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Classic Cars June 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
welcome june 2020 issue 563

Of all the cars launched 50 years ago, only two model lines survive, the Suzuki Jimny and the Range Rover. I don’t recall the pint-sized Japanese offroader being much talked about back in 1970, but the Range Rover made quite a splash, not least for its hefty £2000 price tag at a time when the average house price was just a vinyl roof option shy of £5000. I even had a Corgi Range Rover of my own in Police ‘Vigilant’ spec and enough traffic cones and signs to cordon off the inevitable accident between my permanently car-chasing Aston DB6 and Jensen FF. I don’t believe a Jimny was even available in the Congleton toy shop. If it was, one never made it into the Bell shoe box known as my…

11 min
‘there’s not a bad aspect – the pagoda carries its years lightly’

Stocklund Square car park in Cranleigh is a normal place to leave a perfectly normal car. Yet today, standing in the quietest corner, something abnormal catches the eye. Pert yet balanced, ringed with chrome but never excessive, the Paul Bracq lines of the Mercedes 230SL ‘Pagoda’ have Classic Cars reader Simon Dodds entranced. This is one of his dream cars, and he’s about to slip behind the wheel for the first time. ‘It’s even prettier than I remember,’ he remarks as we orbit the two-seater body. ‘The Pagoda is a very, very attractive shape.’ The removable hardtop roof stops Simon in his tracks. A popular optional extra, it was designed with a mild concave curve to increase strength without compromising cabin access, and remains the car’s most distinctive styling feature. Likened…

1 min
simon’s dream drive list

Bristol 411 ‘So elegant. I used to call into the showroom and stare like a kid in a sweet shop!’ Mercedes ‘Pagoda’ ‘Understated and competent, and surely a joy to drive long distances.’ Reliant Scimitar GTE ‘A car I always promised myself but have never got around to owning’ Alfa Romeo Spider ‘My friend used to run GTVs – I’ve wondered how this generation of Alfas drives,’ Lotus Elan +2 130 ‘I just know I’d like to drive one.’ Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica ‘Perfect from every angle and always the car I most want to take home from Goodwood.’ Rover P5B ‘The last of the real hairy-chested Rovers.’ Porsche 911 pre-impact bumper ‘One of the purest expressions and something of a duty call.’ Jaguar XK 150 ‘A neighbour of my grandparents ran a succession of XKs in…

1 min
simon dodd’s car cv

LANCIA FULVIA COUPÉ SERIES 2 ‘A 1300 with the dogleg gearbox and I loved it. No torque steer, so you didn’t know it was front-wheel drive, and a fabulous daily car.’ MG MIDGET 1275 ‘A nightmare. The failed seat runners sent the passenger hurtling towards the windscreen, the single circuit brakes failed and I once span it near Beachy Head…’ LANCIA FULVIA COUPÉ SERIES 3 ‘Bought because I loved my previous Fulvia, I ran this one until it rusted away. The first bits of Fiat interference were visible but I still adored it.’ MGF VVC ‘I had the MGF for four years, and it was both incredibly quick and incredibly comfortable. It had everything in the right place and a Hydragas suspension system.’ MAZDA MK-5 NA ‘I set out on the test drive from Tottenham and immediately became lost,…

2 min
still cheap – but not for long…

With most classic BMWs creeping up in value we should revisit the E21 first-gen 3 Series. Much more influential and trend-setting than fast Fords or GTis, the E21 hasn’t enjoyed anything like the same enthusiast affection or jump in prices. You can still buy proper low-mileage survivors for less than £7000. In March, Brightwells sold a Cypress Green ’81 323i, refreshed after 25 years in dry storage, with 89,000 miles, factory alloys, sunroof and history for £6820. In the same sale it knocked down a mint Alpine White ’82 316 auto with 60,000 miles, one owner for 22 years and ‘huge history’ for just £5040. A private seller in Norfolk has a very shiny and unmolested silver ’82 left-hook 316 manual with 75,000 miles, factory alloys, air-con, three owners, history and…

1 min
ford escort xr3/xr3i prices continuing to rise

There’s a definite movement in XR3s. In the March Historics sale a 1980 pre-production press car made a hefty £17,920. Restored to original spec with plenty of period documentation, this was strong money for an early non-injection XR3. Another restored car, an ’81 in Sunburst Red with 101k, three owners and Ziebarted from new, made an equally impressive £10,920. There’s been a steady uplift in values, which is hardly surprising given the runaway prices achieved for Escort RS Turbos and it looks like the XR3 is being pulled up in their vapour trail. Back in August, Matthewsons auctioned a restored ’82 XR3i in red with 48,000 miles for £9460 while CCA drew £23,310 for a perfect 2000-mile Diamond White ’85 XR3i cabriolet – that one now looks like an inspired buy.…