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Classic Cars July 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

My hypothesis – there are no more than two degrees of separation between anyone who grew up in the Sixties, Seventies or Eighties and a Mini. They were everywhere when I was growing up – cousin Stuart had a red Cooper that he drove flat out everywhere, Mum had a burgundy Clubman, aunt Rosalie had a red Countryman and at least two people on my walk to school had Minis. To this day, when I visit my parents I swear I can still hear the ghosts of those starter motors churning plaintively on damp winter mornings, until they inevitably die with a whurr, rurr, click. A schoolmate, whose name I have chosen to withhold in the interests of diplomacy, even managed to put his Mum’s Clubman on its roof within…

10 min
‘i’d keep this one for the weekends!’

Six new Aston Martins shine at our backs. They sear with lurid paintwork and the glimmery tease of carbonfibre but they can’t break our trance. Outside, a complex growl, a low-flying roofline. The Vanquish has arrived. A voice breaks the silence. ‘Oh golly!’ It’s Charlie Valdes-Scott, serving Army officer, ex-competitive bobsleigher and incurable classic car fan. Today, he’ll be driving. ‘You really do need to be taught how to drive an electro-hydraulic manual transmission properly’ But not quite yet. The car finds a parking space and, back in the showroom, Paul Spires begins to speak. Well-dressed and factory-fitted with the V12 of handshakes, he’s the Aston brand incarnate. As president of Aston Martin Works, he boasts 37 years of marque experience and has an especially close relationship with the first-gen Vanquish. ‘I…

1 min
charlie’s dream drive list

Audi B7 RS4 Avant ‘A very discreet supercar – the coolest way to rock up at the school gates incognito.’ Blower Bentley ‘An iconic British car to travel the world in.’ Maserati Indy ‘The one that got away. I tapped out at £42,000 and it went for £49,000…’ Lamborghini Urraco P300 ‘Bonkers. A monster machine and very pretty with it.’ Aston Martin Vanquish ‘Is the gearbox really as bad as they say it is?’ De Tomaso Pantera (pre-1972) ‘Detroit meets Italy. The styling is superb, then there’s this massive great engine.’ Ferrari 328 GTS ‘A better iteration of the 308. It was what I was after when I got my 348.’ Porsche 911 RS2.7 ‘The ultimate in Porsche cool and the most iconic of all 911s.’ Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud DHC ‘I saw one in a magazine and you could take it to any event.’ Lotus Essex Turbo Esprit ‘Purely…

1 min
charlie’s car cv

TOYOTA LAND CRUISER BJ40 & FJ40 ‘Resurrected last year and militarised. They gave me a memorable summer, and they were perfect for pulling up at the camp gates!’ PORSCHE 928 ‘I thought it’d be the ultimate GT. You sit barely six inches in front of the rear axle and it’s very… discombobulating but good fun.’ MERCEDES 350 SL ‘It’s not a sports car, it’s not a cruiser, but it is a lovely thing to look at. The design is timeless.’ FERRARI 348 ‘It’s where Magnum PI meets Don Johnson, and it’s epic!!! It’s two seats strapped to a V8, offset pedals and massive wheels.’ CHALLENGER TANK ‘I thought we should include my company car.’…

5 min
porsche boxster 986 is top value

‘Buyers loved its retro styling with echoes of the 550 Spyder’ I have mentioned this before, but early Porsche Boxsters are looking silly value. A decent car with a sensible mileage can be yours for under £4500. In April, SWA in Poole sold a silver ’99 with 99,000 miles, AFN history, nine stamps in the book and a recent service for just £2100 plus premium. That is bonkers money for a baby Porker that’s looking more of a neo-classic by the day. Simple, chaste, unadorned and with brilliantly neutral handling, the 986 was widely credited as the car that saved Porsche in the late Nineties and buyers loved its retro styling with echoes of the 550 Spyder. The 2.5-litre flat-six M96 engine has proved tough and reliable, and bodies are commendably rust-resistant.…

2 min
buick roadmaster estate

Before you think I’ve missed my medication, I maintain that the Buick Roadmaster Estate is destined for greatness. Why? Because it has more street presence than a Ferrari, more faux wood than IKEA and, well, looks like nothing else on the road. From 1994 to 1996, Buick’s eight-seater dreadnought packed the firepower of the contemporary C4 Corvette – GM’s LT1 5.7-litre V8 – which means it can dispatch 0-60mph in just seven surreal seconds. That’s right, this station wagon can smoke a first-generation BMW M3! Its size, attitude, styling and furnishings are more over the top than a Kardashian’s birthday party, but it’s the ultimate sleeper: a dragster that looks like a wood-panelled kitchen. Imagine the look of defeat on that M3 driver’s face as you black-line him away from the…