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1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Barker Pullman Limousine

This fabulous Phantom limousine was bought 94 years ago with the proceeds of crime, and has recently been revived after 30 years in a museum. Now it’s a rich reward for its owner-driver – and sometimes transports the luckiest Dachshunds in the country.

1929 Frazer Nash Super Sports

Prior to arriving at Thruxton Circuit in the ’Nash, the last time I’d spun a car was maybe 15 years ago. It wasn’t a pleasant experience: a left-hand-drive lorry pulled out on me on a dual-carriageway as I was overtaking, and it punted my 1986 Audi 100 into a complete 360. Possibly more than one rotation — I wasn’t keeping count — but, by amazing good fortune, there was a very low kerb and a wide verge, and the car pirouetted right around the lorry, bounced onto the grass and came to a halt. The nearside front door was stoved in, but the rest of the car was undamaged and I later bought a replacement door in the same colour and swapped them.

1929 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750

So many pre-war Italian cars might have made it on to our Top 12 list: the Lancia Lambda for its pioneering unitary construction; the Fiat Topolino for how it democratised transport; or the Lancia Aprilia for its advanced engineering. Instead, it’s one of the greatest sports cars of all time that has exerted an irresistible pull on us: the Alfa Romeo 6C 1750. Those ‘6C’ alpha-numerals simply signify six cylinders, but in Alfa lore that represents something very special. While there had been Alfa straight-six engines before (the G1 of 1921 and the Merosi-designed RL of 1923), it was engineer Vittorio Jano, who joined Alfa Romeo in September 1923, who catapulted the format to the height of success with his 1.5-litre ‘six’. The new powerplant entered production as the 6C 1500 in 1927.

1929 Lancia Lambda Tipo 223

It was one of the most technologically advanced cars of its era, and this one has an extraordinary back-story to tell: John Simister fulfils a long-held ambition and drives a Lancia Lambda.

1929 Bentley Blower

Bentley’s marque-defining 1929 Blower is back, painstakingly cloned for 12 lucky customers. We drive the first one to be finished

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