Some cars can tell an interesting story. Others write the story themselves, and without them it is impossible to imagine a particular area of the automotive engineering field development. Race cars are separate from regular cars, they are designed for dizzying speeds and incredible records. At the same time, to win at least once, being different from other contenders, is not less valuable than to take first places several years in a row. What are they – the legends of racing? We asked Jim Malkovich, an auto mechanic & blogger at the Mechanic FAQ.
Audi 200 Quattro has competed against cars with more engine capacities, more cylinders, and more power. At first glance, it did not have a chance, but it had four-wheel drive. In 1988, Audi completely took over the Trans-Am races, and in 1989 they even had to change the rules to keep it off participation.
Audi Sport Quattro was a great rallying player due to the same all-wheel drive before the dominance of the Trans-Am. For generations, Quattro has won rallies over and over again culminating with the Sport Quattro S1 E2 model.
Ford GT40. When Ford decided to go up against Ferrari with its new car, it seemed ridiculous… but only at first glance. Ferrari won Le Mans in the ’60s for 6 consecutive years, but Ford GT40 managed to snatch a victory in the next 4 years.
Lancia Stratos HF. Until the ’70s, rally cars were not specially designed. The regular models were taken and modified for racing conditions. In the case of the Lancia Stratos, the changes were incredibly successful – this car won 18 WRC races, including taking first place 3 years in a row.
Lotus 79. For the fans of racing it may sound crazy, but before the appearance of Lotus 78, Formula 1 cars did not use ground effect. Lotus 79 has developed the ideas of its predecessor, becoming the first race car that used ground effect hundo p. In 1978, this meant it was completely invincible, making it easy to take the WCC Cup.
Mazda 787B. Mazda is known for their love for rotary engines, so it’s no wonder they’ve installed one of them on their race car. Thus, in 1991 Mazda 787B became the only Japanese car to win 24 hours of Le Mans. And also the only car that did it with a rotary engine.
McLaren MP4/4. When it comes to unbeatable racing cars, you just can’t forget to mention this model. In 1988, with Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost be hind the wheel, MP4/4 always took first places. Out of 16 races, this car won 15, and Senna even won 4 races in a row.
Porsche 917 was once famous for its incredible speed of 386 km/h which allowed it to win Le Mans in 1970 and then in 1971. The same model was also involved in shooting the movie with Steve McQueen, “Le Mans”.
Porsche 962 was one of the most successful racing cars in the mid-’80s. In 1985 and 1986 it won the WSC, in 1986 and 1987 – 24 hours of Le Mans, from 1985 to 1988 – IMSA GT. The modified 962 model was even able to conquer Le Mans in 1994.
Tyrrell P34 was famous for winning a single race – the Swedish Grand Prix in 1976 – where it took third place. This six-wheeled car is remembered for its incredibly bold design. The idea was that the small front wheels were supposed to reduce the frontal resistance of the large front wheels, and this partially worked. But after the 1977 season they decided to stop the development of P34.