The evolution of the car has been a fast-flowing advancement of efficiency, safety and performance, with some of the more exciting vehicles of the modern era showing just how far we’ve come.
Such examples as the Ferrari LaFerrari, McLaren P1 and Porsche 918 are hard evidence of what can be achieved in the motoring world; even comparing such marques’ tamer cars against their predecessors really highlight the difference between what was once thought to be the pinnacle of motoring and the majesty of possibilities we have today.
With the help of the enthusiasts at Stoneacre Specialist, see how the icons of old compare against their modern contemporaries.
Aston Martin: DB5 v Vanquish
One of, if not the most famous car on the planet, the Aston Martin DB5 has made its way into the hearts of many ever since its mainstream introduction via Goldfinger, with one James Bond enjoying his gadget-laden version of what was to be a star in the making.
Fast-forward out of the early ‘60s to 2013 and Aston Martin had created a new flagship grand tourer, one with a raging V12 capable of producing over 550bhp and surpassing 200mph.
Ferrari: 250 GTO v F12
To show just how special the Ferrari 250 GTO was to Enzo Ferrari in 1962, the Old Man himself felt the need to handpick the car’s 39 original customers. The 250 GTO was produced built for racing homologation, with those three letters themselves standing for ‘Gran Turismo Omologato’ – Italian for Grand Touring Homologated.
Replacing the 599, the Ferrari F12 moved the game forward massively in 2012 with its huge V12 up front and incredible driving dynamics for what remains a grand tourer at heart. The F12 has it all over its predecessors, with a lap time around Ferrari’s Fiorano test track a second quicker than the 599 GTO and two faster than the Enzo and the 458 Italia.
Jaguar: E-type v F-type
Another car of the ‘60s, the Jaguar E-type is often referred to as the most beautiful car in the world, a proclamation many would find hard to argue against; even the New York Museum of Modern Art recognised its aesthetics enough to add an example to its permanent collection.
For decades after the E-type’s retirement, many were calling out for a replacement, and in 2013 Jaguar gave us the F-type, a car widely regarded as the E-type’s spiritual successor. Although a more compact package and without the endless bonnet, the F-type does indeed resemble its ancestor, not just in aesthetics but also in spirit.
Lamborghini: Miura SV v Aventador
A car that set the trend of the two-seat mid-engined sports car, the Lamborghini Miura was a pin-up special the world over in 1966, thanks to its stunning looks and enthralling engine. Perhaps most famous of all Miuras was the SV, the last of the breed and widely thought of as the most complete version of what was effectively the first supercar.
Evolving through the years into the Countach, Diablo and Murcielago, the Miura eventually became the Aventador and is the pinnacle of Lamborghini’s innovation so far. Carbon fibre has been used extensively to create the Aventador, with the car’s monocoque completely made from the ultra-lightweight material to give it massive agility for such a large vehicle of its type.
Porsche: Carrera RS v 911 GT3
Standing for Rennsport (Race Sport), the Porsche Carrera RS carries with it iconic status of the highest order, especially amongst the most hardened enthusiasts of the Stuttgart brand. The RS was another car created to go racing, like many of Porsche’s most famous names, and was handed a revised suspension set-up to the standard 911, as well as that infamous ‘ducktail’ rear spoiler.
Although not for much longer, the current lightweight, b-road-blasting Porsche is the 991 generation of the seminal GT3. Purists were disappointed to see the car go auto-only and adopt electronic power steering, but the latest GT3 remains among the best driver’s cars on both the road and the track.