x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Top 5: cars of 1971

To celebrate the UAE's 40th, we highlight the top five cars from 1971.

You don’t need us to tell you the UAE is 40 years old. 1971 was a vintage year, not only as it marked the founding of this great country of ours, but also as it saw the introduction of some of the greatest cars the world has ever seen. And, just as the UAE has continued to blossom, these five automobiles have gone on to secure a place in the hearts of petrolheads the world over

 

1. Maserati Bora

As unlikely as it sounds, Citroen was in charge of Maserati in 1968 and immediately set about developing a supercar with V8 power. The Bora's shape was penned by Giorgetto Giugiaro when he was at the top of his game and underneath the gorgeous designer clothes were some incredibly advanced hydraulic systems that the French parent company was already famous for. Hydraulics powered the brakes, the driver's pedals, even the pop-up headlamps. Still one of the finest GT cars money can buy. If you can find one of the 524 built, that is.


2. De Tomaso Pantera

The idea was so simple and it should have, could have worked: build a supercar for the masses combining sharp Italian styling with reliable Ford V8 grunt, marketing them in the US through Ford's colossal network of dealerships. There were major problems from the word go and after two years Ford pulled the plug, the awesome Pantera becoming a hand-built, low-volume supercar. Elvis had one and famously shot it when it wouldn't start. You couldn't make stuff like that up, really.

3. Lamborghini Miura SV

To many eyes (ours included), the Miura is simply the most beautiful car the world has ever seen. Created by a team of very young men in their spare time, it heralded the age of the supercar with its novel mid-engine layout and a Bertone-designed body that nobody has bettered since. And the SV was the best of the bunch, with more power, a wider stance, more predictable handling and a revised oil sump arrangement. Just 150 SVs were built and they're now worth huge sums of money. Worth it, though.

4. Volvo 1800ES

A Volvo?! No, we haven't lost our minds, because the P1800 was the car that made Volvo desirable to the young and prosperous. As a sports car, the P1800 coupé had become world famous for being Roger Moore's transport in The Saint and it was a near perfect blend of Italian design and Swedish indestructibility. Unveiled in 1971, the "shooting brake" 1800ES arguably looked even better and offered genuine practicality. Just 8,077 of these cars were built so they're rare, too.

5. Jaguar E-Type Series III

Unloved by too many for too long, it looks like the tide is, at last, turning for the lovely S3. Sure, it had put on weight (more than 300kg) since the early models but it had a silky-smooth 5.3L V12 under that lengthy bonnet, giving it some serious performance credentials. It turned the E-Type into a glamorous GT car, setting the template for every sporting Jaguar since and it's still a beautiful thing to behold, particularly as a convertible. It lasted until 1975 when the XJS came along and things went rapidly downhill.