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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.

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.

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…

25 years of Porsche 911 996

The use of a water-cooled flat-six may have been a radical rethinking of the original 911 concept, but there was much more to the 996 than headlines would have you believe…

1965 OSI Ford Mustang

This ‘Made in Turin’ mustang with radical new bodywork was the pony that got away

1996 Audi A3 8L

Visit the Audi website today and you’ll be faced with more options than a Woolies pic ‘n’ mix. There are 16 cars to choose from, and that’s before you discover the sub-models. You can’t just buy a new Audi A3, you must decide whether you want the A3 Sportback, A3 Sportback TFSI e, A3 saloon, S3 saloon, S3 Sportback, RS3 Sportback or RS3 saloon. And you thought the choice of flying saucers or strawberry pencils was taxing.

Guilty Pleasure 1995 Chrysler Neon Mk1

Disposable cars are, by their nature, disposable. Vehicles bought on a budget face a rapid decline into the abyss, often just one big bill away from a meeting with a burly chap with a car baler and a German Shepherd named crusher. It’s why the first-generation Chrysler Neon is a rare sight, even in its homeland, where it was sold as the Plymouth or Dodge Neon

On the fringe 1977 Bertone Jaguar Ascot

Scroll back to 1978 and Pininfarina caused a furore with its Jaguar XJ Spider. No gush was too purple as the world’s motoring media begged British Leyland to adopt it as a production model. It didn’t, of course, but this one-off roadster remains a classic of its kind

A Jaguar Mk VII finishes fourth at the 1952 Monte Carlo Rally

Cecil ward’s amazing third place in 1951’s long and arduous Monte Carlo Rally driving a Mk V proved that Jaguar’s big saloons had what it took to compete at the highest level

Porsche 911 in all its various forms from 1963 to 1989

The history of the 911 is one of almost Alfred Hitchcock-like complexity, leaving many in a welter of names such as S, Targa, E, L and Carrera. Our narrative commences at the 1963 Frankfurt Motor Show when Porsche displayed its vision of the future, and ends in 1989 when the 964 employed 85% new parts to create the next version of one of the world’s most recognisable sports cars.

1999 Toyota Tarago

Not to say there’s causation, but the world went a bit pear-shaped when the Toyota Tarago left us. The people mover of choice for tens of thousands of Aussies ended production in the final weeks of 2019, since replaced by the more luxo-bent Granvia. But this page of Wheels hasn’t paid homage to the trusty Tarago until now.

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