Retro

Retro cars road test

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1936 Rolls-Royce 25/30 Sports Saloon

Brian Williams came late to the joys of Rolls-Royce ownership. Magnificently capturing the elegance of pre-war luxury motoring, this 25/30hp Sports Saloon has produced a convert with a mission.

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1931 Bentley 8-litre

The 8-Litre ‘Dead Silent 100 mph car’ was W.O. Bentley’s masterpiece, in the view of many observers. Because they were made in tiny numbers, any encounter with an 8-litre is to be savoured, as our man in California, Steve Natale, discovered.

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1926 Rolls-Royce 20hp Saloon by Hooper vs. 1976 Silver Shadow

Though built 50 years apart, these two have something in common: both were make-or-break models for Rolls-Royce. We visit the man who owns them, and drive each car to see how the company’s unique qualities persisted across half a century.

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1974 BMW 2004 SA

We trace the roots of the 2004, which represents the first line of BMWs built specifically for the South African market, and which was based on the Gias 1700.

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1951 Jaguar XK120 - NUB 120 sister car is out of the shadows

Ian Appleyard’s ‘NUB 120’ scored all the column inches – but its sister car deserves just as much recognition, as Matthew Hayward discovers.

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1935 Jensen White Lady

The Jensen brothers of the West Midlands became famous for their GT cars, but the story began with the 1935 White Lady – newly restored to its former glory.

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1983 Jaguar XJ-S 3.6 Litre Coupé Police

Hoping to persuade police forces across the UK that the XJ-S could be a high-speed response vehicle, a single demonstrator was developed. It’s fresh out of restoration and we’ve driven it.

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1962 Triumph TR4

We have a 1962 Triumph TR4, some of the best roads in the country and 48 hours to kill. Join us on the perfect classic tour to kick off our guide to the top 50 British drives for a lively 2023.

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1958 Cadillac Sedan DeVille

Winning the 2022 Car of the Year competition may have seemed like a foregone conclusion to many (have you seen this car?!). However, creating such a masterpiece of restoration was many years in the making for owner Steve Sullivan and a voyage of discovery too, as editor Ben Klemenzson found out…

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1961 Austin Seven De-Luxe

Brian Birchall says that he likes all cars but Minis clearly hold a special place in his heart as he’s owned quite a few over the years. His latest Mini project is this fine, earlyMk1 but will it be the last one he restores?

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1958 Aston Martin DB Mk III 2.9

The final update of the DB2 series, the DB Mk III from 1957, was the first production Aston Martin to feature the now familiar shape of radiator grille making it an important model in the company’s past. We look at the car’s development, explaining why it’s more than just a grille before driving a beautiful example.

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1965 Fiat-Abarth OTR 1000 Coupe Bertone

We drive a replica of the long-lost Abarth OTR 1000 Coupe – a handsome fastback version of Bertone’s Fiat 850 Spider.

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1953 Fiat 8V Spider Vignale

Only one Fiat 8V Spider was ever made, bodied by Vignale in 1953. Now it’s been fully restored in the UK – and driving it proves a real revelation.

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Bob McGee 1932 Ford Deuce Roadster HighBoy Hot Rod

Hot rod enthusiast Bruce Meyer owns eight of the world’s most desirable 1932 Ford Deuces’ — and the Bob McGee Roadster is a personal favourite. In this extract from his recent book, Ken Gross explains why it’s so significant.

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1966 Aston Martin DB5 V8

This unique DB5 was created by Aston Martin’s Experimental department as a test-bed for its new V8 engine. Peter Tomalin takes the wheel.

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