Sports cars originated in Europe in the early 1900s and are currently produced by many manufacturers around the world but the term ‘sports car’ would not be coined until after World War One.
“The term sports car is a vague one. Yes, they need to be fast, have a vivacious engine and be engaging when you want to enjoy yourself, but there are so many niches within the term. You have some which are so focused on the sports element that they resemble stripped out track cars made for the road, while others are lovingly crafted and place comfort and luxury above the traditional callings of a sports car. Even how they deliver their thrills are different, with some manufacturers making the engine the shining star, while others focus on balancing and fine-tuning to make the cars shine when the road gets twisty. Regardless of the approach, we have done the tough job of crafting a list of the best ten sports cars currently on sale to help you decide”.
With these words Autocar magazine introduced its selection of the 10 best sports cars in 2018. These words could almost apply to the 12 cars chosen over 50 years ago which you can see here. With one exception the manufacturers all those years ago are different, but the spirit behind the vehicles remains the same. The Autocar list included cars made by 3 English manufacturers and one, Morgan, was in both. [The cars chosen by Autocar in 2020 were the Porsche 911 Carreras and Carrera 4S, Jaguar F-Type, Lotus Evora, Chevrolet Corvette, BMW i8, Nissan GT-R, Lexus LC, Maserati Gran Turismo, Morgan Plus 6 and Alfa Romeo 4C. The list excluded : Caterham Sevens, Ferrari 488s, Alpine A110s and BMW M cars].
The prints were drawn by George A. Oliver (1920-1990) a graduate of Glasgow School of Art, a professional photographer and an important illustrator and writer on automobiles and their history.