Goalkeeper – Ford Cortina Mk2
Did defense posts become more important? Tasked with protecting the faster-selling legacy of the original Mk1 Cortina, the Mk2 debuted in 1966 with a sharper, wider exterior and an all-new 1,300cc engine. In fact, it turned out to be a perfect match for car buyers, becoming Britain’s most popular car in 1967 and offering everything from a four-door Spartan version to the later 1600E and Lotus-powered version.
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Left side – Renault 16
Strictly speaking, the Renault 16 first hit the roads in 1965, but had its biggest impact in 1966 when it lifted the European Car of the Year trophy. It outperformed its competition with its forward-thinking design that, above all, included the addition of a hatchback that enhances practicality. Beneath its new sheet metal was a 1,500cc engine and a front-wheel drive design, the latter also contributing to its spacious interior. Stirling Moss was said to be a fanatic and nearly 16 million were produced during its 15 years of production.
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Center Defender: Jaguar 420
Granted, it didn’t have the girth of the full 420G, but Jaguar’s 420 released in 1966 wouldn’t have been a bad cry as an automotive doorman. Being based on the S-Type, it was still a decent size and, perhaps most importantly, it moved quite nimbly thanks to the dual-carb 4.2-liter inline six-cylinder XK engine under its new forward-hinged hood. Road tests at the time reported that it was good for 0-60 mph in less than 10 seconds and a top speed in the 125 mph region. Production ceased in 1968, so having a survivor means you’re definitely winning at the rarity bets.
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Center rear: Volvo 140
The 140 series gave birth to the concept of the square Volvo. Although mechanically it borrowed a lot from its predecessor, the Amazon, its styling was a sea change. Named Car of the Year in Sweden, it was available in two- and four-door sedan variants (named 142 and 144 respectively), while the incredibly practical 5-door station wagon, the 145, arrived soon after. Unsurprisingly, it gained many fans, and when it was replaced by the 240 series in 1974, Volvo had found homes for more than a million of them.
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Rear Right: Toyota Corolla
Launched in 1966, the Corolla would become the world’s best-selling car, even overshadowing the venerable Volkswagen Beetle. It had distinctly humble origins, having been influenced by the company’s experience with the Toyota Publica, an air-cooled two-cylinder car inspired by the 2CV. But with increasing competition from the Datsun 1000, Toyota upped the ante with a 1,100c engine. It may not have been exciting, but it was reliable – a winning formula that the company continues today.
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Left Half – Alfa Romeo ‘Duetto’ Spider
The last founder of the project in which Battista Pininfarina was involved, the Spider was based on the mechanics of the Giulia, including the suspension and the double-cam four-cylinder engines. From the moment it was released at the Geneva Motor Show, Spider looked like a movie star, and just a year later he had a starring role in The Graduate alongside Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft. Its appeal was considerable, and with a few styling tweaks and the occasional new engine, the Spider remained in production until 1993.
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Holding the midfield: Audi 80
Based on the DKW F102, the Audi 80 took the foundations derived from Auto Union and updated the concept with a range of four-stroke, four-cylinder engines developed in conjunction with Daimler-Benz. With the thirsty and troublesome two-stroke engines abandoned, the 80 began to prove not only its worth, but also the front-wheel drive idea for a previously skeptical Volkswagen.
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Right half – BMW 02
When originally brought to Geneva, this entry-level BMW sported a 1600-2 insignia representing, in typically Germanic logical fashion, a 1,600cc two-door car. An upgraded version, the 1600 TI, followed a year later, but the model is perhaps most recognizable when it bears a 2002 badge and sports a 2.0-liter engine.
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1968 Jensen Interceptor MK1
Left wing: the Italian style of the 1968 Jenson Interceptor MK1
Striker – Lamborghini Miura
Several times described as the most beautiful car ever designed or, more simply, “the one with the eyelashes,” the Miura could also be called the original Skunkworks car. Largely the product of Lamborghini’s engineering team working in their spare time, legend has it that company founder Ferruccio Lamborghini was against the idea of a rear mid-engined two-seat sports car. However, all doubts would have been quickly dispelled when the first concepts were shown to a breathless public in 1965. A year later, the car made its debut with the name of a Spanish fighting bull, a new matching badge and a 3.9 -liter transverse V12 and transaxle. Soccer fans are more likely to remember him as the car that sets the stage for The Italian Job.
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Right Wing – Lotus Europa
A cutting edge slice of high-tech engineering, when the Lotus Europa arrived in 1966, it combined the engineering principles of the Grand Prix with the sensibilities of sports cars. Taking the mid-engine, rear-wheel drive concept that Colin Chapman and his team had championed throughout F1, it was designed to bring racing technology to production cars, but had the Lotus mantra of ‘lighter weight’ written all over it. parts. Strictly a two-seater, despite its size, the Europa used a boxed steel chassis with a fiberglass molded body, in the style of the Lotus Elan, but was powered by a selection of Renault engines, as well as the famous unit. Twin Cam by Hethel. These weren’t that powerful but, with curb weights starting at just 660kg, it all helped. Like many Lotus models of that time, it enjoyed a long life in production, but was never a big seller.
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So 11 cars that took over the market 55 years ago when England is about to play its first major football final since lifting the World Cup trophy in 1966.