Thanks to all of you who have sent in your classic cars and for the enthusiasm you have shown for this project during lockdown. It’s been great to see all your discerning choices of cars, the likes of which don’t really get made anymore.
In less strange times our passion normally drives us to the weekend meets and the shows where we swoon at the wonder of a real automobile. On the other side of all this we’ll meet again and we’ll marvel even more at how our cars make us feel and bring us together. Until then, take a virtual stroll around your cars and those of like minded enthusiasts and let’s enjoy what we can at home.
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A modern Porsche driver, Onur had always dreamed of a classic 911. In 2018 he found this US spec 1969 912 that had been restored for a collector in Turkey. The owner had the car for about 4 years before he decided to sell. Liking the colour combination and 911 looks, Onur bought the car and will keep it until he finds the “perfect 911S”.
This is the Hamer family’s fully restored 1965 Seat 600. “It was a Christmas present from my father to all the children as a way to get around town in Spain, all three kids learnt how to drive a manual in this car, affectionately named ‘Luis’. No tachometer, no radio, lap belts and the sound of the engine in the back”.
Italian Lotus lover Edoardo and his brother Vito, both Lotus owners and enthusiasts, found this Lotus Elan +2s 130/5 (130 hp/5 gears) in Portugal via Club Lotus Portugal in 2015. It is one of around 160 recorded in the UK in Tawny metallic with silver metal flake roof. The car was first registered in February 1973. “The Elan was complete and running but the paint was full of air bubbles and the engine compression wasn’t good, so we decided to restore it. The car was completely dismantled, chassis was reinforced, engine gearbox diff. rebuilt and all body paint layers were totally removed. The fiberglass was repaired and resprayed. Also we made ourselves interior carpets and dashboard. We need only to tune carburettors and enjoy this beauty at the end of quarantine”.
This is one of Kalps’ “pride and joys”, a stunning 1971 W114 Mercedes 250 Coupé Auto. “Beautiful colour combo, gold with black. Absolute beauty to drive and a gentleman’s car”.
“Top is my 2002 Turbo. The 02 series truly set the blueprint for the compact yet reliable, practical, sports sedan. The 2002tii, an already extremely impressive sports sedan was fitted with a Turbo, a wider track and flared wheel arches, an innovative technological advancement towards achieving greatness. That in my opinion enhanced BMW’s success and attracted many to own multiple BMWs. The unmatchable yearn to travel between models ranging from modern to classic, which depended on personal choice influenced by BMW’s attention to the detail, made each car different whilst remaining true to their roots. Driving it can leave you pleasantly surprised on each occasion, through the feeling of the turbo spool and lag, uncommon in a car of that size and of that age. The character of the 2002 Turbo cannot be replicated again or be satisfied with another.”
“Bottom is my E30 M3 Sport Evolution. The E30 is at time a perfect car in every form, coupé, convertible, sedan and estate. The M3 and its special editions just push those perfect mechanical and design perfections with Motorsport elements while making the car look unique and exotic while retaining the elegance. I still remember the first time I ever drove this car, it was simply a moment where the statement ‘never meet your heroes’ was proved extremely wrong.”
Juan’s, much loved, cobalt blue 944 S2 is totally original, save for the period correct Nokia car-phone and TV. “After being a petrolhead without the means to have an interesting car, my 944 S2 is first truly special car and the one that has finally allowed me to make my dream come true. To join the automotive world and do the most amazing adventures with it. Since buying it in April 2019, I have already driven 13000km in six countries: I have attended a myriad of car events, driven the famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit, done a road-trip all the way to the south of Spain and back to Belgium, driven at 240km/h on the German autobahn and used it as cargo van to move houses. And that is just the beginning, wait for what’s coming up soon…”
“This 1975 car is a rare example of the most basic Allegro, with the trusty 1098cc A-series engine and Hydragas suspension that gives these cars a bouncy ride. It’s a late series 1 car, so doesn’t have the infamous Quartic steering wheel. The first owner kept it for 30 years before donating it to the Stondon Transport Museum. After 10yrs the museum closed and the car was rescued by an enthusiast. Some light restoration work was carried out by the 3rd owner, but it wasn’t driven. I bought the car a year ago and have been driving it to car shows ever since, without any issues! The car is full of nostalgia and makes people smile – it never fails to get a reaction. I’ve also tracked down the first owner (now 94!) and met Allegro designer Harris Mann, who kindly signed under the boot lid.”
Designed by Tom Tjaarda at Ghia for former racing driver Alejandro de Tomaso. Ford were approached for a power-plant and were more than happy to get involved as they were still annoyed that Enzo wouldn’t sell them Ferrari. The Pantera makes you stand out from the prancing horse/raging bull crowd and that exhaust sound is one of the best around. Michel has made a few improvements over recent years including “full engine bay restoration and detailing, valve covers red powder coated, new fuse panel by Jon Haas’ Pantera Electronics, carbon fibre front hood and new wiper arms and blades – the entire system being the same as a Jaguar XJ6”.
Lee’s automatic Princess is a rare car that has covered 66000 miles. “Restored a couple of years ago. It’s a really nice car to drive with a 6 cylinder transverse engine mated to a smooth Borg Warner gearbox”.
“This is my XJ220, Chassis 069. With less than 400 miles on the clock, non-registered and in time-capsule condition. I don’t have much driving experience with it obviously and look after it almost as if it is a spiritual task handed over to me by the God of felines. This is the ultimate manufactured iteration of a big cat and the automobile which was the closest to ever looking alive even when standing still. It is an emotional experience every time I see this organic slippery beast in front of me, what an iconic machine to have achieved both the title of the fastest car in the world and the Nurburgring record.”
Mani’s 1980 Mercedes 450SEL W116 4.5 V8 – “These were the first Mercedes-Benz models to be officially called S-Class. It’s been kept in dry storage for a few years. It has a period correct Blaupunkt dab sqr 46 fitted. Original Mercedes barock wheels with 205 70 14 tyres. Being the SEL it is the longer wheelbase Grosser. Plus I managed to find and import a retro period correct venetian blind for the back window in chrome and ivory white”.
The 99 is one of the most overlooked Saabs. It was technically advanced (for the time), a great drive and in the Saab spirit, quirky and individual. “This is my Saab 99GL (1980). This shot was taken at the Aldeburgh Yacht Club last summer. It has a standard 2L ‘B’ engine with minor tweaks”.
“Registered September 1969, originally white with red interior it was mostly restored over several years (finished in approx 2016) using original parts where possible. The colour was changed to Midnight Blue with ‘biscuit’ leather interior and it was then used as a daily driver in 2017 and 2018. In 2019 it was given a semi retirement – being used predominately for fair weather commuting and weekend picnics. The plan in 2020 before Coronavirus impacted us was to enter into Historic Road Rally events. I did the livery for the Goodwood Revival the first year I went as there was a whole Rob Walker racing thing going on. I liked it, so ended up keeping the decals!”
Whilst on a work trip to LA, Tom spotted this 1965 Beetle for sale in Venice Beach. “It didn’t seem the most sensible thing buying a car there and importing it back to Europe, but I’d fallen in love with it on the spot so I rang the owner. Mike, a builder and long-boarder, turned up and took me for a drive. The deal was done. There was a tonne of interesting stuff in the car: the original radio, loads of stickers and odd trinkets collected around Venice over the years. I asked him if he could leave it all in there when the people came to pick it up for shipping. Like a time capsule. It’s a lovely vehicle and I’m glad I didn’t keep walking when I saw it”.
“This 1961 Ford Popular was one of two we bought from a local man who had bought them to restore. I bought the car with plans to fit a bigger engine but decided it was too good to butcher. It was totally original except the paintwork. The 1988 Toyota Tercel 4wd is one of my favourite cars. My uncle owned HJ Car Sales in Halifax. It started out as a Triumph dealership in the 60s/70s and in the mid 70s started selling Toyotas. After my dad bought his first Toyota, a 1976 Carina, I was hooked and spent as much time as possible at the dealership watching all the new Toyotas coming in. I remember the early Land Cruisers and Mk1 Celicas in the showroom and remember a new Starlet falling off the transporter! Toyotas have played a big part of my life since”. We also love that Chopper in the background!”
“In 2011 I decided to buy a Marcos. After some research on the internet I found this Marcos Mantula near Derbyshire for sale. She was the press car of the Mantula series in 1984, at that time still with the 3.5 ltr Rover V8 (the series was finally built with the 3.9 ltr V8 engine). The Mantula has a fiberglass body on a steel tube frame and is only 1,08 m high. At first, the viewing was a great disappointment for me. This Marcos belonged to Jem Marsh (who resurrected the Marcos brand in 1981), and he was 1.97 M tall. Unfortunately I am a small lady and of course I couldn’t reach the pedals. So my husband did the test drive and when I saw his happy face, the car was bought anyway. I have had the pedals modified and need a special cushion for driving. But I love this car so much and for me it is one of the most beautiful cars ever. Also the sound is amazing.”
The Rust Collector has about 23 cars sprawled around his garages and workshop – mostly projects. This is his 1967 Fiat Dino Coupe. “I’ll be commencing restoration shortly. All complete though obviously needs full interior re-trim, bare metal respray, maybe an engine rebuild. Thankfully very little, if any, rust!”
Fiat’s answer to the VW Golf may be remembered mostly for the iconic TV ad showing the car ‘Handbuilt by Robots’, but the Strada (known as Ritmo pretty much everywhere else) still looks pretty cool today. “This maybe the last Super Strada MK3 taxed on the road in the UK. Only covered 43,000 miles. I have owned the car since 2006”.
This “completely stock 1992 E30 M3” is John’s car created in Forza Horizon 4 – Well it is a virtual car show!
“Here is my 1975 MK1 Escort Mexico which was my first car at 17 in 1987. I restored it in 1988 and this is how it still looks today, 32 years later. It gets taken to plenty of car shows throughout the show season, and the car is pretty much completely standard with the original 1600 engine.”
“This is my 1994 MG RV8 3.9L convertible. It originally went to Japan in March 1995 and came back to the UK three years later. I have owned this beautiful MG for just over one year and it is absolutely fantastic to drive and own. I’m very proud to have a unique car, only about 2000 were made and only 152 in this gorgeous Nightfire Red. It does 0-60 in 6 seconds and the V8 sounds amazing. Hand made too!”
This is Rob’s amazing looking 1978 Type 75 Lotus Elite. “I have owned this car for a year and drive it quite regularly when the weather allows. Not a complete garage queen – I just can’t be bothered to clean her again after putting in so much effort to make her look great! Nicknamed ‘Bev’, I bought her in a reasonably excellent condition. In the last 10 years she has been re-sprayed, and the interior almost entirely re-trimmed, apart from the dash which is all original. Bev turns more heads than most modern sports cars I drive. The pop up headlights still get people excited. Being a local boy to the Hethel factory I often come back to Bev in a car park where she has drawn some fans for photographs”.
“My car is a 1989 Skoda 120L 5 speed, which is one of only four in the UK, making it rarer than most other cars you’re likely to see”.
“This is my daily driven restomod 1981 DMC DeLorean! It’s a 5 speed manual that I’ve owned for just about a year and I’ve done fairly major upgrades to it…”
“I bought my Corrado in 2014, it is a 1993, 2.9L VR6 in Brilliant Black. The VR6 was completely standard when I bought it, with 76K genuine miles and full service history including the original bill of sale and even the salesman’s business card. I am only the third owner of the car, which is currently on 86K miles. I loved the Corrado from the first drive, the driving position, the performance and style. I have made a few changes during my ownership (including the custom water-drop effect engine cover) and also will be carrying out a few more during the lockdown in preparation for getting out to some shows once this is all over.”
This is Manish’s Sunny 120Y coupe with only 35k original miles on the clock. In the 70’s the Sunny 120Y tempted many UK car drivers to buy Japanese. It had great build quality, excellent reliability and such an easy, enjoyable drive that it even became popular with Driving Schools.
“Valentine (bought on Valentine’s day) has been part of the family for 3 years now. Great all year round, my kids love him and he’s never let me down. Plus hotels always ask us to park out front!”
“I bought my 944 nearly three years ago and use it as a daily driver. It’s a great car and I’ve made a few modifications: Fuchs style wheels and some outlaw style graphics. It’s beautiful to drive and I enjoy using it come rain and shine. It’s practical too – I have two kids and a dog, plus I love cycling so I can still use it no matter what we are doing. I also have a love of model making and drawing, (I work as a car designer specialising in interior design). During the lockdown I’ve been customising some 1/64th scale Hot Wheels models to resemble my car as it was when I bought it and as it is now. I’ve even had the wheels 3D printed so they are accurate to my car and converted the steering to right-hand drive! I also made replica packaging unique to my car as you can see in the photo. Sketching is part of my job – and I’ve been sketching my car using pen and marker and posting ‘how it’s done’ time-lapse movies on my Instagram account below.”
This is Rodger’s long-wheelbase Aston Martin Lagonda, The only one in existence in right-hand-drive. In 1984 only four long-wheelbase Lagondas were made, costing £110,000 each (that’s over £300,000 today)! Because of the length, the rear door window glass was split in two. But this isn’t the only Lagonda Rodger owns. He loves them so much he now has 24 of them! “The Wedge is one of my favourite cars, you can drive it for hours at 140mph and still get out fresh. You either love them or hate them. I’m told I have the largest collection of them in the world. You probably are nutty to own one and taken to the lunatic asylum if you’ve got three or more. I don’t know where that positions me?” Rodger’s passion for cars doesn’t stop at the Lagonda – his collection currently houses nearly 400 classics and modern classics!
Long before we’d even heard of MPVs – there was the Multipla. Here’s John’s 1958 600. “This is an original Italian car that lived most of its life in Spain, hence it is completely rust free and has never been welded. I decided to drive to Italy and buy one and drive it home, as an adventure with my youngest son. This proved to be practically impossible however, so instead we towed this one home from a dealer in the French Alps this January, just before the dreaded Corona hit. These cars are very rare in England, they were originally used as taxis in Rome and for carrying large Italian families. The car is great fun to drive and you can even set the seats up into a double bed!”
“I bought this 1960 MK2 3.4 ltr beauty 3 years ago from a neighbour of a friend. Her father had the car from new, so only one family owned it for 57 years! This is a very early example and retains original early car features, flat headlights, smaller rear view mirror and air filter, oil bath type located in nsf wheel arch. It also has a very rare slide back steel sunroof. The originality of this car, especially the interior is what really drew me to this car.”
Apart from the re-spray, Bart restored his Lancia Beta Spider himself – including the sheetmetal work, engine and all electrics. The car he says is, “Almost new again”.
“This is my 1968 Toyota Corona which I’ve owned for 13 years. I’m in touch with the original family and dealership. The dealership bought it back in the late 80s, restored it and kept it as a promotional piece. In my ownership, I have thoughtfully installed a 2 litre Toyota Celica engine and 5 speed gearbox, re-carpeted and added the wheels and historic race tyres. It’s great fun!”
Here’s our own 1984 Lotus Turbo Esprit. It’s the only one in the UK in red with ‘Gold’ full leather interior, sun-roof, radio and air-con options. We re-sprayed the wheels from red(!) to gold and bumpers back to black. It’s had an engine rebuild, uprated cooling system including fans, a ’round tooth’ belt conversion and just when we got it how we wanted it, it needed a gearbox rebuild! – all done by the lovely chaps at Lotus Bits. These Giugiaro Esprits are great looking cars and the pain of ownership so far has been out-weighed by the sheer joy of driving it. Hopefully it will be all plain sailing from here on(!?).
Mark bought and imported this 1964 Chevrolet Bel Air from the USA four years ago. “We fitted full air bag suspension, new carpets and headliner. Then after a full brake rebuild the car was ready for using for shows in the UK. It’s been incredibly comfortable and reliable, however we feel it’s now time for something else and we have decided to sell it”.
This is Ian’s Silver Series 1 Porsche 928. 4.5Ltr V8. 240bhp. It’s low miles, low ownership original spec 928 with the lovely Teledial alloys. “I’ve owned this car for one year following a series of classic BMWs (E30s and E24s) – Just working my way through the 80s!”
“This is my 1972 Fiat 500L. I bought the car from a friend who drove it back from Sicily, the car proved to be too difficult to restore and work on, so I bought it and continued the restoration. I rebuilt the engine and gearbox. The car now has a 595cc Abarth replica engine and synchro gearbox. I kept the original looks but improved the driving experience.”
Some say the W123 models probably represent Mercedes at their peak. Beautifully made, classy and practical. The Coupé CE model (based on the saloon with 10cm taken out of the wheelbase), was THE car to be seen in – and it had the price to match. Here’s Gary’s restored 280. “I’ve had it for about 8 years and still love it”.
“This is my 1980 Porsche 924 Turbo. Delivered in Italy and went to Holland in 2004 and the body has been restored and repainted. It drives fabulous. it is one of my three 924s, the other 2 are getting restored for our road trip to Beijing (China). This is supposed to start August 22 2020, but honestly I think we have to postpone it until next year. We’ll take that decision at the end of May.” Please follow and support their road trip here:
“The car has been an 11 year resto-mod covering all areas. So many subtle changes with almost every panel tweeked to my vision.” Chris’s list of work is too long to cover here, but here’s a few highlights: “Ducktail rear spoiler, front bumper headlight washer jets deleted, 993 aero door handles (colour coded), Wolfsberg West clear front headlight lenses with LED lights, 993 rear quarter windows and seals, re-trimmed in Napa black leather with red stitch detail, linen leather door pull handles & door pocket lids, full period correct 1990’s SQ audio install by Bassmechanix, Newcastle, BBS LM – 2 Piece Split Rim wheels, WEVO ”black” competition engine mounts, top-end re-build, quilted leather engine pad, carbon dress-up incl RS heater bypass and ram air duct…”
“I bought the car 2 years ago to learn to drive in. Only to realise that the insurance would cost one and a half times what I paid for the car! However I’ve loved the car since I got it and last month I finally got insured on it after the insurance dropped to something more reasonable. Brilliant car!”
Here’s an interesting one… “My Mini Scamp. I have had this for eight years. The last photo shows it in its original form with the original owner and builder of the car. I got it back on the road, painted it, changed the alloys and the interior. As you can imagine, it turns heads, especially when driven with the doors open!”
“‘You stink.’ For one year this was the greeting my girlfriend gave to me whenever I came back from the garage. (Not because the Quattroporte smelled from old Iranian Caviar Cans. At that point I had no idea that the first owner was a well known Caviar Dealer in Hamburg). It was the smell of a V8, running on chocker. These fumes were sitting in the old leather of the car. Not anymore. Driving it, was the solution for that. But it took some time to get there. When I bought the Car from Germany in 2015, it was driving well and had no rust at all. In fact, it looked very good. But, nothing worked at all. Maserati was very ambitious to put all the little electric helpers in the car you can think of in the late 70s and I love that (even the front window is electrically heated) – but ALL THE TEDELS (Switches) where “kaputt”. My luck – because my first learned profession is Radio and TV-Technician and I trained at the BOSCHDIENST in Austria. So I took them apart, changed many, many transistors, condensators, brushes, switches, wires… And now, all is working well! And after a service for the Engine, automatic and suspension my Quattroporte is driving amazing. I love the car. This year I did some cosmetics: refurbished the wheels and switched the front grill back to Black. And last year I found out that the Car was delivered by Bjarsch in Switzerland directly to Mr. Varasteh, an Iranian Caviar Dealer in Hamburg. Since then I have a bunch of (empty) Iranian Caviar cans in the Car.”
“I live in Bogota, Colombia and I’m 36 years old! A classic cars fan as well! This is my Mercedes Benz 230E 1983 (W123). My father always wanted a Mercedes in his garage, not really a car fan, but he had a dream! He bought this car in 2000 and his dream came true. Our “merchas”, as we call this car, became our family car! We enjoyed it going for small trips. After an internal negotiation, my mother owned the car, but my mother didn’t know how to drive (she still doesn’t know LOL). So I was my mother’s driver, taking her wherever she wants to go. At about 20 years, I started going to the college with my fancy old fashioned Mercedes Benz, little by little the car start to be mine. My father paid for all the maintenance and I was in charge of the daily needs. When I started working I was in charge of more things related to our “merchas”. Today the car is completely mine, my mother gave it to me as a present for all the passion and love I gave to it.
In Colombia, all regular cars have a yellow plate (as you can see in the first photo) but when the cars is older than 35 years and meets a minimum requirement (restored or preserved ), you can change the plates to a blue and whites ones, that identifies the cars as a Classic Car, my car has new plates since December 2019 having 87.5/100 points of authenticity. Today I’m proud and happy to have a car like this, that seems be new with more than 300K km!”
This is Lee’s 1989 manual 944 2.7, “I’ve got a modern one as well, a 718 GTS Cayman, but I’ve always wanted an oldie. I just bought this after wanting one for such a long time, dad had one when I was younger and since then it’s been a must have… We are both really into our Porsches… This is my/our new weekend “make her better” car… its even better than I expected. Great car to tinker with and tons of parts to change! I love it!! And because we’re all stuck in it gives me tons of time to kinda sort it.”
A quintessential British sports car, The MGB has eternal popularity with handsome ‘mini-Aston’ looks and durable BMC underpinnings. “I’ve owned my MGB roadster since 1995 when it was fully restored”.
“This is my 1977 Lancia Beta Coupé 1600. I believe it’s an early Series 2, in a rare shade of green with matching green velour interior. It was registered in North London and stayed in the London area for all its life until I purchased it in late 2019.
There is very little work needed, only minor mechanical fettling to get it road-worthy, and hopefully I will see some of the summer out in it, if the current Coronavirus situation dies down.”
“This is my ‘new’ Porsche 928S. It was born in Germany in 1986 and was imported to Sweden in 1988 where it lived a very quiet life until 2014 when it was driven to Norway. Mileage was about 82,000 km. On Sunday it passed 96,000 km. It is 100% original and it should remain that way.”
“Here is my HONDA S800. These wonderful and rare cars date to 1967-1970. They were the first cars that Honda imported into the UK. They had a terrific specification for the time, but the jewel-in-the-crown was the powertrain – a 791cc four cylinder water cooled engine that took pages from the runbook of Honda F1 in the sixties. A roller bearing crankshaft, twin-overhead camshafts, induced by four carburettors, a tuned exhaust system and a 8500 rpm redline gave these beauties the title of the most powerful 1 litre production car in the world, and a higher specific output (Bhp/litre) than most exotic sports cars for years after they ended production in 1970. Matched to a wonderfully smooth and precise four speed all synchromesh gearbox these cars were, and still are, an absolutely engaging drive; once hooked on all those revs it really is almost impossible to stop – making the lock-down doubly difficult!! They still have great following around the world and only a few road-going examples survive in the UK. The Honda S800 Sports Car Club are proud to have been supporting Honda S800 Enthusiasts for over 42 years – Follow them below.”
“This is my 1981 Land Rover Series 3. Undergoing a never ending restomod to keep it useable on the road. It’s had its knackered old n/a diesel swapped out for a 200Tdi and, naturally, a side exhaust to go with it! The wood-rim steering wheel is something I have wanted on my car forever but never had the right vehicle to pull it off – I think we can get away with it now! The old girl is by no means nice to drive, it’s full agrispec inside: no carpets, headlining, matting etc so it squeaks rattles and shakes you to pieces on its original leaf springs – just the way an old Landy should be.”