A trio of bargain Aston Martins headlines the brand-new issue of Classic & Sports Car, which goes on sale in the UK today (5 January). The sub-£40,000 grand tourers are joined by a five-way battle of the barges, AC’s unsung hero – the 428 – plus the incredible nut-and-bolt restoration of a Mk1 Volkswagen Golf GTI. Racing history is brought to life when a rare Siata 208S Motto Spider returns to Montlhéry, while Mick Walsh takes an exclusive look at the ex-Taruffi Ferrari 340 America.
If you thought the dream of owning an Aston Martin would always be tantalisingly out of reach, you may be surprised to hear that three of the firm’s modern classic masterpieces can be had for little more than £30,000. The DB7, DB9 and V8 Vantage are stylish, powerful and refined grand tourers, but is a champagne classic on a fizzy-pop budget all it’s cracked up to be? Malcolm Thorne chats to owners and specialists before taking all three Astons for a spin.
Turning back the clock, James Elliott takes a super rare Siata 8V Motto Spider back to Montlhéry, where the car earned its spurs back in period. One of just 37 built and even fewer known to survive, the matching-numbers roadster has been exquisitely restored by its Belgian owner and recently graced the concours lawn at Pebble Beach. Now, with just a few hundred kilometres since its full restoration, the racer is put through its paces on Montlhéry’s formidable banking.
AC’s rare 428 blended savage power with beautiful Italian styling, but the firm found just 81 customers in the late 1960s. Martin Buckley gets to grips with both fastback and convertible examples to discover what – beyond the models’ eye-watering price tags – prevented people from falling in love as he did.
It takes a lot of determination to commission a complete concours-standard restoration, but an even greater level of dedication to carry out most of the work yourself – a quality Dave Hirons has in spades. We chart his Mk1 Golf GTI’s journey from a rotten, unloved example to near-mint condition.
Objects of desire when rationing was making way for rock ’n’ roll, the Ford Zephyr, Vauxhall Cresta, Austin A90, Humber Super Snipe and Wolseley 6/80 were the preserve of well-heeled businessmen with expensive tastes. Martin Buckley weighs up the Humber’s silky-smooth four-litre ‘six’ against the Zephyr’s slick stateside styling to see which of these brilliant barges is most worthy of your attention.
Built to take on the Silver Arrows at the 1952 Mille Miglia, the ex-Taruffi Ferrari 340 America is one of the finest incarnations of Maranello’s ‘Long Block’ Lampredi V12. Mick Walsh visits the car’s current custodian, German enthusiast Michael Stehle, before taking the Ferrari on a trip down memory lane, reliving it’s famous run in 1952 and later entries to the Mille Miglia Storica.
The bidding frenzy at RM Sotheby’s Duemila Ruote sale in Milan dominates News, along with the announcement that this year’s Chantilly Arts & Elegance is set to honour Ferrari with four of its 15 classes.
Martin Port’s Trans-Africa Land-Rover makes its first appearance in the Our Classics section alongside Greg MacLeman’s MGB GT and Martin Buckley’s NSU Ro80, plus the latest columns from James Elliott, Martin Buckley, Simon Taylor and Mick Walsh.
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