Turbo pioneers, Mussolini's Lancia and Isdera-Imperator pair star in January issue

| 3 Dec 2015

The brand-new issue of Classic & Sports Car hits UK newsstands today (3 December) and it's bursting with fresh features and top-quality classics. The charge is lead by three pioneering turbocharged classics, BMW's 2002 Turbo, Saab's 99 Turbo and Porsche's 911, which are joined by a Daimler SP250, and incredible Lancia Astura and a brace of lightning-fast Isdera Imperators. 

First up is the cover star trio of turbocharged pioneers, each of which played an important role in bringing forced induction technology from the circuits of Europe to the showrooms of Britain. Simon Charlesworth takes the thuggish BMW 2002 Turbo, more restrained Saab 99 Turbo and effortlessly cool Porsche 911 for a blast across Salisbury Plane to discover if the poster cars of accessible Seventies performance live up to their legendary reputations. 

The Daimler SP250 'Dart' was altogether less revolutionary, but still represented a departure for a firm more accustomed to producing coachbuilt saloons for the British aristocracy. The brainchild of Edward Turner never fully lived up to expectations, but the quirky V8 roadster has broadened its appeal with the passing of time. James Page delves into the history books to shed new light on its remarkable story. 

Few cars have as fascinating a history as a Castagna-bodied 1934 Lancia Astura that was created after the pretty coachwork had caught the eye of Benito Mussolini while at the height of his power. A lifetime of intrigue followed, including a dalliance in the world of motor sport, a run-in with a British lamp post and a long slumber in a German museum. Mick Walsh tells the story. 

Every bit as eye-catching – and nearly as rare – our bringing together of two Isdera Imperators is thought to be a UK first. Hardly surprising, given that just 30 of these incredible wedge-shaped rocket ships was ever built. Don't worry if you've never heard of them before. As James Elliott discovers, these sleek and angular supercars seem by design to fly under the radar. 

A true rally hero makes for a refreshing change of pace. Hannu Mikkola's 1970 World Cup Rally Ford Escort spends most of its days tucked away in a dark corner of Ford's Heritage workshops, but enjoyed a rare trip to C&SC's headquarters to be pored over by Chris Randall. As well as a simply stunning set of studio images and archive shots, we've got the full story of that famous 16,000-mile adventure. 

If Eighties super saloons float your boat, it doesn't get much better than the Aston Martin Lagonda and Bentley Turbo R. Boasting 12 cylinders and more than 700bhp between them, these leather-lined cruisers have the thirst of an oil tanker – and at 34-feet long, a turning circle to match. Malcolm Thorne slips behind the wheel to see whether the £6500 Bentley can match its more exotic cousin on the road. 

Our Events section is dominated by coverage of the 300 plus classics that turned out at Alexandra Palace for the inaugural Classic & Sports Car – The London Show, including the unveiling of the winner of the Best British Car Ever poll and a car park packed with visitors' classics. Meanwhile, a host of veterans took to London's roads for the annual Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, while later in the month the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show once again took over the show halls of Birmingham's NEC. 

Your favourite columnists are on fine form, with Mick Walsh musing on film making, the Mille Miglia and Prince Chula, and Simon Taylor remembering Scotland's massive contribution to the world of motor sport. 

A wonderful free 2016 calendar is also included in the issue, featuring some of the best photographs from this year's pages of Classic & Sports Car, as voted for by the editorial team and headed by the stunning Colton charity Ferrari duo that raised money for the RNLI. 

The Fiat 130 gets paint in Our Classics, while Port takes action to thwart potential Land-Rover thieves. There's also news on James Mann's Healey, Gaynor Cauter's E-type and Julian Balme's bonkers Kandee Twist. 

Before all that, why not download one of our fantastic free desktop backgrounds? Simply click on the image to enlarge it, then right click to download. Be sure to read the terms & conditions first. 

Turbo trio

Daimler SP250

A brace of Isderas

World Cup Escort