have the coupe's dramatic gullwing doors
The GT40 is just 40 inches high, making look almost laughably small when you approach it
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The GT40 is just 40 inches high, making look almost laughably small when you approach it
Fans of the modern Ford GT will recognise this interior layout - Ford harked back to the GT40 with a broad strip of dials and rocker switches
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Fans of the modern Ford GT will recognise this interior layout - Ford harked back to the GT40 with a broad strip of dials and rocker switches
If you're not careful, the car's door will give you a scalping as you close it.
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If you're not careful, the car's door will give you a scalping as you close it.
The classic blue and white paintjob has also been resurrected for modern Fords, although seeing it on a stock Fiesta seems almost sacrilegious
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The classic blue and white paintjob has also been resurrected for modern Fords, although seeing it on a stock Fiesta seems almost sacrilegious
This replica GT40 was built in New Zealand in the 1990's, with a V8 producing over 373 kW in the back
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This replica GT40 was built in New Zealand in the 1990's, with a V8 producing over 373 kW in the back
Much of the GT40's success can be credited to Carroll Shelby, who stepped in when the original Ford/Lola designed car struggled in 1964
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Much of the GT40's success can be credited to Carroll Shelby, who stepped in when the original Ford/Lola designed car struggled in 1964
The 300SL is powered by a 3.0-liter inline six, which had to shift 1093 Kg
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The 300SL is powered by a 3.0-liter inline six, which had to shift 1093 Kg
Walking into Dutton is like walking into a dream garage spanning almost a century
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Walking into Dutton is like walking into a dream garage spanning almost a century
This Kirkham replica has been built to the same specs as the 1967 Shelby Cobra
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This Kirkham replica has been built to the same specs as the 1967 Shelby Cobra
The original MkIII Cobra was powered by a 7.0-liter (427 cubic inch) V8, although a smaller engine was also available
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The original MkIII Cobra was powered by a 7.0-liter (427 cubic inch) V8, although a smaller engine was also available
That big V8 had to haul just 1100 Kg, and the MkIII's chassis was stiffer than the MkII's
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That big V8 had to haul just 1100 Kg, and the MkIII's chassis was stiffer than the MkII's
A 427 Super Snake recently sold for over $5 Million
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A 427 Super Snake recently sold for over $5 Million
Car and Driver described the 427 as "A Car Not For Novices" in 1965
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Car and Driver described the 427 as "A Car Not For Novices" in 1965
As you might expect, the 1500 is powered by a 1.5-liter engine, making it more powerful than the 1300 model
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As you might expect, the 1500 is powered by a 1.5-liter engine, making it more powerful than the 1300 model
This Pre-A 356 can be set apart from more modern versions of the same car by its 'V-shaped' windscreen
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This Pre-A 356 can be set apart from more modern versions of the same car by its 'V-shaped' windscreen
Most of the Pre-A cars sold in the USA were given a 'Continental' badge, which caused trouble with Lincoln who already used it
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Most of the Pre-A cars sold in the USA were given a 'Continental' badge, which caused trouble with Lincoln who already used it
Pre-A 356's are now selling for upwards of $200,000US
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Pre-A 356's are now selling for upwards of $200,000US
Lamborghini originally offered the Murcielago with a manual gearbox, but it couldn't be specced on the SV
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Lamborghini originally offered the Murcielago with a manual gearbox, but it couldn't be specced on the SV
Lamborghini compared the Murcielago's engine sound to that of a wild animal
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Lamborghini compared the Murcielago's engine sound to that of a wild animal
Garrett T035 Turbos are used in place of the standard turbochargers on the blown 911
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Garrett T035 Turbos are used in place of the standard turbochargers on the blown 911
Revised valve timing and changes to the intake system were behind the SV's power boost
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Revised valve timing and changes to the intake system were behind the SV's power boost
Lamborghini's Murcielago SV might be all-wheel drive, but it has a reputation for being a handful at the limit
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Lamborghini's Murcielago SV might be all-wheel drive, but it has a reputation for being a handful at the limit
Thanks to the extensive use of carbon fiber, the SV Murcielago is over 100 kg lighter than a 'standard' car
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Thanks to the extensive use of carbon fiber, the SV Murcielago is over 100 kg lighter than a 'standard' car
Lamborghini's use of carbon fiber extended to the seats, which are strong and safe
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Lamborghini's use of carbon fiber extended to the seats, which are strong and safe
The Murcielago was constantly refined over the course of its life, just as happened with the Countach and Diablo
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The Murcielago was constantly refined over the course of its life, just as happened with the Countach and Diablo
Gemballa's GT800 Avalanche uses Carrera GT headlamps and a 911 body for a unique look
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Gemballa's GT800 Avalanche uses Carrera GT headlamps and a 911 body for a unique look
Whereas the F40 has a certain kit-car look to it, the F50's styling is all inspired by the Formula 1 cars of the era
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Whereas the F40 has a certain kit-car look to it, the F50's styling is all inspired by the Formula 1 cars of the era
The Ferrari F50 was the last special Ferrari with a manual gearshift - the Enzo was only available with an F1-style paddleshifter
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The Ferrari F50 was the last special Ferrari with a manual gearshift - the Enzo was only available with an F1-style paddleshifter
The F50 weighed just 1230 kg, thanks to the total lack of unnecessary equipment
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The F50 weighed just 1230 kg, thanks to the total lack of unnecessary equipment
Even the F50's rear-view mirror has been designed with a flourish
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Even the F50's rear-view mirror has been designed with a flourish
The F50 didn't have ABS or power brake assistance, because Ferrari wanted it to be a purists experience
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The F50 didn't have ABS or power brake assistance, because Ferrari wanted it to be a purists experience
The F50 is one of the last true 'racecars for the road'
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The F50 is one of the last true 'racecars for the road'
The Gemballa Avalanche channels its 800 hp through just two wheels, and drivers are forced to battle with a six-speed manual
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The Gemballa Avalanche channels its 800 hp through just two wheels, and drivers are forced to battle with a six-speed manual
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The pace of automotive development is so fast that it's easy to forget that every generation has its own supercar heroes. The cream of today's technologically advanced automotive crop would not exist without the supercars of the past – cars that took risks with crazy styling, innovative technology and a desire to go faster than anyone else had gone before. We recently spent an afternoon at Dutton Garage in Melbourne, Australia, slaking our supercar thirst and tracking down some of the cars that really moved the game on when they were first launched.

We're pretty familiar with the brands that lead the way in automotive design today, but there are plenty of once renowned marques that have faded into history. Exhibit A is this Hispano-Suiza H6C "Short Chassis". Built in 1924, it packs an 8.0-liter inline six that makes about 145 kW (195 hp) under its massive hood. These "Monzas" were designed to race in the Targa Florio and then be driven home.

Hispano-Suiza H6C "Short Chassis"
Hispano-Suiza H6C "Short Chassis"

Of course, the modern supercar is a different kind of beast. It's no longer a pure racer with little consideration for road use, instead it's a designed to act as a fashion statement that also happens to go really quickly.

As is now common with Lambos, there was an SV version of the Miura produced packing 287 kW
As is now common with Lambos, there was an SV version of the Miura produced packing 287 kW

This Lamborghini Miura is a prime example. With a 4.9-liter V12 lurking under the rear deck, it could hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.7 seconds on its way to a 280 km/h top speed, making it the fastest car in the world back at its 1966 launch.

Of course, none of that mattered to Leslie "Twiggy" Lawson when she bought the car pictured above. Legendary test driver Valentino Balboni personally delivered the car, which is finished with a special orange stripe down the middle.

With those beautiful Bertone-designed curves and a sonorous soundtrack, it didn't really matter how the Miura handled.

Built around a carbon tub, the F50 is powered by a 4.7-liter based on the block from Ferrari's 1990 Formula 1 engine
Built around a carbon tub, the F50 is powered by a 4.7-liter based on the block from Ferrari's 1990 Formula 1 engine

Exclusivity is key when it comes to supercars, as is technology that moves the game on. The Ferrari F50, described by Ferrari President Luca di Montzemolo as "the first and last Formula One car with two seats," did both those things.

The Formula One connection began with the car's 4.7-liter V12, which began service in the Ferrari 641 that Alain Prost drove in his famous battle with Ayrton Senna. The engine was bored out from its original 3.5-liter capacity and Ferrari worked to improve its drivability, but for the most part the F50's motor made few concessions to road driving.

That means that the engine's 383 kW (513 hp) comes at 8,000 rpm, while the 470 Nm peak torque comes at 6,500 rpm. Compared to today's hypercars, with their incredible hybrid-boosted power figures, that might not sound particularly impressive, but it was still enough to shoot the F50 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 3.7 seconds.

It's not just hybrid power that's missing from the F50's mix. Every element of the car's design is decidedly old school, from the high revving naturally aspirated engine to the beautiful open-gate gearshift and F1 style carbon tub, to the spartan but immaculately finished cabin.

Just 349 F50s were built, which means it's rarer than an F40, Enzo or LaFerrari. It's also considerably uglier than any of them, but that doesn't mean there isn't a certain allure to the F50.

Setting the 911 Sport Classic from other, more regular cars is lowered suspension and a limited-slip differential
Setting the 911 Sport Classic from other, more regular cars is lowered suspension and a limited-slip differential

Another highlight in our wanderings through the garage was this Porsche 911 Sport Classic. It's a collection of the best bits from Porsche's past, like the whale tail spoiler and special Fuchs alloy wheels harking back to the legendary 1973 911 RS 2.7 Sport.

Inside, there's more retro-themed design, including seats trimmed in a special weave to mirror the tartan trim from old 911s.

It's not a case of all show no go with the Sport Classic though, because with lowered suspension and a limited slip differential, all 250 911 SC's handle and stop better than their more common stablemates.

These cars are just a taste of what Dutton Garage has to offer. Take a trip through history in our supercar photo gallery, which features everything from Porsche 356's to the McLaren-Mercedes SLR.

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