Rebuilt Rowan Atkinson McLaren F1 heads March issue of C&SC

| 6 Feb 2013

This month’s Classic & Sports Car features the world’s most talked about McLaren F1 – the machine that suffered a near-catastrophic accident in August 2011 in the hands of famous owner Rowan Atkinson.

Actor and comedian Atkinson tells us about using the legendary supercar day-to-day, the accident that almost put an end to it and the painstaking £910,000 rebuild that brought the machine back from the brink.

Like the McLaren, the Osca 1600SP is a super-exclusive machine but, unlike the Woking hypercar, it never did race.

Underneath the sleek shell that gave it a theoretical top speed of 150mph, the SP hid advanced technology for 1962 such as a bespoke spaceframe chassis and a twin-cam ‘four’ fed by two Weber carburettors.

Marc Sonnery tells us what it is like to drive the lightweight sports car and explains why it remained relatively unknown until its long-overdue appearance at Villa d'Este in 2012.

A car that certainly did race, but with varying degrees of success in period, was Lancia’s fast but fragile LC2. Richard Heseltine first saw the sensational machine compete at the 1983 Silverstone 1000km, now he tells the story of the sports-prototype that was built to go head-to-head with Porsche, but on a much tighter budget.

Then, in a celebration of the underdogs, Heseltine takes a look at the oddities that competed in Group C.

Also unconventional is the giant-killing Frazer Nash that Mick Walsh has been driving. The twin-supercharged 1935 Shelsley was unbeatable in 1500cc class sprints when driven by AFP Fane.

Our editor in chief tells the story of one of the last great chain-driven machines and its famous driver who died in a Spitfire aged just 31.

Meanwhile, Simon Charlesworth confesses to liking three cars that represented something completely different – Aston Martin’s Lagonda, Rolls-Royce’s Camargue and Bristol’s 412.

All three featured V8 engines (with undisclosed outputs), automatic gearboxes, self-levelling suspension and a break from the norm for the companies who built them.

Finally, there are our usual suspects in the form of a buyer’s guide on the Mercedes W111/2 Coupés and Cabriolets, reports from Our Classics, letters, art, columns, market news and historic motor sport.

For now, though, scroll below for this month’s free wallpapers.

For a stunning full-sized picture of the world's most talked about McLaren F1, click here.

Follow the link for a desktop-ready image of the gorgeous Osca 1600SP.

For a huge cutaway picture of Lancia's fantastic LC2, click here.

And click here to see Mick Walsh in the twin-supercharged 1935 Shelsley.