Classic Cars August 2021

Classic Cars is the original classic car magazine. It defined the world of classic motoring 40 years ago and still does it today. Every issue is put together by our team of classic car experts and enthusiasts. Using the best expert writing and photography, the magazine helps you experience what it's like to drive, keep and restore the classic cars of days gone by. We bring the stories and people behind the cars to life - showing you how to buy, keep and enjoy your cars. Every issue of Classic Cars is packed with: - Road tests - Drive stories - Expert buying advice - News and events coverage Classic Cars is the original classic car magazine.

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2 min

Christmas 1973 was the last that I received Corgi/Dinky models as presents, the cars – a mid-green metallic Porsche 911S Targa and a dark blue metallic Mercedes 350SL. At the time I was drawn to their styling and the sense that they were something special. Neither was exactly a common sight on the roads of rural Nottinghamshire. The nuances of their dynamics, engineering and place in the world order wouldn’t mean much until magazine road tests read later filled in a few of the blanks. Only decades later did I get to try either for myself, thanks to the privilege of being a motoring writer. The 911 came first, and after a few hundred yards of vigorous acceleration followed by just one bend I was hooked on its eccentric behaviour. But…

10 min
‘it just hit me... i’m driving a lamborghini!’

Your dream drive made real The Lamborghini Urraco looked like nothing else in Sorrento, Italy. Parked next to a beach buggy in a sea of Fiat 500s, the turquoise supercar bewitched nine-year old Paul Bushby and started a lifelong passion for Sant’Agata’s mid-engined supercar. ‘Seeing it there was like an impromptu car show and a highlight of my holiday,’ he remembers. ‘A film error meant I didn’t have a picture to look at afterwards, so the Urraco has been stuck in my mind ever since.’ Almost 50 years after his first roadside encounter, Paul will discover whether his childhood dream makes a beguiling reality. Today we’ve arranged for him to drive a Lamborghini Urraco P200. ‘The Urraco still stands out,’ Paul grins as we meet in Henley-on-Thames. ‘I spotted it as soon…

1 min
paul’s dream drive list

Citroën SM ‘I saw one in Paris once and the shape stuck with me’ Lamborghini Urraco ‘Because it’s a manual V8 with an unusual gearbox’ Range Rover 3.5 ‘I remember sliding around the cabin at a Goodwood motor show when they were new’ Austin Allegro Estate ‘I like the quartic steering wheel and I like the square wheelarches’ Jensen Interceptor ‘For the noise and for the styling of that rear window’ Chevrolet Camaro 4.1 ‘Because everyone drives an auto’ V8. A manual inline-six is so different from the American norm’ Renault 16 ‘My father had one. I was fascinated by the adjustable headlights’ Citroen GS Bi-Rotor ‘I used to marvel at a neighbour’s GS rising on its suspension. The Bi-Rotor is even quirkier.’ Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham ‘All about ambience. Button-back seat, pull-down gear selector and a body as long as a football pitch.’ Rolls Royce Silver Shadow ‘Like driving…

1 min
paul bushby’s car cv

1974 VAUXHALL MAGNUM 1800 ‘A world apart from my Viva first car. I cut my teeth replacing the cam housing and followers… I never did stop it leaking oil after’ 1972 ROVER 3500 P6B ‘Doors with the solidity of old train carriages but many maladies: tinworm, water consumption and clunky suspension... yet I loved it anyway’ 1976 JAGUAR ZJ 4.2 ‘Smoother than the Rover. It moved off the instant the traffic lights changed. I was only 20, after all…’ 1983 BMW 316A ‘A rock solid revelation. Everything worked and kept working until I sold it at 95,000 miles’ 1993 RANGE ROVER SE ‘Eyewatering fuel costs but it had stainless tubular exhaust manifolds and made a great V8 sound. Drove like Mr Bean on top of his Mini!’ 1989 RANGER ROVER VOGUE SE ‘Served its purpose well – taking my daughter’s stuff…

5 min
db6 values kamm-tailling off

It’s been a while since we’ve seen shiny, well-preserved Aston Martin DB6s selling for less than £200k. At Bonhams’ Bond Street sale in May two were sold for a premium-inclusive £184k each, and they were decent cars. They both came from a Middle East collection with no histories and had been unused for some time, but even so this marked a low point for DB6 values. The blue ’70 MkII may have sported the less desirable Borg-Warner self-shifter (and also needed 5% import duty paying) but it was rhd and UK-supplied with a provenance chain showing a 38-year ownership stint with just one family. I thought it was particularly well bought. Bonham’s second repatriated DB6 was an earlier ’67 MkI, still in its original Dubonnet Rosso and also a UK-supplied right-hooker, but…

2 min
ask quentin

Pagoda predicament I very much enjoy my 1970 W113 Pagoda 280SL; it has full M-B specialist service history from new and has been lavished with considerable work recently. Is now a good time to sell? David Brown There’s strong demand for W113 Pagodas; last week an unfinished project 230SL with a 2.8 engine swap sold for over £90k. If you’re minded to sell, now would be a good time because we’re seeing a rally in values and lots of interest in cars with provenance, especially if they’re matching-numbers and UK-supplied. Quentin Willson Hidden Tigers? I have a Sunbeam Tiger 4.7 MkII, registered NLL 218E, which I believe is the fifth of a special batch of the 289ci Tigers made for export but converted to rhd and sold to special UK buyers. But records say only four…