The brand-new issue of Classic & Sports Car goes hits the shelves in the UK today (7 July), and it’s packed with fascinating features. Top of the pile is a four-car Caterham group test, followed by an Aston Martin DB4 taking on Maserati’s 3500 and the crazy Autech Stelvio. We also pit the Panhard 24CT against Karmann Ghia and offer buying advice on Ferrari’s hottest property: the F355.
The original Lotus Seven is now 60 years old, and for more than half that time, Caterham, which bought the rights to produce it in 1973, has been relentlessly developing the concept. We’ve gathered together four examples, starting with a 1978 Twin Cam and ending with the latest turbocharged ‘triple’ 160 to experience the best of the breed. Whether you prefer the stripped-out purity of early cars or the power offered by later examples’ lairy power plants, there’s a Seven for every occasion – and budget.
Mention the most glamorous grand tourers in a pub game automotive Top Trumps and it won’t be long before the Aston Martin DB4 and Maserati 3500 are mentioned. But which is more desirable? You’d need pockets twice as deep to take home the DB4, but in period the roles were reversed – it was the Italian car that cost the earth. Martin Buckley gets to grips with both GTs to decide whether looks or reputation win the day.
Fins, chrome and whitewall tyres abound in our ‘three graces’ group test. Andrew Roberts gets behind the wheel of Ford’s Zodiac Mk2, Zephyr Convertible, Zephyr Farnham Estate and Consul Deluxe to discover the virtues of the Blue Oval’s American-inspired mid-1950s offerings. Whether entry-level 1.7 or top spec 2.5-litre, leather-clad range-topper, the American dream is still very much alive.
The instantly recognisable Karmann Ghia needs no introduction, but you might be less familiar with its small-batch contemporary rival, Panhard’s quirky 24CT. Both of these striking coupés are rear-engined and share a similar footprint, but their characters couldn’t be more different. One a relaxed and torquey cruiser, the other with more sporting pretensions. Malcolm Thorne tries to separate a firm favourite and its outlandish alternative.
We up the pace with a tail-happy drive in the oldest Bristol-engined Frazer Nash in existence: chassis FN4. Forty years after first seeing it driven in anger, Mick Walsh climbs into the driver’s seat and enjoys a spirited blast around the Essex countryside. The drive is only half the story: the car’s fascinating history proves just as alluring.
Join James Page and Tony Baker for a 370km adventure in an 86 year old Vauxhall. The pair take the firm’s own 20-60 for an eye-opening drive through some of the most spectacular vistas in Europe, setting off from Casino Square in Monaco and heading for Geneva, tackling ice conditions and climbs that would slow even the most hardy mountain goat.
The Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este dominates the news, with a full round up of winners including Antonius Meijer’s Castagna-bodied Lancia Astura Berlinetta. The Italian theme continues will full coverage of this year’s Mille Miglia.
Closer to home, Tatton Park and the Bromley Pageant feature in Events, while the Masters Historics Festival at Brands Hatch and the Silverstone Classic dominate Sport.
All your favourite columnists are present and correct, covering subjects as diverse as a 36-litre racing boat and Type 173 helicopter prototype. Elsewhere, Port’s Beetle, Buckley’s Fiat 130 and Bulley’s Landie star in Our Classics.
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