The 1950’s and 1960’s were two golden generations for the automobile. Salon Prive 2015 honours these two eras with a dedicated class of five cars which together form the Fixed-Head Coupés from the 50s & 60s.
The Lamborghini Miura needs no introduction. A mainstay at concours events around the world, this particular car is a 1968 Lamborghini Miura LP400, one of the earliest examples. Legend has it that the Miura was developed out of hours by a team of dedicated Lamborghini engineers around the V12 engine of the 400GT.
Ferrucio Lamborghini allowed development of the car as he thought it might serve as a useful marketing tool. Little did he know how definitive the car would be. It is widely described as the first Supercar in the modern sense of the world due to its sensational looks, powerful mid-mounted engine and complete lack of practicality.
275 P400’s were produced between 1966 and 1969 before the revised S and SV versions hit the market. The car was distinctive for its engine and gearbox which were constructed in one casting. It was also the first Lamborghini to be named after a fighting bull, a tradition that continues to this day.
Next up is a very early 1961 Jaguar E-Type. Coupe versions of the E-Type have never enjoyed the same level of reverence as their convertible counterparts. Enzo Ferrari once famously described the convertible as “The most beautiful car ever made”. Yet there is a lot to be said for the handsome good looks of the fixed head coupe.
The 1961 Jaguar E-Type came fitted with a 3.8 litre engine as standard and a non-synchromesh transmission. It wasn’t until 1965 that the 4.2 litre unit was introduced with an updated gearbox. Like many of Jaguar’s greatest design’s the E-Type Coupe was penned by legendary Jaguar designer Malcolm Sayer. Subsequent investigation has concluded that the Coupe wasn’t planned from the very beginning of the E-Type’s conception; the prototype having been built upon a roadster’s monocoque tub.
Interestingly, we have a Jaguar F-Type S Coupe AWD on test this week. As the E-Type Coupe’s spiritual successor, it is interesting to note the similarities between each of the cars; the long front bonnet, the hatchback-style rear bolted and the central exhaust system.
One of two Ferrari’s on display in this category, the 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB/2 Long Nose Alloy is extremely desirable. Inspired by the racing 275 GTB’s this particular car features aluminium bodywork, one of 60 similar examples. It was designed by Pininfarina and built by Scaglietti with the Ferrari components.
Under the bonnet, the 275 GTB/2 features a 2-cam 3.3 litre V12 engine with 280 bhp. Hollywood legend Steve McQueen once described the gearbox movement as: “like sliding a knife through butter.”
The 1965 Aston Martin DB5 has now become synonymous with the fictional British secret service agent, James Bond due to several appearances in the 007 films. The Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera body has a classic elegance about it. With an all-aluminium inline 6 engine packing 282 bhp, it has the performance to match.
1,023 examples were built, mostly in the same 2+2 configuration displayed here at Salon Prive. It only had a two year production run, yet it left a massive impression upon the history of the British marque. It is easily the most desirable Aston Martin model to date.
Last but certainly not least is the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta SWB. One of the most prolific GT racers of all time, the SWB has a classic yet very aggressive design. With colder spark plugs, racing tyres and a roll-bar, the SWB was race ready. Something those that owned an example proved time and time again at events around the world.
The design was handled by Pininfarina once again with construction in Modena at the Scaglietti factroy. The 250 GT Berlinetta SWB was the first Ferrari production road car to be fitted with disc brakes as standard.