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Classic Cars August 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

As I write this we’re still in the thick of lockdown restrictions and looking forward to a time when we can mix more freely with family and friends, and get back to creating all of the special feature types that make Classic Cars different from the rest. Some have been impossible for the past couple of months, so we’ve had to be creative in how we produce the magazine remotely. Ever the optimists, we felt it was time to seek out the best-value sociable classics on the market right now, a diverse range of choices from a van to an exotic GT, united by their ability to share classic adventures between four or sometimes more people. I nearly added the words ‘surprisingly active’ in front of ‘market’ but stopped myself, because…

11 min
‘it sounds like a spaceship’

Sounds like a spaceship’ is a description I’m fairly sure has never, ever been applied to an R107 Mercedes SL. But those are the words shouted at me by my photographer, Alex, as I drive past his lens at 70mph in a custom-converted electric Mercedes 350SL. He’s grinning and so am I – rather a lot. I may be used to electric vehicles, having owned several over the years and driven most of the current offerings, but nothing could have prepared me for the dramatic collision of sensations at the wheel of this surprising hybrid of ancient and modern. For a passionate fan of the R107 with an interest in EVs, the offer of the first test drive of the only electric classic SL on the planet was one I…

2 min
series of fortunate events

Land Rovers are pulling strong prices with fine original and well-restored examples highly prized. In March, CCA drew £19,440 for ’59 Series II Station Wagon, chassis number 30 – one of oldest 109-inch survivors known – that had been ‘refreshed with an emphasis on originality’ and was looking perfectly period in factory Light Grey. More surprising was £18,630 for a ex-Australia 1951 80-inch Series I, mechanically rebuilt but with its original warts-and-all paint covered by a protective coat of clear lacquer. Who knew that showcasing a lifetime of battle scars would generate this sort of money? H&H at Buxton sold an early ’49 ‘lights behind the grille’ 80-inch Series I in solid but unrestored condition for a very reasonable £14,625 but a perfectly ordinary upgraded 2008 Defender 90 with 64,000 miles…

1 min
mercedes-benz w123 estate turns the tables

You may be surprised how values of Mercedes W123 estates have taken off. Really nice six-pot 280TEs can now make £30k and even a good four-pot 230 TE is approaching £20,000. I can remember when these wagons were seen as sensible shoes – plodding, workmanlike and much less desirable than the sexier coupés. But while the coupés have flatlined the TEs have gone into orbit, which might leave you scratching your head given that M-B built 100k coupés and 200k estates. The main reason is that so few TEs have survived. Coupés were bought to be cherished and are still around in greater numbers while the estates did the job they were chosen for – being run into the ground. As always vanishing numbers have a huge effect on values. VALUE 2014…

1 min
peugeot 304 cabriolet being pulled up by big brothers

Why is the Peugeot 304 cabrio so undervalued? Ten grand buys a minter and if you’re clever you’ll find nice cars at around half that. With only 120 rhd survivors out of a total of 836 imported into the UK between 1970 and 1975, this has become a seriously rare convertible. And it’s handsome too with sharp Pininfarina lines, a 504 front and a pert, stubby rear. I look at the fast-rising prices of 404 and 504 Cabriolets and think the 304 might be next. The alloy 1.2 engine isn’t a ball of fire – the ’75-on S version has 75bhp and a bit more verve – but front discs and independent suspension were standard. Strictly a two-seater (there was even a factory hard-top option) the interior has the usual French…

2 min
ask quentin

Is the Jaguar Project 8 a wise buy? The Jaguar Project 8 is a limited run. They are all left hand drive and come in different trim levels offering outrageous rear wing or subtle. Is it worth buying one as an investment and keeping it in a car storage bubble to sell on in five years? Alan Cunningham I’m not sure a Jaguar Project 8 will be a sure-fire future investment. Jaguar may have made a limited run of 300 cars but already they’re dropping in price. I saw an 8000 miler up for £114,000 this week which is quite a drop from the original £149,000 list price. If you really want something that might increase in value, look at a Ferrari 512BB, 308GTB Vetroresina or an Aston Martin DB6. These have now all…