Retro

Retro cars road test

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Restored 1966 Porsche 911 2.0 SWB

The coming together of technicians from Porsche Cars GB’s network of Classic Partner Centres saw this early 911 wow fans of historic motorsport before the car underwent further transformation in readiness for a return to racing.

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1956 Maserati A6G/54 Zagato

The Maserati A6G/54 is a thinly disguised racer with just enough civility for the road – beautifully wrapped in ultra-lightweight Zagato bodywork. Peter Tomalin is treated to a rare thrill.

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1963 Austin Mini Cooper

2023 marks the 60th anniversary of the Mini Cooper S – and this example is the oldest survivor. Mark Dixon tells the story of a Mini that has truly lived a life.

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On the road in the ex-Peter Collins, prototype 1953 Aston Martin DB2/4 FHC

We drive the unique 1953 Aston Martin DB2/4 development car that wowed Aston boss David Brown and F1 racer Peter Collins with a high-performance engine and prototypical fixed-head coachwork.

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1965 Mercedes-Benz 230SL Automatic W113

Once misunderstood, the Mercedes-Benz ‘Pagoda’ SL W113 went on to create and define an entirely new kind of car. Join us on a drive through its natural playground of nocturnal Mayfair as the icon turns 60.

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1962 Citroën DS19

Classic Cars reader Simon Biggs is a connoisseur of classic luxury saloons, so how will he find the pure early Citroën DS19 – and at 6ft 6in, will he fit in it?

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1963 Mercury Comet S-22

Lesley Weller never considered herself a car enthusiast, but a Mercury Comet she saw in a TV show made a deep impression on her 13-year-old mind. After years of dreaming, ownership is now a happy reality.

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1948 Chrysler New Yorker

Before Elvis changed everything, Cary Grant and Clark Gable defined American style. Sports coats and fedoras were the fashion, society centred around country clubs and the car to have was a big, luxurious straight-eight. Peter Rickinson is keeping that era alive with a 1948 Chrysler New Yorker…

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1959 Goggomobil Dart

Cute and cuddly, the Goggomobil Dart is one of the rarest of roadsters. Looks like it could have been, should have been, a prototype character for a Pixar movie about lightweight sportscars roaming the great Outback.

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1976 Holden HX Sandman Van Manual

Panel vans are prosaic machines, best-suited for goods deliveries or carting the tools of a trade with a pair of doors and seating up front, window-less cargo area down back. Yet by Australia’s mid-1970s, packs of dollied-up, bright-hued panel vans had become cult cars from Bondi to the Back of Beyond. Ford, Holden and Chrysler all turned their hand to adding sporting pretensions stripes and fancy wheels and engine options to the humble van; a marketing, and styling, exercise to cash in on a young, and mainly male, fad for dressing up work vehicles for weekend leisure. Surfing and sex were the chief leisure activities facilitated by a fancy van out of work hours.

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1950 Ferrari 195 S

The V12 engine has long been a Ferrari signature tune, stretching back to the lightweight 125 S roadster of 1947, the first car to wear the famed marque’s badge. Designed in the main by engineer Gioachino Colombo, the 125’s short-stroke 1.5 litre engine produced some 118 horsepower in competition and was followed at the Turin show a year later by the first of the Ferrari 166s a roadster dubbed the barchetta plus a Berlinetta, or coupe.

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Driving the manual 4-spd 1976 Daimler Double Six Coupe

We go back in time to sample a car you couldn’t officially buy but which could so easily have been built.

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1973 BMW 3.0CS Automatic E9

When Jack Reason fell in love with the BMW E9 he put himself on course to undertake a colossal restoration project. As you can see, it was well worth it...

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1925 Bugatti Type 35A - driving a stunningly original prototype

In 1925, Bugatti offered a more customer-friendly version of its Type 35 Grand Prix car, which it named the 35A. Mark Dixon drives the prototype.

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1977 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 W116

Five decades have elapsed since Mercedes-Benz launched the first S-Class. Glen Waddington drives the greatest of its type: the W116 450SEL 6.9.

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