About two years ago, the Hagerty Drivers Club editorial team picked three sporty, European-designed cars powered by American V-8s and headed to the foothills for a day of canyon driving. The trio included an AC 428, which is a handsome, powerful convertible fitted with, appropriately, a 428-cubic-inch Ford V-8. The trio also included a Jensen Interceptor and an Iso Grifo, two of my all-time-favorite European/American hybrids.
I’m an unapologetic fan of pushrod V-8s, big-block and small-block alike, and the idea of beautiful bodywork wrapped around an easy-to-tune, easy-to-upgrade pushrod V-8 is a match made in heaven.
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Buick's little push rod 215 cubic inch all aluminum V8 went on to Great Britain to power the Rover 2000 sedan, the MGB GT V8 and Triumph TR8 sports cars and Land Rover, Range Rover models in variations up to 4.6 liters. I had a 215 in a 1962 Buick Skylark convertible with the tiny four barrel carburetor and two speed automatic. Great fun.
I worked in a sports car restoration shop while I was going to Michigan State University - 1970s - we worked on some interesting cars - two in this category were Iso Rivolta - looked like a more stylish BMW 5-series with a Chevy 327 V8; and Intermeccanica Italia - used Ford 302 V8...both beautiful Italian styled & bodied cars with American V8 grunt - back then we called this combo a "hybrid" - mid to late 1960s...
I Knew about the Ghia, I've always wanted one, way out of reach for me. There was one in the Blackhawk Collection in a town East of San Francisco where I discovered the car and other fascinations. But nothing like the Ghia.
Before the Jensen Interceptor was the Jensen CV8. CV8 stood for Chrysler V 8 , they used 361's and 383's. Fiberglass bodied with aluminum door skins they had in my opinion beautiful lines. 500 were produced mainly right hand drive but a few lefts were produced as well. I'm happy to be the owner of 64 RH drive and will once again enjoy it when restoration is complete.
We found a Facel Vega with Tom Cotter while shooting an episode of Barn Find Hunter a couple years ago. Super interesting car. It was my first time seeing one in person. I think Dean Martin had an HK500 at some point. If anybody is interested in Tom's Vega find, you can watch it here: https://youtu.be/5p4JLdDe8SY?t=904
I don't understand how you omitted Allard!! Sidney Allard was one of the first to put an American V8 into a European chassis. They one an enormous number of races driven by some of the best racers in the world.
It would be a huge list to include everything, but these are interesting. I had the pleasure of watching a red Ghia 450/SS in my rear view mirror on one of our Jaguar N. Georgia mountain cruises a few years ago. They are so beautiful.
I love the last paragraph on the Simca. I'll bet that was a challenge to get it to flow that well. Well done!
IMHO I believe one that you left out and is a beautiful design= Pantera. Exotic and easy to work on. Aftermarket up-grades (needed) are well manufactured and the Pantera commuity is full of wonderful people always ready to jump in and help