The Classic Motor Show is the ultimate event for those with a penchant for older vehicles. At this year’s show, there was veritable feast of cars for which I have a particular affection, and there are many and varied reasons for my preferences. Some take me back to a feeling or time of life, or the reasons may just be purely aesthetic.
So, let’s get the party started….
My first car was a white, two-door Austin Allegro, complete with a quartic steering wheel. Quartic is a fancy way of a saying ‘square’ but never mind all that, my Allegro was horrendous at the simple act of going along. I changed the engine, gearbox, clutch, brakes, CV joints etc. I taught me basic mechanics and loathed every inch of space that it stood on such was its unreliability. It is of no surprise that the car at show had its bonnet up, but although I have painful memories of my Allegro, now I sort of like it.
Oh goodness, just look at it. How beautiful is this car? This is a car you want to eat for breakfast with a hot waffle, maple syrup and double cream. It’s just so pleasing on the eye. I’ve never driven one, and it’s probably awful, falls to bits etc., but I don’t care, it’s just lovely.
Mercedes-Benz SL 300
I used to own a 1985 280 SL and it is by far the best car I have ever had. I lived in London and although it sounds impractical, it was the perfect environment for this vehicle. The turning circle is fantastic, the springy suspension absorbs the potholes and the auto is as smooth… as a very smooth thing on smooth day. I loved it, and then when my wife became pregnant the need for cash became very pressing, and I sold it. As a result I am going through counselling.
Crayford Ford Capri Mk1
Really? Who cuts the roof off a Capri? Well, not normal people, but although this seems like a rather bonkers concept, I actually quite like the look. It still unsettles me, though.
This is an example of a poorly looked after SL and a cautionary tale for those looking to buy an SL and then fail to look under the carpets. This example has much more rust than metal and it’s like watching root canal work knowing full well the patient has had no anesthetic.
Please do not touch
I love the absolutely un-Britishness of this photo. This car that these two individuals are clearly touching is a Maybach. I’m not a fan of this particular vehicle but does it mean it’s OK to blatantly ignore the sign? I don’t think so.
This is pure ‘Jaaaaag’ as far as I am concerned. I looks right, it’s ridiculously cool and I love the colour. It is the epitome of Jag-ness: bold, strong, big, unrepentant and disarmingly handsome.
Peugeot recently revealed its e-LEGEND concept at the Paris Motor Show last month and it stole everyone’s hearts. It was a modern take on the utterly gorgeous 504 Cabriolet of the 1970s, and I wonder whether Volvo will realise the value of the P1800 and produce a modern take on that. The Polestar 1 is close, but not quite. Anyway, you heard it hear first.
Porsche 911 ‘Whaletail’
During the 1980s a friend of mine’s dad, who was extraordinarily well off, wanted a 911 and he wanted a whaletail on it. Porsche said he couldn’t have one because they didn’t do them anymore. He told Porsche, ‘I’ll put one on anyway so just do it.’ So they did. A Porsche with a whaletail was an 80s extravagance, but let’s face it, it’s a bit rubbish isn’t it?
Mercedes-Benz 280 SL ‘Pagoda’
I know this feature is a bit SL heavy, but this is my dream car (along with a Peugeot 504 Cabriolet). This is without doubt the most beautiful car ever built. You can take your 250 GTs, your Lamborghini Miuras and E-Type Jaguars, I’ll have one of these any day of the week.
Tim Bowdler, Content Director, Newspress