Bargain GT greats, lost MG prototype and Alfa GTC vs Lancia Flavia top packed new issue

| 3 Jun 2016

The brand-new issue of Classic & Sports Car hit the shelves on 2 June, and it’s bursting at the seams with fantastic classics. We round up four of the best – and cheapest – modern classic grand tourers, pore over Pininfarina’s lost EX234 MG prototype and pit Alfa’s gorgeous GTC against the Lancia Flavia. The ultimate Lea-Francis – the TT Hyper – is driven on the road, while Dick Protheroe’s famous Jaguars CUT 7 and CUT 8 are reunited at Goodwood. As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also a packed next generation supplement covering everything from the top 1990s hot hatches through to a thrilling Impreza vs Mitsubishi Evo head-to-head. 

Four of the best bargain GTs headline this month’s issue, lead by the stunning Ferrari 456. It’s joined by the sublime Aston Martin DB7, evocative Maserati 3200GT and stealthy BMW 850CSi – but which of these barnstorming grand tourers offers the most bang-for-buck? Whether its Teutonic build quality or Italian soul that captures your imagination – and with each producing in excess of 335bhp and prices starting from as little as £7000 – you’re bound to be tempted by one of these young upstarts. 

The modern classic theme continues with an in-depth look at Porsche’s unsung 996, a full roundup of the top 10 hot hatches of the 1990s, an interview with design maverick Chris Bangle.

Richard Burns and Tommi Makinen were two of the greatest rally drivers of their generation, and their exploits on the world’s competition stages inspired a pair of equally impressive special editions, Subaru’s Impreza RB5 and Mitsubishi’s Evolution Tommi Makinen Edition. Greg MacLeman takes to the back roads to see whether the older Impreza has what it takes to run alongside the more powerful Evo. 

For Sixties glamour, it’s difficult to argue with either Alfa Romeo’s 1600 Sprint GTC or Lancia’s beautiful Flavia Vignale. Each offers lively performance, striking good looks and enough space to take your friends cruising through the Riviera – but which one has the edge? Martin Buckley takes two wonderful examples for a spin to decide whether it’s the upmarket Lancia or more sporty Alfa that proves the more tempting proposition. 

The Volvo Amazon celebrates its Diamond Anniversary this year, and what better way to celebrate than by testing three stunning examples, comprising a 122S, 221 and 123GT? Sweden’s most robust and dashing export stood the test of time better than most Detroit-inspired cars of the era, and interest in the rally contender is now at an all-time high. Andrew Roberts enjoys all three variants, from two-door coupé to practical and handsome estate. 

We all have a special connection to our classics, but few are as fascinating as that of historics ace Willie Green and his Lea-Francis TT Hyper. The tale begins with his modest – yet quick – racer father Wilf, and eventually leads to a lock-up garage in Bracknell and clandestine bidding at one of the UK’s top auctions. Mick Walsh tells the full story before taking the famous classic for a full-blooded drive. 

Considering his modest budget, Dick Protheroe made an incredible contribution to Jaguar’s history. An extensive racing career saw him pilot a staggering array of the Coventry firm’s machines, but he is most famed for his association with the E-type. He campaigned four fixed-head-coupés in his time, including his first and last – CUT 7 and CUT 8. We reunite the two cars at Goodwood, where Julian Balme puts the machines through their paces during a series of high-speed laps – but the cars are only half the story. 

As a symbol of utter excess, it’s difficult to beat a Rolls-Royce Camargue. Not only was it incredibly expensive, but it also went on sale in the aftermath of the Oil Crisis. None of that bothers Martin Buckley, who reckons that the mammoth coupe’s stock is on the rise. We give the Pininfarina classic a proper leg stretch before delving into its fascinating history. 

Ferrari’s don’t come much more exclusive than the 365 California. The final car in a distinguished line of coachbuilt Prancing Horses combines the sublime power of the Lampredi V12 with daring Tom Tjaarda-penned Pininfarina bodywork. It stands as one of the most desirable Ferraris of its generation, offering styling cues that would influence the firm’s designs for decades to come. We photograph an immaculate example in our studio, under the warm light of a setting sun. 

A mammoth gathering of classics at Bicester Heritage kicks off this month’s News section, along with the announcement of a global poll to decide once and for all which supercar is the greatest – click here to cast your vote. 

Meanwhile, highlights of this year’s marvellous Monaco Grand Prix Historique are headline news in Sport. Your favourite columnists are present and correct, with Mick Walsh visiting a Frazer Nash-only race at Silverstone and Martin Buckley musing on a Jaguar E-type with links to Steve McQueen. 

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Modern classic grand tourers

Volvo Amazons

Jaguars reunited

Subaru Impreza vs Mitsubishi Evo

Ferrari 365 California

Lea-Francis TT Hyper

Porsche 996

Rolls-Royce Camargue