Sexy Italians strut their stuff in February’s C&SC

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Italy’s history of producing some of the world’s most desirable spiders arguably started with Alfa Romeo’s supercharged 8C of the ’30s and could be said to have culminated with Maserati’s Ghibli SS Spyder and its contemporary rival, Ferrari’s Daytona.

Our headline feature studies in detail what makes these cars so desirable, from the sleek lines of the Giorgetto Giugiaro-styled Maser to the more muscular shape of the Pininfarina-penned Ferrari. The Ferrari may be the bigger investment, but is it the more appealing car?

Then we put aesthetics aside to pit the 330bhp four-cam V8 in the Ghibli against the 352bhp V12-powered 365GTS/4.

Meanwhile, Martin Buckley has been grappling with his own dilemma: which to choose from a Daimler Double-Six Two-Door, a BMW 3.0 CSi, a Mercedes-Benz 450SLC and, of course, a Fiat 130 Coupé.

Four of the most exclusive coupés of the ’70s, these cars served as the perfect antidote to the fragile and labour-intensive creations of the ’60s. Our senior contributor casts allegiances aside (or tries to) as he selects his best of breed.

Built to celebrate Italdesign’s 20th birthday, the sensational Aztec was first shown at 1988’s Turin Motor Show and was powered by a mid-mounted five-cylinder turbo engine originally seen in the Audi 200.  

With styling said to emulate a ‘beached powerboat’ and an array of futuristic equipment, the Aztec may have been an acquired taste, but was a striking one nonetheless. Richard Heseltine reports back on being in the presence of (and driving) this space-age machine.

Definitely not space age is the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 that Julian Balme took for a spin. A genuine homologation special, the fearsome Chevy was made famous by Mark Donohue who won all but three races in 1968’s Trans-Am championship rounds.

James Page has been comparing the latest Morgan three-wheeler to its earlier counterparts. Evoking the past can be a dangerous game so has any charm been lost in the latest incarnation? Our deputy editor spills the beans.

Finally Jon Pressnell attempts to separate the inseparable – the Jowett Javelin and the Riley 1½-litre. In 1951, both cars cost exactly the same at £1168, but which one gets our vote now?

As always, we add to this list of formidable content with our regulars in the form of reports from Our Classics, art, letters, columns, market news, garage tools, historic motor sport, an in-depth Karmann Ghia Buyer’s Guide and much more.

But for now here’s the first free wallpapers for 2013.

For a picture of two of the sexiest four-wheeled Italians money can buy, click here.

For a stunning image of the Aztec with an urban backdrop, click here.

And for a wallpaper of the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, click here.

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