Articles

Text materials

Show filter
1950 Citroën Light 15

Martyn Dennis is no stranger to pre-war classics, but until now he hadn’t had the opportunity to drive a Citroën Light 15 – so we’ve put that right.

26
1963 AC Cobra factory racer

This AC took the Cobra’s first class victory at Le Mans before winning of one of the most memorable showdowns in GT history. Today Ivan Ostroff reacquaints himself with 39 PH.

153
1992 Maserati Spyder III

We put designer Adrian Morris in the object of his curiosities, a Maserati Biturbo – but will it leave him feeling boosted or busted?

137
1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona vs. 1969 Ford Capri 1600GT

Worlds Apart We stage an extraterrestrial encounter between Ford Capri and Ferrari Daytona to discover their shared Sixties GT soul. In 1969, Ferrari’s 365GTB/4 Daytona epitomised the Sixties GT dream, while the Ford Capri brought it to the masses. What might their drivers have made of each other on the rare occasion their worlds collided?

Editor's comment
Much of the time it makes perfect sense to compare direct rivals alongside each other, but sometimes it takes opposing perspectives to fully understand cars
You’ve got Rolls-Royce ideas on a pushbike income,’ a phrase I haven’t been hit with for a long time. I think the last occasion when it stung my ears was when I dared to entertain notions of one day buying a Seventies Aston V8, at a time when dubious but almost shiny examples seemed plentiful at around £10k. By then I’d graduated from Raleigh Record to Ford Capri 3.0GXL – also dubious and almost shiny – and the Aston seemed only a couple of steps on, allowing for some nifty man maths. Replace those cars with new examples and the journey from one to the other would have seemed an impossible quest at the time, like that between our Capri 1600GT and 365GTB/4 cover stars, cars that shared tarmac in offering the romance of grand touring but were really worlds apart. Viewing each from the perspective of the other was a challenge we gave to Sam Dawson this month, and his story throws fresh light on two highly charismatic GTs from the fast-moving transition of Sixties into Seventies. I can’t imagine Stephen Hawking maths could have made the numbers work to put the Ferrari in my garage, then or now, even one in dubious and not quite shiny condition. It will remain one of those cars I’m content to enjoy on paper and by occasional sight and sound at events, along with a carefully banked memory of borrowing one for the weekend to visit friends in south Wales via a route wilfully avoiding the tedium of motorways and congested towns. On the sort of twiddly little roads that I instinctively and misguidedly first headed for, it felt cumbersome; opened up on sweeping A-roads it came ever more alive with each 10mph increment on the speedo. The sight of that chiselled snout spearing with improbable pace towards the rearview mirrors of the countless cars I passed must have been hard for their startled drivers to comprehend. More than 50 years ago it must have seemed like a visitation from another world. Enjoy the article.
271
1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 964 vs. 1994 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 993

The air-cooled 911 market is constantly evolving and no model is immune from the gravitational pull of ever increasing values witnessed by the ever decreasing gap between the 964 and the 993.

284
From 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 to 1989 911 SC: why these are the 911s to buy now

From under-the-radar collector status to realistic daily-drive prospect, the G-Series is the air-cooled 911 of the moment. As it hits its 50th anniversary, Porsche authority. Steve Bennett tells us why.

Editor's comment
The 911s that make sense

When I was a pup – well, probably in my teens, which means my opinions were even more virulent yet even more unfounded – I didn’t much care for new Porsche 911s. You couldn’t blame me: I was born in 1968, so when I was most full of revolution and rebellion and looking for a system to smash, 911s were at their new-establishment peak, that thankfully brief window in the mid-80s when all the cliches were formed. Red-braces wearing yuppie a-holes going backwards into hedges in matching Guards Red impact-bumper 911s while swilling from a bottle of Pol was real (though perhaps rather less frequent than the tabloids made out). As was the 911’s guilt by association, sadly.

By the time I got into the classic car magazine game in the mid-90s, the big-bumper generation of Porsche was still unfashionable, all too often the cars were uncared for and poorly maintained daily drivers at the bottom of their value curve. They were what you bought if you couldn’t afford a ‘proper’ Porsche.

To those of us of a certain age, I guess they still are to a lesser degree, but to an only slightly younger generation of enthusiasts, the one that has also embraced all those 1970s shades of brown that still make my blood curdle – russet, sable, oatmeal et al – there seems to be no trace of that stigma. Of course, you suspect that they might change their minds the moment they have the wherewithal to test drive a 1968 S, but for now I am quite jealous that they can enjoy the later cars without all the social baggage that used to come with them, used to spoil them. That’s partially a comment on how quickly society and perceptions move on in the modern world, but mainly it’s testament to the longevity of a brilliant design.


Heck, the cars we are rightly celebrating this issue were in production so long that they easily outlived their own negative stereotypes in period. They emerged in 1974 and bowed out in 1989, they pretty much saw off their own succession plan when the front-engined cars came and went, and now they seem far more related to what came before than to what came after.

After all, with all the world’s 964s being hoovered up for restomods and 993s being sufficiently evolved to be an entirely different car, these G- (and on) Series 911s are suddenly looking extremely appealing in their own right rather than merely as an alternative to something you can’t afford. In the words of the wise Glen Waddington: ‘It’s the only “purebred” 911 that still exists in reasonable quantities and for almost sane money.’
317
1978 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 NART Spider

Unseen in public since 1988, this ultra-rare and forward-thinking Ferrari 365 GTB/4 NART Spider will soon be unleashed at The Quail, Monterey. David Lillywhite got to see it first.

219
Final 1974 Jaguar E-Type, chassis 1S/2872

Not only is the final E-Type the last example of this iconic model but it also represents an end of an era for Jaguar. To mark the 50th anniversary of its assembly, we look at the car’s background before explaining its place in the company’s history.

208
630whp BMW M4 F82

The first generation of turbocharged M cars has forged its own legacy among the greats and builds like this show just why these cars are so popular and what’s possible when you go all-out.

224
1985 BMW 333i Coupe E30

From 1985 to 1987, BMW South Africa manufactured a limited number of the E30 333i. It was only manufactured there and has become a cult hero in the country, and this specimen is one of the neatest examples.

241
454whp S85 V10-powered monster BMW E30 Coupe

With a five-litre S85 V10 engine squeezed into its engine bay, this hardcore E30 is an extreme machine guaranteed to get your pulse racing.

239
430bhp tuned 1987 BMW 635CSi Turbo E24

While, at first glance, this might appear to be a fairly standard E24 6 Series, a closer look reveals that all is not as it seems, and this unassuming classic is hiding some big secrets behind its iconic sharknose bodywork…

242
2012 McLaren 12C

Ben Barry was present at the McLaren 12C’s launch. 15 years on, he revisits this game-changing supercar and discovers F1 performance for rather less than £17m.

Editor's comment
F1, round two
McLaren may have been swathed in some negative headlines and unwelcome speculation for quite a few years now, but it’s easy to forget that there was a time not so long ago when the company was not only unimpeachable but untouchable.
Its utter dominance of Formula 1 may have drawn to a close in 1990, but there were still spurts of brilliance, seemingly coming towards the end of each decade. And even when it wasn’t winning, McLaren was still always a contender, still a very big fish in the paddock. Then, after the turn of the millennium, design – especially British design – suddenly became a big deal, as the world’s purchasing ethos shifted from people only wanting everything as cheaply as possible to swathes of people being prepared to pay a premium for excellence built on flawless or innovative engineering. Especially if it was blue-blood British. Just ask James Dyson.
The time was ripe for McLaren to launch itself into road cars, the company image, the sterile headquarters in Woking (from which my rotten old nail was once evicted on aesthetic grounds, but that’s another story) all suggesting a laboratory from which only purity and genius could emerge.
Of course, there had been McLaren road cars before, but this was a whole different ballgame to the one-off M6GT that Bruce McLaren himself drove around Woking, or the F1, which will forever remain as much a high-volume science experiment as a low-volume car.
The acute singularity of purpose of McLaren’s previous road cars meant that, really, the MP4-12C was its first real ground-up production car, a high-performance supercar with its own singular purpose: to give a bloody nose to Ferrari. And it did. As you always knew it would, with Ron Dennis at the helm.
Not only that, though, the MP4-12C (or 12C as virtually everyone would have it) was the strategic foundation for everything that has come since, McLaren seamlessly melding its rich heritage with cutting-edge technology… and so much pace. Whatever McLaren’s current woes, the 12C was a high watermark for a remarkable company at the height of its powers. I’m not saying everything has gone downhill since, but even today the 12C is still the one I’d want, not just for what it can do, but also the enormity of what it represents.
227
1959 Maserati 3500 GT Bertone

After shying away from the limelight for decades, the unique 1959 Maserati 3500 GT Bertone took a bow at Pebble Beach last year. Massimo Delbò gets behind the wheel.

213
1972 Alpine A110 1600S

Few cars are as rewardingly intimate to drive as an Alpine A110, or as successful in rallying. Richard Heseltine gets to grips with the marque’s own recce car on a Portuguese stage.

216
Drives TODAY use cookie