As we often tell you, to understand a topic it is good to know it history, and not just the present. In every area, in fact, it is not only important where we are today, but what we have done to get to where we are today. And this is true for medicine, for science, for literature, but also for the car. And this is exactly what we want to do for the Christmas episode of Auto for Dummies. To seal the closing of the old year and the arrival of the 2022, here are the birthdays of legendary cars that will fall just next year. In the new year of Auto For Dummies there will be room for an in-depth analysis of each of them, but today we take stock of who will be the celebrations of 2022. Today we will see 12 lucky ones who will have their birthday, and among them there is also a centennial!
Lancia Lambda, in 2022 the centenary of the car that revolutionized the automotive world will be celebrated in 2022
Let’s start immediately with a bang with the oldest car that will be celebrating its birthday in 2022: Lancia Lambda. Among the birthdays next year, the legendary Lancia is in fact the longest-lived and will turn off well 100 candles. It seems impossible to think of cars that are even 100 years old, but this Lancia is a centennial of vital importance for the automotive world.
For the youngest and less passionate of historic cars, it will certainly be incredible to think of Lancia as one of the most important manufacturers in the history of the car, home to some of the greatest innovations in the world of engines. And it all began in 1922, exactly one hundred years ago, with the birth of the Lancia Lambda. Following the nomenclature of the letters of the Greek alphabet, the Lambda is perhaps the most important Italian car ever produced.
How come? Because it introduced a solution that changed the automotive world forever: the load-bearing body. The chassis was no longer separate from the bodywork, as it had been inherited from horse-drawn carriages, but now the bodywork also played a structural role, like the hull of a ship. This allowed the Lambda to be lighter, more pleasant to drive, more modern and much more compact in lines, doing without that huge separate chassis. In addition, among other innovations, the Lambda brought the i front brakes (before her, only the rear wheels were equipped with brakes) and the independent suspension, on Lambda present at the front. Thanks to Lambda, cars are what they are today. For this reason, his 100th birthday is an opportunity not to be missed.
Alfa Romeo Giulia, 60 years of the sedan “designed by the wind”
We are staying in Italy for one of the most anticipated birthdays of 2022, that of a car loved by all fans of the world, regardless of parochialism and personal preferences. In fact, in 2022, the legendary Alfa Romeo Giulia turns 60, the small sedan of the Milanese company that revolutionized the world of sports cars.
In 1962in fact, Alfa Romeo was faced with the ominous task of replacing the Juliet, the fiancée of Italy who since 1955 convinced the public that it was possible to combine the space of a family sedan with the sportiness and driving pleasure of a sports car. Although the mechanical base was the same, the Giulia revised the engine, the classic Alfa Romeo Bialbero, the suspensions, now with wishbones superimposed on the front, and sported a safer bodywork with a rigid living cell, modern and gritty lines and an excellent aerodynamics.
The Cx was a very respectable value of 0.34, really good for the time, which allowed her to become famous with the slogan “Giulia, the car designed by the wind”. Launched in 1962 in the 1300 version, it even exceeded all direct rivals by 40 km / h in maximum speed, and drove very well. Then launched in coupé, spider and even in the very rare Promiscuous family version, the Giulia is a milestone in Alfa Romeo’s history, and deserves to be celebrated among the most important car birthdays of 2022.
In 2022 we will celebrate the 60th birthday of the most expensive car in the world: Ferrari 250 GTO
From a car sold in over 500,000 units we pass to one of the rarest, most expensive and famous cars on the entire planet. In fact, among the celebrated birthdays of 2022, there are cars that are real stars: few, however, come close to the divine aura of Ferrari 250 GTO, the most famous and expensive car in the world.
Born 60 years ago, In the 1962, the 250 GTO was the non plus ultra of GT category racing cars, a car developed exclusively for racing. Compared to the previous (and beautiful) 250 SWB, in fact, the 250 GTO sported extreme lines, developed by Enzo Ferrari’s favorite panel beater, Sergio Scaglietti, solely with a functional purpose. Despite this, the Ferrari 250 GTO is an incredibly beautiful car, but above all very fast. The engine was the classic 3 liter V12 derived from the 250 Testa Rossa, capable of well 300 CV at 7,500 rpm, and thanks to a weight of less than 900 kg the 250 GTO was unbeatable in the race. Very fast, but at the same time agile and with “low” fuel consumption, it was the perfect car for endurance races.
In his racing career, between 1962 and 1964, Ferrari 250 GTO obtained 24 class wins and 8 overall wins, including two overall second places at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. After retiring from racing, however, the 250 GTO became famous again after the 1980s. After the boom of classic cars, in fact, the 250 GTO immediately became one of the most sought-after cars by collectors. Thus it was that its value went from 2 million dollars in 1988 to present value, which fluctuates between 50 and 60 million dollars. To date, the Ferrari 250 GTO is the most expensive car in the world, and also holds the record for the highest selling price ever for a car: $ 48.05 million, in 2018.
BMW 5 Series E12, in 2022 the birthday of the car that changed the course of the House of Monaco
For the fourth of our car birthdays to celebrate in 2022 we are (temporarily) going away from Italy to celebrate the 50 years of the BMW 5 Series E12. For those unfamiliar with the German brand, it might seem like an unimportant model, “so there have been other 5 Series models”. Actually, the 1972 E12 was the first BMW to introduce the series nomenclature, and in general the first modern BMW in the history of the house.
As we have often told you in recent months, in fact, in the second post-war period BMW was in serious economic crisis, and it was very different from the manufacturer we know today. Thanks to the Isetta, the 700 and the BMWs of the Neue Klasse, introduced in 1962, at the beginning of the 1970s the Munich manufacturer recovered completely. For this, there was a need for a epochal change of course. New name, new engines, new style, focusing even more on those peculiar characteristics that contributed to the rise of BMW: engines of absolute quality, driving pleasure and quality.
Thus was born the Series 5 E12, the first time for many things that, today, we find discounted in a BMW. The E12 was the first to be called Serie, as mentioned, but it was also the first to use the 3 cipher nomenclature, with the Series number at the beginning and then the next two numbers to indicate the engine displacement. Thanks to the lines of Paul Bracq, the powerful engines ranging from the 90 bhp 1.8 of the 518 to the 3.5 218 bhp in-line six-cylinder M535i, the 5 Series was a real success. In total, more were built 720.000 unity, starting a tradition that continues today.
Mercedes 190 W201, the first Baby Benz that changed the House of the Star
We stay in Germany but move forward 10 years, with one of the most underrated birthdays of 2022 among the cars on this list. In fact, we speak of 40 years of the Mercedes W201, also and above all known by its trade name: 190. After years of discussions and second thoughts, in fact, Mercedes decided to attack the mid-engined sedan market, where Alfa Romeo, BMW, Volvo and even Audi were achieving excellent results.
After a lifetime of mid- or high-end models, Mercedes decided to launch its first compact sedan, the W201 known to the general public as 190. Equipped with park and extremely reliable 4 or 6 cylinder engines, the 190 compressed all the features of extreme build quality, elegance, refinement and comfort into a rather compact size car.
The Series 3 rival, 80 and Alfetta debuted in the 1982, and the line of Bruno Sacco anticipated that of another icon of the House of the Star, the W124. Compared to the other cars of the Star, the 190 sported taut lines, more dynamic and youthful but always, unmistakably Mercedes. Light, robust and complete, the 190 was considered a gamble by some Mercedes-Benz executives, but they quickly changed their mind. Indeed, the Sindelfingen plant produced more than that 1.6 million 190 between 1982 and 1993, starting the success story of Class C.
Lancia 037, 40 years of the last rear-wheel drive World Rally Champion
After the Lambda, there is still room for another, unforgettable Lancia, the 037. In fact, in 1982, the world of rallying seemed to be the domain of all-wheel drive, introduced by Audi with its quattro in 1981. Everyone was developing an all-wheel drive system for their next car for the World Rally Championship. Everyone, except Lancia. The Borgo San Paolo house in fact designed what has gone down in history as the last rear-wheel drive car to win a World Rally Championship, the legendary Lancia 037.
Also known by the official name of Lancia Rally 037, the Lancia Squadra Corse car was inspired by the Lancia Beta Montecarlo Turbo for track races, and by the Lancia Stratos of the 1970s. The recipe was simple on paper. Mid-engine, rear-wheel drive, light, powerful and mean. Developed in collaboration with Abarth by some of the best engineers of the time such as Sergio Limone, the 037 needed a 1982 apprenticeship season.
In 1983however, after the Audi quattro’s victory in the Drivers and Brands’ Championship the previous year, the 037 responded. And he did it with the victory of World Rally Championship, the last one held by a two-wheel drive car. The 037, thanks to its courage to challenge the giants of the automotive world with the power of ideas, is one of the most popular Italian racing cars.