Birth of the M Power dynasty celebrated in stunning new C&SC

| 5 Feb 2014

The birth of BMW's M Power dynasty is the main story in the packed March issue of C&SC (in the UK shops from 6 February).

We test all of the cars that created the desirable lineage of ultimate driving machines that continues to this day. James Page's first-generation greats include the M1 supercar, nimble M535i, family fun M5, continent crushing M635CSi and the ever-roguish M3 Evo II.

Plus, for those for whom one era of nutty BMWs isn't enough, Alastair Clements analyses some of the other hot Munich motors, ranging from 2002 turbo to 1M Coupé. 

Of course, considerate as always, we have given plenty of thought to what to lay on for those who are not fans of BMW and we reckon we should be able to provide something for everyone in one of the most eclectic ever issues of C&SC.

First up, after all that BMW drama, Dep Ed Page gets the opportunity to make some rather more stately progress in pitting against each other a pair of early-1930s gentlemanly rivals, the Rolls-Royce 20/25 and Daimler ELS24.

There's less of a quiet life for Mick Walsh who takes to the track (and road) in a pair of rapid racers for two different features. Calmer of the two by quite some way is the speediest Alfa Romeo Giulietta, the long-tail SZ. Rather more frenetic was his time in the magnificent ERA E-type. With (slight) visual echoes of the Silver Arrows, this British-built monster was a flop in period but is a winner in historics today. Walsh finds out why.

C&SC's professional northerner Martin Buckley may be the least "yee-ha!" person you can imagine, but he had a whale of a time on his recent trip to the States. This month he really gets into character by blasting a pair of trailblazing classic Jeep Wagoneers across a ranch. 

The polar opposite of the giant Yanks is the teensy Trojan bubble car that Jon Pressnell fires up and discovers there's rather more to it than meets the eye.

We round off this issue with a truly intriguing pair of cars: one that looks precisely like a Ferrari but isn't… and one that looks nothing like a Ferrari but is.

First up, Group Editor James Elliott takes to the roads in the fascinating special the Ockelbo. This Ferrari Mondial clone was the brainchild of Swedish ice racing legend Erik Lundgren, based on an Austin-Healey chassis and powered by a peppy 2-litre Volvo unit.

Magazine Editor Alastair Clements garnered just as much attention - not all of it positive - in the "distinctive" Ferrari 365GT Speciale. This 365GT 2+2-based, one-of-two rarity is actually an important car in Ferrari history, being penned by Coco Chinetti and qualifying as the last NART Spyder to date.

Naturally, spending hours gazing at its styling made us wonder what other Ferraris really broke the mould. Hence Gary Axon offers a rundown of the Top 10 Ferrari oddities, from the debatably gorgeous to the unquestionably gruesome. 

It's back to Britain for our Buyer's guide, with the resuscitated MG, the RV8, the focus of our attentions. Always a car to polarise opinion, it represents a bargain at the moment, but don't hand over your cash before reading our indispensable, in-depth analysis.

On the news front, it's been another busy month, with extensive reports on the inaugural Arizona Concours d'Elegance, the mind-boggling Traversée de Paris and InterClassics & TopMobiel in The Netherlands, plus news of an exciting new Goodwood event and much more.

Add to that our top columnists, automobile, books and art, all the market news, auction results and analysis, historic motor sport, club news and updates on the C&SC fleet, as well as a wonderful Lagonda discovery in Lost & Found, and you have 252 wonderful, classic-packed pages to bring you some warmth and comfort until the weather improves, if it ever does.

As is traditional, however, we kick it all off with our selection of free wallpapers for you to download (please read our terms and conditions first).

Click here to download the cars that kickstarted the M Power phenomenon

For this shot of Mick Walsh giving it his all in the ERA E-type, click here

If you agree that small is beautiful, click here for a wonderful shot of the Heinkel/Trojan

For Buckley finding his home on the range in a brace of Wagoneers, click here

And finally, click here to download a wallpaper of the sensual Alfa SZ