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Classic Cars December 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

I sometimes look at a British car and wonder how differently we might treat it here if it wore the badge of an Italian, German or French manufacturer, instantly gifting it an extra layer of mystique and glamour. Mercedes P5B, Lamborghini Esprit or Ferrari E-type – all a bit more Côte d’Azur than Coventry bypass, with the inevitable upward pressure on values. We’re lucky that such cars are tracking behind their rivals and, in the case of the magnificent seven gathered for our cover story, behind where they could easily go when the market swings their way. Their selection was a considered process, in that the rest of us considered it a good idea to pack our resident market watcher, Russ Smith, off into the basement with his spreadsheets and slide rule to…

10 min
‘wow! that acceleration would become addictive’

‘I can see why Sixties journalists were so shocked by the performance, yet it’s imperious and never feels unruly’ There’s no doubting the credentials of today’s lucky reader. Jonathan Privett gives a quick acknowledging nod and grin before reversing his 16-year-old Mercedes-Benz CL600 V12 into a customer parking bay at The SL Shop. It confirms that here is someone familiar with both the three-pointed star and heavy dollops of horsepower. So he’s unlikely to be overawed by today’s mighty motor, which is something of a relief because he is about to meet – and at this point I feel inclined to cue dry ice and film trailer-style bassy voiceover – the Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3. This was a car that at its 1968 launch caused even hardened motoring journalists to shake their heads…

1 min
jonathan’s dream drive list

Riley Kestrel ‘Dad had a 1936 one. Mum impressed him by knowing what it was. They got together and I’m here as a result.’ Abarth 750 Zagato ‘Ultimate derivative of the Fiat 500, I think of it as a small, affordable Ferrari 250LM.’ Renault 5 Turbo 2 ‘Ultimate Eighties rally car/hot hatch – mundanity mixed with exoticism.’ BMW M635CSi ‘When I was growing up someone local to me had one and I was always drooling over it.’ Lancia Aurelia B20GT ‘One of the most beautiful cars ever made. Such purity of form and detailing.’ Rover P6 3500S ‘Grandad had a 2000TC which holds fond memories. He could never afford the V8.’ AC 428 ‘An AC Cobra with practicality, and one that will never be mistaken for a replica.’ Alfa Romeo Giulietta SS ‘Another great beauty and a car that gets its performance from aerodynamics and…

1 min
1968 mercedes-benz 300sel 6.3

Engine 6332cc alloy V8, ohc, Bosch mechanical fuel injection Power and torque 250bhp @ 4000rpm; 369lb ft @ 2800rpm Transmission Four-speed auto, rwd Steering Recirculating ball, power-assisted Suspension Front: double wishbones with anti-dive geometry, self-levelling air bags, telescopic dampers, anti-roll bar. Rear: low-pivot swing axle, self-levelling air bags, radius arms, telescopic dampers, anti-roll bar Brakes Discs front and rear, servo-assisted Weight 1734kg (3820lb) Performance Top speed: 134mph; 0-60mph: 6.5sec Fuel consumption 15mpg Cost new £8200 CC Price Guide £20k-£60k…

1 min
jonathan privett’s motoring cv

MG MIDGET MKIII ‘My first car, bought during my first year at university. A friend had one too and we drove them to the Ferrari and Lamborghini factories.’ AUSTIN-HEALEY 3000 MKII ‘I’ve owned this for 18 years, having bought it with the proceeds of a post-divorce house sale. I have since driven it 45,000 miles and it feels like a second skin.’ ASTON MARTIN DB2/4 MKI ‘Also from the house money! It was the final lot at a Coys auction and I paid just £18,000. A driver rather than show car, I’ve done the Beamish Rally in it.’ PORSCHE 924 CARRERA GT ‘Bought three years ago. I saw one in a car magazine as a kid but never in real life until I found this 39,000-miler at Simon Furlonger’s.’ PORSCHE 911 (993) CARRERA C2 ‘Mum was a fan of…

5 min
surge of the s-type survivors

How about this – Jaguar’s 1963 to 1968 S-type is bucking the falling market. There’s been a visible spike in prices this year both in the UK and Europe. In September, the RM Sotheby’s Savagga Collection sale in Portugal saw a fine ’65 3.8 sell for 36,800 euros, while Barons knocked down an original, but not perfect, ’66 3.8 for a healthy £22,000 and Bonhams dispatched a decent ’66 3.8 for a commendable £21,375 at its Bicester sale. These were all the desirable manual 3.8s but you can see a clear uplift in values that’s chasing Mk2 prices. Look at the historic graphs and you’ll also see that the steadily rising S-type sales results have hardly hiccupped for a decade. ‘The International Jaguar S-type Register only has 600 cars on file’ Private and dealer…