In the mid-’60s, ‘modern’ meant a garage door remote 310 mhz Cortina unit, but progressive updates improved the performance over the decade. Surprisingly, perhaps, in 1981 Fiat’s twin-cam found its way under the Morgan’s louvred bonnet. Oddly styled German two-seater trades on the kudos of the Porsche name, although only the rare six-cylinder, 911-engined version was badged as such.
Air-cooled 80bhp 7-litre VW flat-four later stretched to 8 and then 2 litres was mounted amidships to optimise handling, but targa top only means that it lacks some of the fresh-air fun of the other cars here. The Lotus 907 twin-cam-powered roadster has bland styling compared to our Italian pair, and the cabin is a little plain, but it’s the closest rival here in concept. Early examples suffered from reliability woes, but this accomplished 16-valve 2-litre is quick and handles well. Just 10,500 were built over four years and this underrated, practical design now garage door remote 310 mhz rather appealing. With its overhead-valve, 95bhp 1798cc ‘four’, the venerable B may seem staid after the Alfa and Fiat, but on the road it doesn’t trail that far behind and is easily uprated to go and handle better.
The early cars’ styling is lovely, at least a match for the Italians’ fancy Farina suits, while parts back-up is second to none. A conservative garage door remote 310 mhz ironically , but don’t dismiss it. With its seemingly archaic separate-chassis construction and fun, old-fashioned handling, the TR6 may lack the sophistication of our Italian pair. But, thanks to its lusty, fuel-injected 5-litre straight-six it more than matches their performance in a straight line, at least. A bit of a beast, but guaranteed to put a smile on your face.