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Old 24th July 2016, 10:00   #1
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Default The greatest GT cars ever made

Wikipedia defines a GT car as
Quote:
"A grand tourer (Italian: gran turismo) (GT) is a performance and luxury automobile capable of high speed and spirited long-distance driving. The most common format is a two-door coupé with either a two-seat or a 2+2 arrangement."
However, in the real world, for you and I, a GT car makes us want to believe we are Steve McQueen or James Bond: driving into the setting sun with a beautiful woman next to you, in a powerful, elite and evocative car that commands the aspirational allure of that image!

There is one technicality that differentiates a GT car with a supercar though: a GT car is not necessarily a supercar, since the fundamental goal of a GT car is to be a powerful yet comfortable highway cruiser, and not necessarily hardcore and track-focused like supercars typically are. The converse may not be true though - some supercars can indeed be GT cars, as you will see in this compilation.

I have attempted to compile a list of the 10 most evocative GT cars ever made over the past 50 years. It was a challenge admittedly, to leave great GT cars out from this list to be able to consider cars from across all geographies. And no, cars with a 'GT' suffixed to their normal production versions did not automatically make the cut!

So here is a list of what I believe are the 10 best GT cars ever made over the past 5 decades. Hope you have a good read.


1. 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO

The greatest GT cars ever made-1962ferrari250gto55ce25cf1f890.jpg

The most expensive piece of automotive history today. One sold for $ 38.2 million in 2013 in an elite auction. Jeremy Clarkson once mentioned that he had goosebumps merely standing next to a 250 GTO, even though Top Gear werent allowed to as much touch it, since BBC couldnt afford the insurance !

Background: As a result of FIA regulations in GT Group3 Racing, Ferrari were forced to build 39 250 GTOs for road use, between 1962-64. All 39 are still said to remain today! The 250 GTO was powered by an all-alloy 300 bhp, 3L V12 engine fed by 6 carburetors.

Design: The 250 GTO had not one, but two design greats accredited to its form: Bizzarini- who started the project but was fired from Ferrari in 1962, and then Scaglietti to see the design through.



2. 1961 Jaguar E-Type

The greatest GT cars ever made-61_jaguaretypefhc_dv10pbc_c01.jpg

There is almost nothing that needs to be desribed about the E-Type: its reputation precedes it! Enzo Ferrari described it as the most beautiful car ever made.

Background: When launched in 1961, the E-type was a true game changer. Not only did it win design accolades, but was also technologically ahead of its time, featuring monocoque construction, disc brakes and independant suspension as standard. During its production run from 1961-1973, E-types were categorized into three series: Series 1, 2 and 3, with the Series 1 E-types deemed most valuable. The Series 1 E-types were fitted with 3.8L straight-six triple-carburetor engines, producing 265 bhp.

Design: The E-type was designed by Malcolm Sayer, originally an aircraft designer, who during his time at Jaguar, applied some of those aircraft design principles to cars.



3. 1967 Maserati Ghibli

The greatest GT cars ever made-maseratighibli_v8.jpg

Originally produced by Maserati between 1967-73, the Ghibli debuted in the 1966 Turin Motor Show and promptly broke all style-records of the time. Henry Ford is said to have wanted the first Ghibli that reached American soil!

Background: The Ghibli was conceptualized to commemorate Maserati's 41st anniversary and was named after a North African storm. The engine was acclaimed for its driveability, despite being a watered-down version of Maserati's race-going engine, an all-aluminium quad-cam 320 hp, 4,7L V8, with one spark plug per cylinder (compared to 2 spark plugs/cylinder on the race engines) affair.

Design: Penned by the immortal Giugiaro (awarded Car Designer Of The Century in 1999) who was young and working at famous Ghia design house at the time, completed the Ghibli's iconic design in 3 months.



4. 1963 Porsche 911

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A technical masterpiece, ableit a divisive one, the Porsche 911 family continues to be in production - five decades after its was first introduced. Many generations have since spanned, but the 911 name is immortalized.

Background: Launched in 1963 at the Franfurt Motor Show as Porsche's second ever model, inital cars were named as 901, but after a protest by Peugeot who claimed exclusive rights to three-numbered car names with a zero in the middle, Porsche rebranded their later models as 911. Porsche, along with Subaru were famous for clinging onto boxer engines through their models. Porsche were also unique in making all the 911 boxer engines for the better part of three decades, as air cooled engines as well. The initial 911s featured a rear-mounted air-cooled, 2L 6-cylinder boxer engine that was good for 128 hp.

Design: The 1963 911 had design roots from 1959, penned by Ferdinand Porsche himself, which can be seen to this day.


<contd.>

Last edited by theMAG : 24th July 2016 at 10:29.
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Old 24th July 2016, 10:13   #2
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Default Re: The greatest GT cars ever made

5. 1967 Toyota 2000 GT

The greatest GT cars ever made-toyota-2000gt.jpg

An ultra-rare GT car that one would normally not associate from a conservative Toyota of the time, and an apple falling far from the tree! A result of a joint partnership between Toyota and Yamaha, the 2000 GT is regarded as Japan's first supercar. The 2000 GT also starred in the James Bond movie "You Only Live Twice". A mint specimen was sold for $ 1.2M at an auction in recent years.

Background: Surprisingly, an initial protoype developed by Yamaha - who was an independant automotive contractor at the time, was rejected by Nissan, but eventually adapted by Toyota to result in the 2000 GT, and the rest is history. Only 351 2000 GTs were produced between 1967-70. The intial batches were equipped with 2 L straight-six engines producing 150 hp, breathed upon by three double-barrel carburetors.

Design: Albrecht Goertz - the designer also acclaimed for the Nissan Silvia, was responsible for the styling of the original 2000GT prototype when he worked with Yamaha. Toyota's Satoru Nozaki, modified this intial design to suit Toyota as the production Toyota 2000 GT.



6. 1993 Alfa Romeo GTV

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When talking about great cars, the list from Italy never seems to end! The 1993 Alfa Romeo GTV shattered beauty paegants and won 10 awards in 1995 as the best-designed car of the time. It also had Jeremy Clarkson proclaim the GTV to be the best sports car in 1998.

Background: Produced at Alfa Romeo's Arese plant in Milan, the GTV was officially launched at the 1995 Geneva Motor Show. The initial GTVs were equipped with a 2L twin-spark engine that produced 150 hp. Later models also had a V6 turbo as option.

Design: Originally designed by Pininfarina, and tracing its initial design roots to 1988, the 1993 GTV design was eventually finalized by Alfa Romeo's then Head-of-Design, Walter De Silva (currently head of VW Design).


7. 2004 Aston Martin DB9

The greatest GT cars ever made-astonmartindb9coupe2004wallpaper311227.jpg

As the successor to the relatively insipid DB7, the DB9 was a crucial success story in Aston Martin's financials at the time.

Background: The DB9's predecessor- the DB7, was known in automotive circles- rather unceremoniously, as a "Jag in drag", being handed down a Jaguar's mechanicals by Ford, which owned both Aston Martin and Jaguar at the time. The DB9 therefore, would be Aston Martin's return to glory, initiated earlier by the DB7. The DB9 in fact, became critically acclaimed as one of the best Aston Martins ever made. Launched at the 2003 Frankfurt Auto Show, the DB9 was produced from 2004-16 from Aston Martin's new Gaydon facility- their first purpose-built factory in history. The DB9s were powered by a 6L V12 churning out 450 bhp.

Design: Henrik Fisker penned the DB9 to life; the same man responsbile for the Fisker Karma - one of the fastest electric supercars of our time.



8. 1987 Ford Mustang GT

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The Mustang is as much classic Americana as Mac & Cheese! And one of the most significant Mustangs Ford ever made was the third generation 1987 Mustang GT.

Background: The 80s were a much simpler time (although not as simple as Woodstock!), petrol was affordable across the US; Ford and GM were at each other's throats all the way. It was a classic three-way GT battle between the American greats: the Mustang GT- which Ford squeezed 229 HP from a 4.9L V8, and GM's equally iconic Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird. In the end, Car&Driver declared the Mustang GT as the winner of the 3-way GT contest by a rather close margin, primarily because of its engine supremacy over its two rivals.

Design: Jack Telnack was said to have played a significant part in facelifting the 1987 Mustang GT, but was also an organizational effort from a large manufacturer.



9. 2010 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

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The gull-wing 2010 SLS AMG was an accomplished supercar primarily, while also making a great case for itself as a GT car, due to its versatile setup. The SLS AMG was also the official safety car in F1, between 2010-12.

Background: The first ever car designed from a clean sheet of paper entirely by AMG, the gull-wing Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG was unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. The successor to the McLaren Mercedes SLR, and the spiritual successor to the iconic Mercedes-Benz 300SL, the gull-wing SLS AMG wasted no time in winning numerous awards for design and handling. Jeremy Clarkson described it to the "greatest car in the world" at the time. The SLS AMG was powered by a monstrous 6.2L V8 churning out 563 HP, and was said to be the most powerful naturally aspirated V8 at the time.

Design: Designed by Briton Mark Fetherston in 2007, Mark described the experience as witnessing the birth of his own child!



10. 2003 Bentley Continental GT

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At the time, Bentley was recently acquired by the VW Group, and was looking at making itself available to a wider customer base than before.

Background: As the first car from Bentley under VW Management, the 2003 Continental GT was also a significant paradigm shift for Bentley away from super-expensive hand-built coach cars. The Continental GT employed mass production methods, and therfore costed half as much as its predecessor, the Continental R. Unveiled at the 2003 Geneva Motor Show, the 2003 Continental GT went on to become a large selling GT car for Bentley responsible for turnings its fortunes around. The 2003 Continental GT was based on the VW Phaeton chassis, utilizing a 6L 552 bhp twin-turbo W12 engine

Design: Raul Pires/ Dirk van Braeckel were the chief designers of the 2003 Continental GT, and largely responsible for defining the new design philosophy in Bentley under VW management.


This concludes the compilation of the best GT cars ever made. Hopefully, the essence of these cars is now retained on Team-BHP for a long time to come!



CREDITS

1. Wikipedia
2. Car And Driver
3. Car And Driver
4. All images/trademarks belong to respective copyright owners

Last edited by theMAG : 24th July 2016 at 10:56.
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Old 24th July 2016, 10:19   #3
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Default Re: The greatest GT cars ever made

Thread moved from Assembly Line to the International Automotive Scene!

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Old 24th July 2016, 14:52   #4
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Default Re: The greatest GT cars ever made

Disagree with the 250 GTO, the GTO is a homologation special, a racecar that is just about usable as a road car. For a 60s Ferrari GT car, I think 250 GT Lussos and California Spyders are much better choices.

The 250 GT Lusso:
The greatest GT cars ever made-ferrari_250_gt_lussowallpaper1920x1080.jpg

The California Spyder:
The greatest GT cars ever made-5.jpg
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Old 24th July 2016, 15:52   #5
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Post deleted by the Team-BHP Support : Please do NOT post messages that add little or no informational value to the thread. We need your co-operation to maintain the quality of this forum.

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Old 24th July 2016, 17:06   #6
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Default Re: The greatest GT cars ever made

Ferrari FF is a glaring omission.

It looks very unique, full of character, very very fast, and that 4WD makes it immensely usable in varying conditions, luxurious and practical with 4 generous seats too.

What more is needed for a great GT I wonder!

The greatest GT cars ever made-ferrariffhdwallpaper.jpg

Take a look at what Chris Harris has to say about the FF.
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Old 26th July 2016, 17:34   #7
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Default Re: The greatest GT cars ever made

Quote:
Originally Posted by nipcarlover View Post
Disagree with the 250 GTO, the GTO is a homologation special, a racecar that is just about usable as a road car. For a 60s Ferrari GT car, I think 250 GT Lussos and California Spyders are much better choices.

The 250 GT Lusso:
Attachment 1532692

The California Spyder:
Attachment 1532693
Quote:
Originally Posted by deetjohn View Post
..

What more is needed for a great GT I wonder!
..

Agree on all counts. Ferraris can fill any top X list entirely by themselves! Almost every other model from Ferrari is historical.

One of the bigger challenges in compiling such a list was to ensure global and period coverage; while resisting the urge to include more than one car from a manufacturer. The initial proto-list that I started putting together had 50% Ferraris - including the California Sypder and FF, and would have been more of a Ferrari GT special!
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Old 26th July 2016, 18:01   #8
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Default Re: The greatest GT cars ever made

My understanding of GT cars was that they cross continents without breaking into sweat in itself while keeping the driver and passengers cossetted in Luxury.

Few examples that i had in mind were

1) Though the SL series of Mercedes started as Sportlich-Leicht, arent the new ones actually great examples of Grand Tourers.

2) The McLaren SLR with is comfortable interiors, automatic transmission and humongous power.

3) By the above definition, Can this list include Audi S8, RS6, BMW M5, M6 Gran coupe etc.

I am pretty sure this definition is not exactly in line with the author of this thread. This is just my take on the list.

My view was that if an Aston Martin can come in this list, the above listed cars also deserve mention.
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Old 26th July 2016, 19:13   #9
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Default Re: The greatest GT cars ever made

1993 Porsche 928 GTS:
This would still be my first choice. Timeless looks considering it was originally built in 1978. This one came with a 5.4L V8, good for ~350 BHP.
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Old 26th July 2016, 22:49   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rohitoasis View Post
My understanding of GT cars was that they cross continents without breaking into sweat in itself while keeping the driver and passengers cossetted in Luxury.

.

Excellent definition! I'll go with it and my Jaguar XJR fits the bill perfectly!

Jeroen
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