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Classic Cars April 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

April 2020 Issue 561 Quattro. It’s up there with M3, maybe even 911, as shorthand for a type of car that defines its maker, distinguishing it from all others. Or at least it was in a now far-off time before manufacturers all felt the need to compete head-to-head in practically every conceivable market segment. Simpler times; you knew where you were. Maybe that’s why new car buyers are becoming ever more promiscuous than they used to be. Back at its 1980 debut, the box-arched Quattro Coupé had the stance of a bulldog and a 200bhp bite to match – ah, remember when such power seemed profligate – with the defining party trick of sharing the shove 50:50 front to rear. It wasn’t the first four-wheel-drive GT by any stretch, but this was…

11 min
‘i’ve wanted an elite since i was eight…

Inspecting the underbelly of a Type 75 Elite at Lotusbits, professional engineer and Classic Cars reader Andy Duncan is impressed by what he sees. ‘As Colin Chapman used to say, “add lightness”. It’s such a compact and straightforward piece of engineering.’ He scans the structure of the car, which is up on a lift, part-way through a full restoration. ‘There’s a backbone chassis operating as a central spine and the glassfibre moulding used to create the body is way ahead of its time. There are so many simple, thoughtful design cues.’ Ducking under the driveshaft, Andy leads us to the rear suspension to illustrate his point. ‘This is a Chapman speciality,’ he continues. ‘It’s something you see on Lotus Formula One cars of the same period too – the driveshafts are…

1 min
andy duncan’s car cv

FORD FIESTA XR2 ‘Caspian Blue. It was my first decent car and I was 20. I almost polished the paint off it…’ 1980 LAND ROVER SERIES 3 ‘I can’t imagine life without a Land Rover. Once you’ve got them in your blood, they’re forever. The S3 was serious fun but a real boneshaker.’ 1995 MGF VVC ‘Great fun and peanuts to buy. It became a retirement present for my father-in-law, who stills runs around in it.’ 2001 MERCEDES SLK230 KOMPRESSOR ‘Followed a similar 320 but I quite liked the supercharger on this one! It had a very different sound and was immaculate.’ 2002 PORSCHE BOXSTER ‘I always wanted a Porsche! Boxsters are so cheap and, though they’re a bit of a pain, I like to maintain it. The mid-engined layout arguably gives even better handling than a 996 911.’…

5 min
modern-classic fiat is a real coup

The Fiat Coupé of the Nineties has started to look beguilingly cool. With its clamshell bonnet and sunken rear lights – the last of Chris Bangle’s hands-on designs for the brand before his infamous move to BMW – I think fine survivors are now worth keeping. That warbling five-pot 20v 220bhp Turbo can dispatch sixty in six seconds and touch 155mph, the steering rack is from an Alfa GTV and quick with just 2.2 turns lock-to-lock, there’s a Viscodrive limited-slip differential and the alloy-caliper Brembo brakes always feel reassuring. In fact we’ve forgotten how Turin’s poppet was such a great drive and that it was actually one of the fastest front-wheel-drive cars of its day. You’ll also love the Pininfarina interior with its painted dash and retro dials. The 20-valve cars had…

3 min
ask quentin

BMW M535i excitement Your article in the March issue on BMW E28 M535i values got me excited. I own an immaculate, silver-with-motor-sport-stripes E12 M535i. It has 54,000 miles and great history, has never been restored but was repainted beautifully. It’s in superb mechanical condition and original throughout. Considering there are so few remaining, is there a good case to say it could or should be worth £60k or more? Peter Ratcliff Congratulations, you own an enormously desirable BMW! E12 collectors are now looking for spanking, unmolested original cars – of which there are very few – and they’ll pay strong premiums. I’m not sure your is worth £60k because that’s getting close to nice M5 money. A BMW specialist would certainly price your car bullishly. There may even be fewer, low mileage, historied, original…

3 min
epic start to 2020 at aca auction

We’re becoming accustomed to Anglia Car Auctions starting the sales year with a flying start, but this was something else. A great catalogue helped, with something for every taste and plenty of rarities in the 221 cars on offer. It attracted the company’s biggest ever attendance, with around 2400 people at the Saturday 25 January sale. They weren’t just spectators either, as the enthusiastic bidding soon proved. There were only two no-sales in the first 53 lots and after a few provisional offers had been dealt with, the overall rate for the sale stood at an impressive 85.1%. Individual results were strong too, with a couple of standouts picked out below, including the 1986 Audi Quattro 10v. Very nice, though not exceptional with seven past owners and over 76,000 miles,…