Bargain V8 drop-tops, unique Aston prototype, plus Lagonda Rapide dream machine

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The brand-new September issue of Classic & Sports Car hits the shelves in the UK today (16 August), and it’s bursting with incredible features ranging from a one-of-a-kind Aston Martin prototype through to the story of a Daimler SP250's resurrection. Here’s the full issue run-down. 

Made-to-measure Muscle Cars


The turn of the millennium was an interesting time for big V8 roadsters, will several manufacturers producing svelte convertibles that packed a serious punch. Nearly 20 years on, and modern classics such as Jaguar’s XKR can be picked up for less than £10,000, with rivals from Mercedes – the SLK55 – and Maserati – the 4200 Spyder – costing not much more. Greg MacLeman picks a winner from three of the best British, Italian and German drop-tops of the modern classic age. 

Rakish Rapide


That such a small team of ex-Rolls-Royce engineers, led by WO Bentley, could produce one of the world’s best cars in just two years is a truly remarkable feat, more so when you consider that two cars were later campaigned at Le Mans. Mick Walsh recounts the fascinating tale of the Lagonda Rapide – Britain’s finest pre-war car. 

Chapman’s Flawed Diamond


The Lotus Elite turns 60 this year, and to celebrate, Julian Balme headed to Castle Combe with dozens of owners and enthusiasts from Club Lotus to find out what makes this enduring classic such a special car to own. Balme charts the inception and development of the diminutive road car, catching up with Max Mosley and Ian Wagstaff along the way, while getting up close to racers, hill climb cars and show stoppers. 

Tony Crook’s Finest Hour


With Jensen about to disappear from the automotive landscape and the rest of the country gripped by fuel shortages and the three-day week, it’s perhaps surprising that Bristol forged ahead to create the two-door, V8-powered 603. Martin Buckley gets behind the wheel of a 603S, Britannia and Blenheim while charting the firm’s progress through the choppy waters of the 1970s.

The Comeback Kid


After being retired from family duties, Nick James’ Daimler SP250 disappeared into a garage for 28 years. Now, following a concerted effort from its engineer owner, the Dart has finally been returned to the road. Ross Alkureishi recounts the highs and lows of a meticulous restoration. 

Vanquishing Point


Tackling a restoration project can be an intimidating, time consuming process at the best of times. For George Georgiou, the task was doubly daunting due to his chosen car being a non-road registered, one-of-a-kind Aston Martin prototype. Paul Hardiman delves into the story of this rare survivor’s rebirth.

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