V12 WITH A FREE CAR
Enzo Ferrari is quoted as saying 'I don't sell cars, I sell engines. The cars I throw in for free'. When I gazed at this Aurelio Lampredi-designed 4.1-litre V12 engine last summer I concluded that he was half right – the 1951 Touring-bodied 340 America that it powered was far more than simply a receptacle for a glorious motor.

Which car would you buy just for the engine?
Classic Cars magazine
01/18/2017 at 13:43. Facebook
HUMBLY EXOTIC
This 1966 Fiat 1500 offers a hint of Ferrari style – thanks to the Pininfarina-designed body – with easy-to-own mass-production running gear.

A recipe for success? Not in the UK, where it was available in lefthand drive only – apart from a few specialist righthand drive conversions – and it cost nearly twice as much as the MGB.

A pity, but it means the sight of this one in the...
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Classic Cars magazine
01/16/2017 at 13:52. Facebook
EXCLUSIVITY EXPRESS
With 117 built the Dual-Ghia is a rare sight even in its native USA, so we Europeans only get to see one when we're on tour. I spent a few minutes drinking in the scale and style of this 1958 example last summer at the Quail Lodge Bonhams auction.

It was an exercise in how to make a car the expensive way, with Chrysler chassis shipped to Ghia in Italy to be bodied then...
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Classic Cars magazine
01/15/2017 at 07:00. Facebook
SUNDAY ELEGANCE
This 1938 Delahaye 135M is one of three survivors from the ten Delahaye Roadsters bodied by Figoni & Falaschi. Now owned by the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles, it was bought new into Algeria and remained there until discovered in 1992 on a farm up in the mountains, exposed to the elements.

It sums up the peak of extravagant Thirties coachbuilt excess and the world of exclusive...
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Classic Cars magazine
01/13/2017 at 12:18. Facebook
FERRARI FRIDAY
This Ferrari 365 GT4 Berlinetta Boxer had just 7800km on the odometer when I spotted it for sale last year. It looked so perfect that you'd hardly dare touch it, let alone take it out on a mountain road and use every horse that its flat-12 engine could deliver.

Or would you?
No matter how many times I see a Bizzarrini 5300 GT, its impact is no less dramatic. Its proportions and lines, and even that name, are almost a caricature of a Sixties grand tourer, yet they work together to real effect.

But then what would you expect from the man behind the Ferrari 250 GTO? Of course, Giotto Bizzarrini was a pragmatic engineer, so when he saw what could be achieved using a...
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My last drop in at JD Classics, part 2 – the workshops.

When I eventually managed to tear myself away from the showrooms it was time for a wander through the JD workshops, stuffed with survivors of period races and recent historic motor sport battles.

Ford GT40, Jaguar E-type, Jaguar XK120, Lister Knobbly, Lotus Elite – there were so many Goodwood Revival cars that I felt underdressed...
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My last drop in at JD Classics, part I – the showrooms.
When I was a kid I used to save up my pocket money for the next trip to the local toy shop where I'd peer through the big glass counter at the latest Dinky and Corgi toys crowding the shelves before finally making a choice.
I was reminded of this last time I visited JD Classics, the only differences being the scale of the cars for sale...
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This Le Marquis was one of three built with glassfibre bodies on a Renault 4CV chassis. It was the forerunner to the production Alpine A106 and the start of a long line of very effective sports/competition cars.
This one was displayed at the 1954 New York Auto Show.
It's a fine example of humble mechanicals plus lightweight glass fibre body equals great sports car. What's your favourite...
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I generally prefer coupés to convertibles, but I spent a lot of time gazing at this 1966 Aston Martin DB6 Volante at Salon Privé last year.
It's one of 37 built on the shorter DB5 chassis, so seeing one is always special. This car was fresh from restoration by Aston specialist Desmond Smail and just begged to be taken for a never-ending drive on that unusually warm and sunny English summer...
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These don't pop up very often, so it was a treat to see this Maserati A6/1500 at a Gooding auction last summer. This represented the start of Maserati series production road cars, although this is a 1948 example, by which time the model was a year old.

The Pinin Farina styling with its simple surfacing and plunging fastback styling was fresh and exciting for the time, and beneath the low...
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I can't think of a better way to kick off 2017 than with this. It's one of my favourite cars of the summer show season, an Alfa Romeo 6C2500 SS Aerolux, one of just 14 built. It's one of the most elegant examples of the transitionary period between pre- and post-war design, a progression that many car builders handled quite clumsily.

The 6C retains much of the grandeur of the prewar grand...
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The Dino 308 GT4 was new ground for Ferrari – it used a new V8 engine and offered four seats despite bing mid-rear engined. And it used Bertone styling when Pininfarina had become the default choice.

The angular styling was much in vogue when the Dino appeared in 1975 – much more so than the softer, more organic shape of the Pininfarina-styled 308 GTB – but history didn't treat it kindly....
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We've been busy putting the finishing touches to the latest issue, and here it is.

For the big test we had a fine day out driving the five hottest hatchbacks of the moment, with prices from £2-15k, then buying guru Quentin Willson picked out his best buy of 2017. Every one on our shortlist – VW Golf GTI MkI, Peugeot 205 GTI, Renault 5 GT Turbo, Ford Escort RS Turbo and MG Maestro Turbo is a...
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It's funny how fashions change. This Jaguar E-type Series 1 is in the classic colour combination of Carmen red with black interior, and it's hard to fault. It was a popular colour when new and even more so in the last classic car price boom when so many E-types were changed to red during a restoration, though tan interiors seemed more in demand than black.

Now owners are having E-type...
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Of the 34 Maserati 5000 GTs, the Allemano body style was the most popular, with 22 being built. It was the work of the prolific Giovanni Michelotti and of the eight different coach builders who clothed the 5000 GT, I think it's the most successful.

This one was auctioned by Gooding and Co, which is where I saw it in the summer. It was the subject for the original factory brochure artwork....
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As we approach the festive break my thoughts are turning to which James Bond film to watch on Christmas day. As a kid, the films on the TV were Sean Connery era, but the new releases in the cinema were Roger Moore. You younger readers will be thinking Dalton/Brosnan/Craig.

I'm leaning towards The Spy Who Loved Me featuring the Lotus Esprit S1 that, 'I'm definitely going to have when I grow...
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I remember the first time I drove a Porsche 924 – it was an S, like this one, but in the rather more subdued colour of Guards Red and it belonged to my then deputy editor.

The 2.5-litre straight four had enough poke to make the car flow along the road nicely and I felt that I no matter what I threw at the car it would always behave predictably, it had such lovely chassis balance thanks to...
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