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Classic Cars January 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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United Kingdom
12 Issues

in this issue

2 min

January 2021 Issue 570 Nearly 11 years ago I bought my 1962 Jaguar E-type, just ahead of an exciting year of 50th-anniversary celebrations. And here I am, older, wiser – particularly in matters of how to cope with its various flaws and frailties – but just as besotted with the thing as I was when I finally exchanged a chunk of boring money for a car of my dreams. I use the word ‘a’ in place of ‘the’ because there are many others that I fantasize about owning, and a fair few that I could afford, if I sold the E-type. That, as it turns out, is a big ‘if’. I really don’t want to imagine life without the brassy blare of its XK straight-six under power, the delicate touch of…

10 min
‘the suspension is a revelation’

Renowned classic Lotus specialist Paul Matty Sports Cars sits off the Forest Island roundabout, at the junction of the A38 and M42, in Lickey End, Bromsgrove – just outside Birmingham. Logistically this Midlands location is pretty much the perfect position from which to slingshot generation after generation of Hethel’s finest out into the motoring world after sale, restoration or fettling. As I draw up to the garage I pass a – what’s the collective noun for a group of Colin Chapman’s finest? Got it – balance of Lotus, but notice two interlopers parked up front. The first is a meticulously restored Colorado Red TVR 2500M belonging to today’s reader, aerospace engineer Craig Polly, and the other is the imposing Black Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow I of Dougal Cawley, proprietor of Doncaster-based Longstone…

1 min
craig polly’s dream drive list

Lotus Elite Type 14 ‘Beautiful shape made from the new wonder-material – glassfibre – and a wonderful engine’ Bristol 400 ‘The first Bristol car, manufactured to aircraft standards’ Gordon Keeble ‘Always fancied a US muscle car – why not have the engine wrapped in a stunning body made in England?’ Austin Westminster A105 ‘Surely a comfortable Big Healey? The one car my grandfather wanted but never managed’ MG PA Airline ‘Such a beautiful shape and so rare’ Rochdale Olympic ‘One of the first glassfibre monocoques using BMC mechanicals – always an underdog’ Invicta S Type ‘Fine engineering and Donald Healey’s Monte win – plenty for me’ Alvis Grey Lady ‘A friend had one, but never got it running – I’ve always wondered what it would be like to drive’ Riley Pathfinder ‘Fifties saloon – the last to use Riley’s engine, but a flawed design’ Lamborghini Miura ‘Watched The Italian…

1 min
craig polly’s car cv

AUSTIN-HEALEY SPRITE ‘My first car – the Sprite was bought in 1979 and used until rust caused an MoT failure. I restored myself it in the late Eighties and have enjoyed many miles in it ever since.’ TRIUMPH TR7 ‘More modern than its peers when I bought it, but I had to replace the sills when it was only four years old. But it was comfortable all year round and, believe it or not, fashionable.’ TVR 2500M ‘Drove past one and I promised myself I’d have one, even though I didn’t know what it was. Left under a cover one winter, the paint suffered osmosis, so I stripped and restored it.’ AUSTIN A4O FARINA ‘My father had one in the late Sixties. At purchase this example would hardly go above 40mph, but it was only poor tuning.…

5 min
in the spirit of the times

Is it just me or are Silver Spirits suddenly looking compelling? Maybe it’s just inflation but prices of mint Spirits seem out of step with the general market. You’ll find £14k now buys you a low- mileage example with detailed history – which is a lot less than a similarly cherished Shadow, Cloud or Seraph. And yes, I know this perpendicular Royce has never been considered a collector’s gem, but a nice one still offers charm, waftability and road presence in spades. A minter has greater intrinsic value than its asking price’ Le Riche on the isle of Jersey has a Balmoral Green ’91 Spirit II with 52,000 miles and history for £12,950 while Silver Lady Services in Brentwood has another Spirit II, a ’90 example with 35,000 miles and just one…

2 min
ask quentin

Collection slim-down I am a Portuguese enthusiast with a small collection, including bikes. For various reasons, including space, my wife’s comments and now living outside the country, I need to sell part of the collection and keep only the valuable ones. Which cars should I sell or keep? They’re all left-hand drive: 1956 Mercedes 190SL; 1978 Porsche 911SC; 1974 BMW 3.0CS; 1981 Ferrari 208GTB; 1975 Lancia Fulvia 1.3S; 1974 MGB GT; 1982 Chevrolet Corvette; 1972 Fiat 124 Spider; 1971 Fiat 600D; 1972 Fiat 500R; 1991 Mercedes 280TE estate; 1988 Jaguar XK8 coupe. Francisco Vasconcelos Always keep the cars in the best, or most original condition with the lowest genuine kilometres because they will always be the most valuable. But to reduce your collection to the classics with the most future significance, I would sell the…