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Sports and Executive Sedans

A new breed of sedan, these cars were aimed at hard-driving businessmen. The cars were well able to sustain foot-to-the-floor overtaking and relaxed high-speed cruising—in contrast to earlier counterparts that would shake themselves to pieces or overheat their engines. Much of the know-how behind these cars came directly from the race track, where sedans had fired the minds of engineers.

Vauxhall Cresta PB, 1962


Engine3,294 cc, six-cylinder
Top speed93 mph (150 km/h)

The Cresta was a large, comfortable car from the British branch of General Motors. From 1965, automatic transmission was introduced.

Austin/Morris Mini Cooper, 1961


Engine1,275 cc, four-cylinder
Top speed100 mph (161 km/h)

The Mini was never meant to be a performance car, but Formula 1 boss John Cooper spotted its potential. Tuned engines and disc brakes exploited its fantastic roadholding

Ford Zephyr Mk III, 1962


Engine2,553 cc, six-cylinder
Top speed95 mph (153 km/h)

Ford offered four- or six-cylinder engines in its biggest British sedan. This car came with front disc brakes, an all-synchromesh gearbox, and an optional automatic transmission.

Volvo 122S, 1961


Engine1,778 cc, four-cylinder
Top speed100 mph (161 km/h)

The ultimate engine in this rugged yet capable sports sedan was a 100 bhp unit. It was a spirited performer, especially with optional overdrive, and was called the Amazon in Sweden.

Wolseley 6/110, 1961


Engine2,912 cc, six-cylinder
Top speed101 mph (163 km/h)

The 6/110 was a heavy car, so it had no real spark despite a 120 bhp engine. The already luxurious specifications could be enhanced with optional air conditioning and power steering.

Ford Falcon, 1964


Engine3,277 cc, six-cylinder
Top speed105 mph (169 km/h)

This Falcon was the first car designed in-and for-Australia, and its toughened-up specifications laid the foundations for sporty Falcons to come.

Rover P6 2000 TC, 1963


Engine1,978 cc, four-cylinder
Top speed108 mph (174 km/h)

In 1963 the P6 broke new ground for safety and sportiness in sedans. The TC (twin carburetor) added extra zest. A later version, the P6 3500, had a V8 engine.

Jaguar XJ6, 1968


Engine4,235 cc, four-cylinder
Top speed124 mph (200 km/h)

Widely hailed as the finest sedan car in the world, the beautiful XJ6 offered a superb compromise between high performance, ride comfort, and roadholding.

Daimler 2.5-liter V8-250, 1962


Engine2,548 cc, V8
Top speed112 mph (180 km/h)

After Jaguar had taken over Daimler in 1960, it created this compact luxury model by uniting the SP250’s refined V8 engine with the Jaguar Mk II body. Almost all were automatic.

Jaguar Mk II, 1959


Engine3,781 cc, six-cylinder
Top speed125 mph (201 km/h)

For many, this lithe Jaguar is the epitome of the 1960s sports sedan. The 3.8-liter version was a great sedan racer, although the 3.4-liter was more popular on the road.

Triumph 2000, 1963


Engine1,998 cc, six-cylinder
Top speed93 mph (150 km/h)

A stylish and well-liked car among business executives of the 1960s, the 2000 featured all-around independent suspension, front disc brakes, and Italian styling by Giovanni Michelotti.

Humber Hawk Mk IV, 1964


Engine2,267 cc, four-cylinder
Top speed83 mph (134 km/h)

Humber’s largest executive cars received a styling revision around the rear window for their final three years, like this Mk IV. They still featured a column gearshift.

Isuzu Bellett, 1963


Engine1,991 cc, four-cylinder
Top speed118 mph (190 km/h)

Little known in the West, the neat Bellett was one of Japan’s first sports sedans and, in GT-R form, a star of Japanese production car racing. Over 170,000 were built.

Holden Monaro, 1968


Engine5,736 cc, V8
Top speed115 mph (185 km/h)

The Monaro was a sporty, four-seater coupe derived directly from the HK series Kingswood/Brougham sedan. The ultimate edition of the Monaro was the 5.7-liter GTS 327 Bathurst.

Nissan Skyline GT-R, 1969


Engine1,998 cc, six-cylinder
Top speed124 mph (200 km/h)

The twin-camshaft engine in the GT-R turned the humdrum Skyline sedan into a serious race winner that notched up 50 race wins in its first three years.


It is a quote. The Definitive Visual History Of The Automobile 2011

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