The Ferrari Roma goes from nought to 60 as smartly as it transports you to Fellini’s Italy. It is at the vanguard of modern grand tourers — powerful, beautiful and evocative.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a ‘grand tourer’, or GT, can be defined as “a car designed for comfortable long-distanced touring”. The term, derived from the Italian gran turismo, originated in the mid-century with cars made by marques such as Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and Mercedes-Benz. The recipe was straightforward: they were typically front-engined, and speed, comfort and luxury took equal priority. It was a combination that produced some of the finest cars of the 20th century. The Ferrari 250 GT, Mercedes 300SL and Aston Martin DB5 represent the pinnacle, encapsulating why GTs are so alluring. Here are three cars that were very quick in their day, with emphasis placed on straight-line speed, cornering performance and comfort. Yet equal importance was placed on the way they looked and felt. They’re beautiful objects of desire, and as a result they command shockingly high price tags today.


February 2021


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