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1954 Kaiser Darrin

Bill Smith, known to his friends as ‘Barnsley Bill’, likes unusual American cars and he’s certainly got one with this 1954 Kaiser Darrin… When faced with a rare car such as this one, I’m always intrigued to hear why the owner decided to buy it.

1972 BMW 3.0CSL E9 vs. 2003 M3 CSL E46

The 3.0 CSL and its contemporary, the 2002 Turbo, laid the foundations for BMW’s ‘ultimate driving machine’ adventure. Along with their less powerful but still charming siblings, they pointed the way to BMW’s modern car-making template: mixing the excitement and drama of the better Italian sports saloons and coupes with the reliability and quality of a German car. It’s been paying dividends ever since.

1983 Brabham BT52

The truth is reliably stranger than fiction, and with the near-mythical motor BMW M built for Gordon Murray’s extraordinarily neat BT52 Formula 1 racer there’s almost as much strange fact and fiction as there was boost. (And there was a lot of boost.)

1998-2002 BMW Z3 Coupe E36/8

In many ways the M Coupe is the odd one out in this group of BMW icons. It has no motorsport pedigree, production was short-lived and objectively it was neither a commercial nor even critical success. So, why is it here? Because above all, this car is a brilliant demonstration of the M division’s vision and craft, transforming unpromising base materials into something arresting, unique and – as time goes on – highly sought after.

1984-1988 BMW M5 E28

Let’s be clear about what E28 M5 didn’t do first. The world’s first super saloon? A Dodge Coronet 426, Mk2 Jag 3.8 and many others would line up to set you straight on that point. BMW M’s first four-door? You could probably argue that the South African 530 MLE homologation special of 1976 nabbed that honour. Neither the MLE nor the German-built 1980 E12 M535i that came later had the M1’s 24-valve straight-six, mind, but the M635 CSi coupe did, and it was unveiled almost 18 months before the E28 M5.

1979-1981 BMW M1 E26

Step One of raising your profile as a car brand: build a supercar. And since you’re BMW Motorsport GmbH (the snappy one-letter nickname isn’t official until 1991), best make one that’s a racing car as well as a road car.

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQB 350 4Matic AMG Line X243

Electric seven-seaters remain a rare breed. Other than the £100k Tesla Model X, all that’s available is a glut of vans with windows – the Mercedes EQV, the Nissan e-NV200, or about 60 variants of the same Stellantis model.

1996 Ferrari F310

Since Enzo’s passing, in 1988, the prancing horse had struggled to get out of the gate. Despite top-tier Drivers — including Mansell and Prost — Maranello was a different shade of red. Having not won a driver’s title since 1979, the Ferrari 642 went embarrassingly winless in 1991 — with Prost acrimoniously sacked. Then, both Mansell and Prost would claim the 1992 and 1993 drivers titles, respectively — for rival, Williams.

1978 Lancia Sibilo

The collection of Milan-based Architect Corrado Lopresto ranks among the best in the world. The Key — an annual which ranks individuals based on the value and provenance of their collections — placed Lopresto at 22nd: more significant than Andreas Mohringer, but not quite so important as Ralph Lauren. Though, if you are like me and think a list is just another divisive tactic to get people arguing over something they might normally bond over, you can appreciate the life’s work of Corrado Lopresto for what it is: an immense and valuable tribute to Italian automotive design.

1974 Purvis Eureka Sport

It was an act of rebellion. Nothing made in Australia could match the exotic, space-age-looking exterior of the Purvis Eureka shown at the 1974 Melbourne Motor Show. The Eureka name came from Founder Allan Purvis, a determined man who — the story goes — was told that it would never make it past Australian Design Rules. Like a red flag to a bull, Purvis took a chance on the fiber-glass sports car to show that a small local operation could overcome both the bureaucracy and critics of the kit-car industry with a truly desirable unique product.

1970 Citroen SM

I am going to address the elephant in the room up-front. Citroen can make some pretty unusual, a little weird, “out there”, call them what you want, designs, and the Citroen DS is a classic example of this and is a strangely-popular vehicle. The DS model is the one you see driving around occasionally; you first look at the car — perhaps, no doubt with mixed emotions — then, look to the Driver and always wonder what they must know which you do not.

1962 Jaguar E-Type 3.8 Coupe

What is an early E-type like to use on a regular basis and can the flaws of the day be seen as charms today? Jim Patten swaps his 4.2 roadster for a 3.8 with a roof for a road trip.

Jaguar XJ-S

The XJ-S went on to be a major success for Jaguar, but its gestation was troubled and its early career blighted by poor sales. We take a look at those early problematic days of the 1970s…

1968 Jaguar 240

We investigate the rebirth of a late-model member of the Mk2 family, a special survivor with just one surname in the logbook

Fully rebuilt 2.0 16v ABF engined Volkswagen Caddy Mk1

A ‘simple’ lockdown project that seems to have spiralled out of control. Yep, Auto Finesse definitely has Caddy issues… as V2 of the AF truck fetish continues to evolve.

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