Retro

Retro cars road test

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1983 BMW 316 E21

The E21 sat in the shadow of the E30 for quite some time, now this classic BMW is getting the attention it deserves – like this lovingly restored 316.

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1964 Ford Lotus Cortina vs. 1962 Lotus Elan

The late racing maestro Jim Clark is still revered and adored by many – not least IndyCar legend Dario Franchitti. Here are his experiences of two very special ex-Clark Lotuses.

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2022 Bentley ‘Blower’ Continuation

Bentley is well on the way to completing its batch of a dozen Blower Continuation cars. Mark Dixon compares new and original examples on track.

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1934 Aston Martin MkII

Since this incredibly original 1934 Aston Martin MkII was dragged out of a barn, a year-long operation to preserve it is has been completed. Time to revisit.

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1975 Ford Granada Coupe 3.0-litre Automatic XL Mk1

Ford Heritage: The Mk1 Granada Coupe was Ford’s archetypal 1970s luxury tourer. And with a stellar resto and a few special touches, this South African survivor is a fine example of the breed.

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1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Sportsroof

Refurbished by Alan Faulkner-Stevens of Dragon Wheels, Buckinghamshire, this magnificent Mustang Mach 1 Sportsroof represents the marque’s halcyon days of the Seventies…

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1960 Plymouth Belvedere

Cars like this Plymouth Belvedere of Richard Mayo’s don’t come up for sale every day. From street car to race car and back, it could almost pass for a standard cruiser… until a peek under its bonnet reveals its monster motor!

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Driving Coventry’s first 1961 Jaguar E-type Series 1

This car was one of the first Jaguar E-types Britain saw, be it in action at Shelsley Walsh, or as Browns Lane’s local demonstrator. Today we drive it.

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1973 Triumph Dolomite Sprint

By the Seventies the sports saloon had really come of age. Ford showed that, because of motor sport success, it could sell ship-loads of Escorts. Other makers wanted a slice of the action – Triumph chief among them, with the Dolomite deemed an ideal base for something fruity. Led by Rover’s Spen King, the Triumph Dolomite Sprint engineers won a Design Council award for the new model’s innovative single-cam, 16-valve cylinder head – and British Leyland advertising literature of the time incorporated one of the best puns of the era, ‘The award has gone to our head’.

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1970 Ford Cortina MkII 1600E

No sports saloon selection would be complete without a Ford – and jumping forward a decade from the MG into the Sixties, we’re spoiled for choice. The original Cortina or Escort in GT guise would have done, though as Ford’s period ad pointed out, ‘New Cortina is more Cortina’. It might have only been 21/2 inches ‘more’, but Ford’s new-for-1966 follow-up boosted its social aspirations as well as its dimensions.

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1958 MG Magnette ZB Varitone

Ask most traditionalists what constitutes a great driving machine and they’ll tell you it has two doors, no roof and a big engine. That’s been the standardised formula for driving nirvana for nearly as long as the car itself. As owner’s priorities change, fun behind the wheel can often evaporate – but it doesn’t have to. A sports saloon not only keeps your pulse racing, but negates the need for a beady eye on the weather forecast or to leave family or friends behind.

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1951/2021 Turner-Ardun V8

Jack Turner was better known for his small sports cars than high-powered bruisers, but a fascinating rebuild has suggested a tantalising origin story.

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1948 Buick Super Sedanet

This Buick had lived in South Africa and Holland before it was acquired by Mark Hatton, who has driven it all around Britain and to France. And it’s the perfect car for long-distance touring, as he tells Zack Stiling…

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1920 Bugatti Type 13-27 two-seater Yankee

Bugatti’s origins were in this tin voiturette, small in stature but gigantic in ambition. Massimo Delbo takes a trip back in time.

Editor's comment
‘It was my first time driving a Bugatti Type 13, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since. So exhilarating, though it came at a price: after sliding it around on a dirt road, even though my head was covered by a leather helmet, I'm still finding mud in my ears' Legend of the Bugatti Brescia
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1963 Volvo P1800 Racer

There aren’t so many Volvo P1800s in Historic racing, though maybe there should be — as both history and this brilliant build would suggest.

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