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Classic Cars June 2019

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.

United Kingdom
12 Issues

in this issue

2 min

Discounting Mrs Bell’s Porsche Boxster, which I regularly pinch, I’ve only owned one convertible – the pretty brutal TVR Griffith. Unusually for the two-seat roadster formula, it was roomy enough and, unless provoked, civilised enough to play grand tourer, but its raw character was never more than a few thousandths of an inch below the surface. For a thoroughly convincing attempt at the seemingly contradictory art of motoring that is both cosseting and open air, I’d need a cabriolet, something with more generous proportions in which to lounge around while enjoying the calm ambience of a saloon car with the plump roof down, or even up. The six cars Andrew Noakes has rounded up all claim to do the job, so he headed for the sort of touring country where you…

10 min
‘the proportions are just perfect’

The heavy rain has not long passed and in its wake is a stunningly vibrant rainbow. Apt, because somewhere over it – or in this case under it – dreams really do come true. At least for retired primary school headteacher and Classic Cars reader James Douglas they do. ‘If there’s one car on my dream drive list that I never, ever thought you’d put me in, it’s this,’ he admits, as the muscular rear end of DK Engineering’s Ferrari 275GTB emerges onto the tarmac at the Longcross test track. ‘I’ve seen them before, more often in film or print, but in the metal the proportions are just perfect – I can’t believe it’s finally happening.’ Me neither; it’s been two years in the making. In fact, the sales manager of one…

1 min
james’ dream drive list

Aston Martin DB6 ‘For me the prettiest Aston – I love the sawn-off Kamm tail.’ Jaguar 3.8 S-type ‘Grew up watching these being written off in The Sweeney.’ Citroen SM ‘Looked so futuristic; even nearly 50 years on I still think it’s amazing.’ Maserati 3200GT ‘Reasonable reliability, wonderful looks, good performance and excellent comfort – in a Maser!’ Lancia Stratos ‘The noise it made and the skill required to drive it made it a legend.’ Saab 96 V4 (works rally spec) ‘Stig Blomqvist won the ’71 RAC Rally in one – I’d love to drive a works car.’ Alfa Romeo Giulia ‘Hired one a couple of years ago and wasn’t disappointed – one of the prettiest cars ever made.’ Riley Pathfinder ‘First car I can remember, as my dad had one – powerful and imposing.’ Ferrari 275GTB ‘Awesome. If I could have just one car off my…

1 min
james’ car cv

PEUGEOT 205GTI ‘One of my favourite cars, a real hoot to drive and, apart from a faulty alternator at 35k miles, no trouble at all up to 105k miles when I sold it.’ VOLKSWAGEN TYPE 2 (T3) ‘Although it was woefully underpowered we had great fun in it. Now replaced by a T4 camper with the more potent 2.5-litre turbodiesel.’ ALFA ROMEO 159 Q4 ‘My first Alfa was a 156 2.5, followed by a GT with the 3.2 Busso V6, another 156 and then this 159 Q4 with the GM Holden-based V6.’ SAAB 96 V4 ‘My fourth 96, extensively modified with sport/ rally parts: a different crank makes it 1740cc, it has a Weber twin-choke and a gas flowed head.‘ NUMEROUS OTHER SAABS ‘I’ve also had a 95, three 99s, a 9000 Turbo and a 9-5. My 99 Turbo…

5 min
nissan 300zx is set for a charge

The ’89 to ’94 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo could become the new 240Z or Honda NSX. Brutally striking, fast and wide-eyed, it can hit 60mph in 5.6 seconds and carry on to a maximum of 155. Up against the contemporary Sierra Cosworth, 944 S2 and Audi Quattro 20v, 300ZXs were highly regarded as worthy embodiments of Nissan’s famous Z Car philosophy. Ridley Scott’s iconic 300ZX TV ad – ‘Built for the Human Race’ – was actually banned in the US for glorifying speed. In the UK the list price was a huge £35,000, but buyers liked the muscly lines, four-wheel steering, ABS, dual Garrett blowers and punchy 276bhp V6. ‘Find a perfect, original UK-supplied low miler and tuck it away’ If I were looking for an affordable Nineties GT that won’t depreciate, I’d…

2 min
mercedes a45 amg

Mercedes’ first-ever hot hatch is now down to 20 grand. The A45 is a landmark car both for Stuttgart and AMG, who had never built a turbocharged four-cylinder before. And for a first stab they did a remarkably fine job. The A45 squeezes a bonkers 355bhp from its 1991cc – more horsepower per litre than a Bugatti Veyron. Adding four-wheel drive and a seven-speed paddle-shift dual-clutch ’box into the mix were clever ideas, giving the A45 enough heave and grip to embarrass a 911. This is a seriously rapid and entertaining Benz that can dispatch 60mph in 4.5 seconds, run to a limited 155mph and return 35mpg. Like all landmark cars it’s the early incarnations that should interest us. The 2013/14 MkI can genuinely claim to be the world’s first hyper…