A brand-new issue of Classic & Sports Car goes on sale in the UK today (4 June), and it’s completely bursting with classic goodness. The headline act is a weighty group test of early to late Porsche 356s, while a Triumph TR2 and Swallow Doretti head-to-head continues the open-top theme. Two of Jaguar’s finest XJ-Ss are pitted against one another, plus acclaimed writer and racer Sam Posey regales us with tales of night racing at Le Mans.
The story of the Porsche 356’s journey from the draughtsman’s table to the final production model is a fascinating one, and there’s no better way to understand it that to gather four of the model’s landmark incarnations. Ross Alkureishi takes a Pre-A 356. 356A, 356B and 356C to a quiet test track to fully evaluate the range and discovers that, while they share the same visual DNA, the driving experience changed dramatically with each evolution.
Though they share a number of parts, the Triumph TR2 and Swallow Doretti are a world apart when you slip behind the wheel. Malcolm Thorne tests Triumph’s venerable roadster against the much more exclusive motorcar that took its main components, and dressed them in a sleek alloy body that evoked the Austin-Healey and Ferrari Barchetta.
Jaguar’s XJ-S was always going to struggle to win our hearts, given our love affair with its predecessor, the E-type. But does it really deserve the criticism that has been levelled at it throughout its long life? Richard Heseltine questions his views after a spirited drive through the Cotswolds in two six-litre and V12-powered examples.
Rare and quirky, Geoffrey Taylor’s ERA-baiting single-seater Altas were often the subject of underdog stories in the 1930s. Mick Walsh gets to grips with a fine ex-Hugh Hunter example which, in period, helped the wealthy enthusiast win a 120mph Brooklands badge, as well as being campaigned a Crystal Palace, Shelsley Walsh and the Brighton Speed Trials.
If we asked which ‘60s classic you would drive from Monte Carlo’s Casino Square to Geneva, we doubt the answer would be a Vauxhall Ventora – skepticism shared by Martin Buckley. However, the big saloon’s lusty 3.3-litre six-pot soon banishes any doubts with an 85mph dash down the peage.
Things take a sporting turn with a brilliant – and exclusive – extract from Sam Posey’s new book, The Writer Meets the Road. His riveting description of the intoxicating danger and excitement experienced while night racing at La Sarthe expertly transports you to the driving seat, and the incredible world of sports car racing in the mid-1970s.
There’s the usual columns from Mick Walsh, James Elliott, Martin Buckley and Simon Taylor, plus all the latest news, including coverage of the Mille Miglia, the Tour Auto Optic 2000 and the Donington Historic Festival.
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