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125 Years

of the

Motorcar
125 Years
of the

Motorcar
125 Years of the Motorcar

125 years ago, there was only one motorcar on the planet.
Isn’t it very accurate to say that 2010 offers a most
appropriate time to celebrate the legacy of perhaps the
most influential invention in human history that we have
naturally taken for granted?
Here’s my silent tribute to all those pioneer and legendary
personalities in automotive history, respectfully
remembering and honoring their great names, once again.

December 15, 2009


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Toyota Publica - 1965
Toyota Publica - 1965

Kiichiro Toyoda built his first production car,


Toyota AA in 1936.
Toyota Publica, the predecessor of today’s probably the
best-selling model of a car, Corolla, was a small car
introduced in 1961, developed under Japan’s “national car”
concept. It was the smallest Toyota car during that period.

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Honda S800 - 1965
Honda S800 - 1965

Soichiro Honda’s wonderful creation, S800 was introduced


at the 1965 Tokyo Motor Show. It became Honda’s image
car replacing its predecessor S600. It had a 791 cc
straight-4 engine and was capable of 160 km/h. Production
ended in 1970 with about 11,500 cars produced.

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Ford-
Ford-Lotus Cortina - 1963
Ford-
Ford-Lotus Cortina - 1963

The result of collaboration between Ford and Lotus, the


Ford-Lotus Cortina was a high-performance car which was
released in 1963. It featured a 1,558 cc dual overhead
cam engine and was available only in one color:
white with a green flash.

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Lotus 7 - 1962
Lotus 7 - 1962

Designed by Lotus founder Collin Chapman, Lotus Super 7


was a small, lightweight open-top sports car produced
between 1957 and 1972. After Lotus ended its production
of Super Seven, the rights were sold to Caterham. It is still
continued as Caterham Seven.

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Chevrolet Bel Air - 1956
Chevrolet Bel Air - 1956

One of the most recognizable American cars of all time,


the 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air featured a 4.3 L V8.
Its irresistible looks soon earned the nickname, Hot One.
The ’56 Chevy Bel Air was a successful hit with
climbing sales.

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BMW 507 - 1956
BMW 507 - 1956

Model 507 roadster, the BMW's answer to the


Mercedes-Benz 300SL, is said to be one of the most
beautiful automobiles ever produced. For the first time
on a German production car, disc brakes were available on
the front wheels of this 3.2 L V8 since 1958. Only about
250 cars were produced, from 1956 to 1959.

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Mercedes-
Mercedes-Benz 300SL - 1955
Mercedes-
Mercedes-Benz 300SL - 1955

Introduced at the 1954 New York Auto Show, model 300SL


was the first ever gasoline car with direct fuel injection. It
was a 2-seater closed sports car with characteristic
gull-wing doors featuring a 2,995 cc single overhead cam
engine with Bosch mechanical fuel injection. 300SL
remains as one of the world’s best-loved sports cars of all
time. About 1,400 units were produced until 1963.

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Peugeot 203 - 1949
Peugeot 203 - 1949

The Peugeot 203 was a mid-size saloon produced


between 1948 and 1960. It was Peugeot's first new model
launched after the World War II and was the first
monocoque production car by Peugeot. The car was
exhibited at the Paris Motor Show in 1947.

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Pontiac Silver Streak - 1947
Pontiac Silver Streak - 1947

Pontiac’s comeback after the World War II,


the Silver Streak emerged with an 8-cylinder 4.1 L engine,
blending enough power with affordable luxury. It was a very
quiet vehicle of its time, a feature thought to be a mark of
quality in an automobile.

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Audi 920 - 1938
Audi 920 - 1938

The Audi 920, introduced in 1938, was externally very


modern in design and had a high-performance 6-cylinder
engine. The Audi 920 was in so high demand that more
than a year's production output was sold out within months
after its launch. The car was available as a 6-window
saloon and as a two-door convertible with four windows.
About 1,200 Audi 920 cars were produced from
1938 to 1940.

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Horch 853A - 1937
Horch 853A - 1937

Horch was probably the most popular German brand for


high-performance luxury motorcars.
The Model 853A, one of August Horch’s most remarkable
designs, became available in 1937.
It featured a 4,944 cc straight-eight engine blending
unparalleled aesthetics, luxury and sophistication.
When the World War II began, production of the Horch
automobiles ceased.

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Rolls-
Rolls-Royce Phantom II Sedanca - 1934
Rolls-
Rolls-Royce Phantom II Sedanca - 1934

Whatever is rightly done, however humble, is noble.


-Sir Henry Royce

The symbol of perfection in automotive engineering,


Rolls-Royce was founded in 1904 by Charles Stuart Rolls
and the celebrated engineer Frederick Henry Royce.
The last design by Sir Henry Royce, before he passed
away in 1933, the Phantom II was introduced in
September, 1929. It had a 7.7 L engine and had
synchromesh on top two speeds. Shown here is the
Sedanca Drophead version of 1934.
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Alfa-
Alfa-Romeo 8C 2300 Monza - 1932
Alfa-
Alfa-Romeo 8C 2300 Monza - 1932

Vittorio Jano’s magnificent engineering marvel,


the Alfa-Romeo 8C 2300 was in production from 1931 to
1933. Its special racing derivative was called the Monza.
It was powered by a twin-overhead-cam, straight-eight
engine and had a top speed of above 220 km/h achieving
a number of prestigious victories to its undefeated glory.

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Austin 12 - 1928
Austin 12 - 1928

An all-time classic, Austin 12 was introduced in 1921.


It was Herbert Austin’s second model after the World
War I. It remained in production until 1939, enjoying
success throughout with annual sales peaking in 1927.

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Citroë
Citroën B2 - 1921
Citroë
Citroën B2 - 1921

Citroen B2 was the third model built by André Citroën.


It had a 1,452 cc 4-cylinder engine and a 3-speed
gearbox. The B2 quickly earned a reputation for durability
and economy.

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Lancia Alfa - 1908
Lancia Alfa - 1908

The first Lancia car was displayed at the Turin show in


January, 1908. The design details of the Alfa clearly
reflected the innovative genius of its creator, Vincenzo
Lancia. It had a light-weight chassis and a higher-revolving
engine than most cars of its period. The Alfa had an
unusual two-stage carburetor which fed the 2,533 cc four
cylinder engine, and featured a four-speed gearbox, a
novel lubrication system and a propeller shaft instead
of the more traditional chain drive. The car was
capable of approximately 90 km/h.

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Oldsmobile Model R - 1904
Oldsmobile Model R - 1904

The Oldsmobile Model R, also known as the Curved Dash,


was built by Ransom E. Olds. It was the first mass-
produced American automobile. It had a horizontal,
water-cooled single cylinder engine equipped with a
gravity-fed carburetor and a 2-speed gearbox.
Final drive was by chain and sprocket.

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Benz Motorwagen - 1886
Benz Motorwagen - 1886

The Motorwagen, an invention that opened a brand new


chapter in human history, was patented by Karl Benz on
January 29, 1886. It was a three-wheeler with a rear-
mounted 954 cc single-cylinder four-stroke engine.
The engine weighed about 100 kg, an extremely light
engine for its time, and featured a crankshaft with
balancing weights, electrical ignition with spark plug and
water cooling; some major features which can still be found
on modern combustion engines. It was capable of a top
speed of 16 km/h.

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Amila is an entirely self-taught artist, accomplished pianist


and young professional in the field of electronics &
telecommunication engineering, from Sri Lanka.
Classic cars are his passion. His drawings are done
with pen in uncompromising detail, combining automobile
history with his unique style of art making perfected over
almost two decades, claiming the world’s largest and only
collection of classic automotive fine art by a single artist.
He has held several solo exhibitions around the world.
amilaworld@gmail.com
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Thank you

The artist remembers in reverence,


Mr. J. P. Obeysekere, and
Mr. Mana Jayawardana
and expresses his sincere thanks to
Mr. Pio Mariani - Ambassador of Italy in Sri Lanka, and
Mr. Hemasiri Fernando - President of National Olympic
Committee of Sri Lanka, for their invaluable encouragement.
Thanks also to the exhibition organizers, sponsors and
partners as well as the visitors who had the pleasure of
admiring the splendor of legendary autos
remembered through his art.

AmilaWorld website credits to Udithe and Harsha

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