The front cover of the latest C&SC covers all manner of classic greats, from a 600bhp Jaguar to every incarnation of the Hillman Imp, but it’s dominated by a mammoth MG vs Triumph supertest.
Getting to grips with two of Britain’s biggest sports-car makers, we put the deadliest rivals to test including the TR2 and MGA, TR5 and MGC, Stag and MGB, plus the 1300 and AD016 saloons.
While MG and Triumph were success stories of the British motor industry, the Hillman Imp was one of its greatest missed opportunities. It had everything going for it, though: neat packaging, clever design and sprightly performance, but nonetheless failed to knock the Mini off its small-car perch. We’ve gathered multiple variations – from Commer van to Davrian hillclimb car – to chart its rise and fall.
Occupying the opposite end of the automotive spectrum is the unique 600bhp Jaguar XJ220 prototype tested by Richard Heseltine. But the awesome performance is just half the story for a machine that played a major role in the development of the Coventry supercar that briefly held the title as the world's fastest production road car.
If a fascinating history is what you're after, however, nothing comes close to the tale of the legendary Austin-Healey 100S ‘NOJ 393’. Nearly 60 years since the horrific accident at Le Mans in 1955 in which this unfortunate racer was caught up, James Elliott argues that it's time the beautifully restored car was rehabilitated.
Meanhwile, Mick Walsh jets off to tackle one of the world’s most jaw-dropping Alpine passes, the Grossglockner in Austria, in an awesome Mercedes-Benz SSK in the first of our Pure Driving Experiences series.
Walsh has also been investigating the story of the wild Plymouth Barracuda-based Hurst Hemi Under Glass ‘wheelstander’. First sketched on a bowling-alley napkin, the dragster would become a national phenomenon as it toured the country with intrepid pilot Bob Riggle at the wheel, and will be returning to the UK in July for the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Elsewhere, Martin Buckley samples a sophisticated Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Park Ward coupé and James Page enjoys a quartet of futuristic saloons from the ’70s, while this month's Buyer's Guide tells you everything you need to know about the rewarding family classic that is the Rover P4.
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A group shot from our MG vs Triumph megatest.
Mick Walsh, surrounded by stunning scenery, behind the wheel of the Benz SSK.
A fantastic pic of James Elliott in the perfectly restored Austin-Healey 100S.
A Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Mulliner Park Ward cruising effortlessly through the countryside.
Richard Heseltine in the monster 600bhp Jaguar XJ220 prototype.