An exciting new issue of Classic & Sports Car hit the shelves on 3 March, starring the sublime Mercedes-Benz 300SL ‘Gullwing’ in all its unforgettable splendour. It’s complemented by two stunning Fiat Dinos in tin-top and convertible guise plus a brace of rare AC Ace Brooklands. History comes alive at Rockingham as D-type takes on thundering Kurtis, while an incredible ‘oily rag’ Wolseley Super Six is reborn following decades of slumber. A trio of remarkable Amilcars spanning the firm’s golden years rounds off our crop of top features.
As futuristic-looking in the C&SC photographic studio as the first W194 that took victory at the 1952 Mille Miglia, the 300SL ‘Gullwing’ is a legend of car design that ranks among the most beautiful automobiles ever made. Malcolm Thorne charts the model’s development from endurance racer to road car, along the way getting the inside scoop from racing luminary John Surtees, plus design guru Gordon Murray and Mercedes’ styling chief Gorden Wagener. A wealth of rarely-seen historical images and stunning studio photography make this article unmissable for fans of the three-pointed star.
Two titans of sports car racing turn the clock back to the 1950s as Mick Walsh gets behind the wheel of motor racing royalty, Jaguar’s D-type and the Kurtis roadster that battled against it in The Race of Two Worlds at Monza. Rockingham’s Speedway may be a long way from Italy, but the sense of history is palpable as the deafening racers jostle and jockey for position out on track. The excitement is only matched by their fascinating shared history, which Mick Walsh relates with aplomb.
Fiat’s Dino Spider and Coupé could scarcely be more different, the Pininfarina soft top’s sensuous lines and well-proportioned features in contrast to the more restrained, yet handsome Bertone tin-top. Look a little closer and you find shared DNA, not to mention the beating heart of Ferrari’s first V6. Ross Alkureishi takes both examples for a thorough leg-stretch through Cheshire. Under appreciated? Not a bit of it.
Despite its staid late-1930s styling and moth-eaten appearance, you’re not likely to miss this Wolseley Super Six when it’s trundling down the road. As well as being hugely rare – one of just a handful still on the road – its genuine ‘oily rag’ condition is a sight to behold. In a world where ‘barn-find’ has become a ubiquitous addition to every second classic car advert, it makes a refreshing change to find a true barn-find, and one that has been kept in that state throughout its 1000-hour recommissioning. Martin Buckley gets the full story on this eye-grabbing saloon.
Stepping further back to the time of the short-lived French cyclecar boom turns up three remarkable Amilcars, ranging in date from 1923 to 1929. The trio belongs to Desmond Peacock, who has not spent a year out of the past 60 without an Amilcar in his garage. Jon Pressnell enjoys a rare opportunity to get up close to three different models, with an expert as his guide.
A brace of AC Ace Brooklands offers a change of pace for the more performance-minded among us. The 260bhp roadsters are truly rare, being two of just 58 examples ever built. It’s not the first classic name to be revived during the 1990s, but it is one of the most fascinating as Martin Buckley discovers after meeting two owners of this capable and understated sports car.
An incredible lineup of competition Alpines proved the star of the show at Rétromobile, which is the main subject of our news and events coverage. The Classic & Sports Car Show is set to return to Alexandra Palace in autumn, while in Arizona, a Land Speed Record car takes the top gong at the Biltmore Resort. There’s also the opportunity to win tickets to both Bicester Heritage’s Flywheel Festival and the Donington Historic.
Mick Walsh talks ERAs and Delages in his monthly column, Simon Taylor reminisces about a high-speed ride and James Elliott report on a plastic fantastic reunion, plus Martin Buckley writes about pantomime villains and a Ferrari 500 Superfast.
James Elliott’s Triumph 2.5PI bursts into life in Our Classics alongside David Evans’ BMW 2002tii and Martin Port’s Land-Rover, plus there’s another much-anticipated appearance of Alain de Cadenet’s mesmerising Alfa Romeo 8C.
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