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Classic Cars January 2020

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

When I was much younger, my brain would glaze over with boredom when someone cited build quality and reliability as the main reasons that they drove some German, Swedish or Japanese car or another. Not for me the engineered-to soulless-perfection of 200,000-mile engines, interiors that kept dry in a downpour or dependability offering greater than even odds of making it to my destination – and back – without troubling my glovebox stash of Scotch Locks, cable ties and gaffer tape. If a car offered enough performance, character and style, what matter the occasional half hour spent kneeling on a rain-lashed motorway hard shoulder, screwdriver in hand, torch clamped between gritted teeth? And then my brother emigrated, gifting me his pre-GM Saab 900S. Apart from the Abba Gold cassette left in the…

10 min
‘in looks the 130 wins it hands down’

‘That thin scallop along the beltline breaks up the car’s lines so well. It’s sheer styling genius’ Even before it turns in from the main road into Avantgarde Classics’ base, sited just down the road from another popular playground, Alton Towers, we hear Tim Kirkham’s TVR Griffith. Griffs are like that, and let you know their driver is a true petrolhead – which is very much the case here. Tim is a guy whose very first car was a Triumph Spitfire, bought in the mid-Eighties when it was already a classic. The TVR is just the latest in a long line of sports cars and coupés he’s been working through ever since. Avantgarde’s boss, Jonathan Aucott, invites us to look around the showroom while he puts the kettle on. We’re briefly distracted…

1 min
tim kirkham’s dream drive list

Panther Six ‘Bonkers six-wheeler with a huge Cadillac V8. Totally crazy but must be awesome to drive.’ Alfa Romeo Montreal ‘Concept car with race V8 and headlight slats. And it’s an Alfa – what more could you want?’ Lamborghini Islero ‘Probably my all-time favourite. Awesome V12 in elegant and understated GT body.’ Lancia Rallye 037 ‘Brutal and beautiful, a rallying legend for the road.’ AC Cobra 427 ‘What every two-seater roadster wants to be when it grows up.’ De Tomaso Mangusta ‘Stunning mid-engined pioneer. Probably not as good to drive as a Pantera but I wouldn’t care.’ Fiat 130 Coupé ‘Sharp and menacing mafia boss styling, pure class. If it was good enough for Enzo...’ BMW 635CSi ‘When I was seven a neighbour took us out in one... sideways. I’ve wanted to drive one ever since.’ Ferrari 288GTO ‘The ultimate blend of Italian muscle, feminine curves and…

1 min
1975 fiat 130 coupé

Engine 3235cc V6, ohc, Weber 45 DFC twin-choke carburettor Power and torque 165bhp @ 5600rpm; 184lb ft @ 3400rpm Transmission Five-speed manual, rear-wheel drive Steering Worm and roller, power-assisted Suspension Front: independent by MacPherson struts, lower arms, torsion bars and anti-roll bar. Rear: independent, struts, coil springs, lateral locating arms and anti-roll bar Brakes Discs front and rear, servo-assisted Weight 1555kg (3428lb) Performance Top speed: 118mph; 0-60mph: 10.6sec Fuel consumption 18mpg Cost new £8201 Asking price £42,000…

1 min
tim kirkham’s motoring cv

TRIUMPH SPITFIRE MKIV ‘My first car, bought before I passed my test. Dad even gave me lessons in it. Uncomfortable, draughty, not very quick, but I loved it.’ ALFA ROMEO GTV 2.0 ‘A big step up from the Spitfire in terms of engineering and refinement. Owning this really got Italian cars under my skin.’ LANCIA BETA SPIDER 2.0 ‘I missed the Spitfire’s soft top but wanted another Italian. Extremely practical with a big boot, four seats and superb roof arrangement.’ MG TF160 ‘Bought with my brother Guy to compete jointly in the Luffield MG Car Club speed championship. We were pretty competitive.’ TVR GRIFFITH 4.0 ‘Early example that I bought after a windfall. I still have it. Ownership reality not always as good as the dream but then I look at it and forget the hassles.’…

5 min
aston martin db6

Aston DB6 prices are looking interesting. They’ve fallen back after chasing DB4s and DB5s up to £300k in 2015 and now there are DB6s on the market at less than £200k. That feels like an opportunity. In October, RM Sotheby’s sold an original and nicely mellowed Tudor Green 1970 MkII with 28,000 miles – and delivered new to Aston Martin racer Robin Hamilton – for £197,000. With the desirable manual gearbox, upgraded to Vantage spec in the Seventies, cherished rather than restored and out of 30-year ownership, it felt good value. Beamish in Co Durham sold a restored Sierra Blue ’68 auto for £165,000 in July, and Bonhams sold a restored Caribbean Pearl blue ’68 auto in ‘wonderful’ condition after a bare metal restoration for just £158,333 at Goodwood last year. Even…