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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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