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Classic Cars May 2021

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
R 74,70
R 580,66
12 Issues

in this issue

2 min

Like an oil stain on a concrete garage floor, a negative perception can be hard to lose. Ferrari Testarossa – Eighties excess on wheels – went out of fashion as rapidly as big hair and New Romantics. Even designer Leonardo Fioravanti was apologetic about it when we spoke to him for our Pininfarina special in the February issue. Porsche 928, Talbot Sunbeam Lotus and Mini 1275GT have all suffered for what they’re not – 911, Escort RS2000 and Mini Cooper respectively. And Ford Focus RS MkI, panned for rabid torque steer that made it impossible to drive with any great finesse. Call me a revisionist if you must, but the very qualities that have denied these cars the best of receptions are what make them more appealing today. If a taste…

11 min
european union

First impressions aren’t everything – just look at this, one of seven Bristol Farinas built. The 401 chassis and running gear are almost entirely factory standard but you wouldn’t know it from the hand-formed bodywork. Styled by Battista ‘Pinin’ Farina, this 1948 machine clothes the Filton mechanicals and chassis in coachbuilt aluminium that encapsulates the best of Italian glamour without losing sight of Bristol Cars’ BMW origins. HJ ‘Aldy’ Aldington can take credit for the meeting of minds. An enthusiastic racer who’d spent the Thirties selling the best of Bavaria alongside his Frazer Nash sports cars, he introduced Bristol Aeroplane Company directors to BMW and swiftly secured a working relationship, buying blueprints for the 326, 327 and 328 models soon after. Though George White took majority control of the Aldington brothers’…

1 min
restoring a bristol farina

Lee Keller of Warminster firm Spencer Lane-Jones has worked on several of the Bristol Farinas. A talented driveline specialist, Lee oversaw the 2010s rebuild of 401/216’s engine. ‘The current owner bought his Farina to us because it was down on power and leaking oil. He decided to have the engine rebuilt to our Touring specification, which we’ve developed to increase power, torque and drivability.’ ‘A young lad, Ben Forey, started at the time and he did the majority of the work, with me overseeing him. It takes 200 man hours to strip, build and prepare a Bristol straight-six. They’re very labour intensive engines to work on and not as mass produced as the Chrysler V8s fitted to later models. Luckily there were no problems with the cylinder block or head, which…

5 min
shrugging off the stereotype

It’s not a huge leap of faith to expect the first of the 2001 to 2012 L322 Range Rovers to become collectable. They were, after all, game changing. I remember back in the late Nineties, Dr Wolfgang Reitzle, the then head of Ford’s Premier Automotive Group – owner of Land Rover at the time – explaining over dinner how the third-generation Range Rover was going to be uncompromisingly engineered with German precision. And he was broadly right because it was mostly engineered by Land Rover’s previous owner, BMW. I owned five of them in a row, never had a serious issue and loved the cackle from the supercharged 400bhp petrol V8s. They were so wildly popular that I remember walking down Park Lane in London one timeand thinking, ‘Can this…

2 min
ask quentin

Merc S500 or Rolls Shadow? I have two cars which I don’t really know what to do with. I’m hoping you can give me a steer. My 1994 Mercedes S500 Coupe is a nice old thing with 61,000 miles and full history, in dark metallic grey and with 18in Monoblock AMG wheels. It’s been in storage for 10 years but runs and moves. To make perfect it could do with one of the front wings replacing, and a bit of recommissioning. Should I restore this and use for a while in the summer, or sell now? My 1979 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow 2 is in Chestnut Brown and magnolia leather, with 39,000 miles, two owners and full history, is also in storage and will require some recommissioning work. What do you think – time to…

3 min
buying bonanza

Delayed for four weeks by lockdown and still presented from behind closed doors, Anglia Car Auctions’ season opener released a lot of pent-up demand. The numbers to the right tell some of the story, but in any terms this was a remarkable sale where just 13 of the 170 cars on offer failed to find a buyer. Even more surprising was the amounts being paid, with estimates being beaten right across the board with no pattern to be drawn from it; everything was popular. I could have filled these pages with exceptional prices paid, but settled on the pair in Market Indicators below and the 1995 Jaguar XJS 4.0 Celebration auto pictured. It was a very nicely presented car with a genuine 77,696 miles and solid history. Not being the more…