Classic Cars Magazine – April 2013

Anniversaries are (usually…) always worth celebrating and Classic Cars is partying hard in style this month with a feature on the Aston Martin DB5 as the car hits it`s fiftieth birthday in the same year this world famous manufacturer reaches its centenary.

The DB5 article is an epic road test comparison of the diverse variants of Mr 007`s favourite wheels, with the standard saloon, triple-Webered Vantage, fabulous convertible and the wonderfully quirky, and very rare, Radford Shooting Brake all driven in this excellent review.

Apparently entry price to DB5 ownership now hovers around £300k, so I might just be able to afford one if I sell a few vital organs and the odd limb or two. Also featuring this month is a drive around Curborough sprint circuit in an MG Metro 6R4 belonging to internationally famous race-car builders, Prodrive, and a 380bhp V6 in a car weighing barely a tonne is always going to be, er, interesting.

Pretty much at the absolutely opposite end of the performance spectrum to the 6R4 is the 1927 Trojan three-door Tourer whose unusual duplex layout, 1500cc 2-stroke engine generated a not exactly whopping 11bhp that wouldn`t give a rice pudding any sleepless moments and was advertised in it`s day as ‘cheaper than walking’ – though probably not much quicker!

Metro 6R4 made an ideal companion around Curborough's tight curves
Metro 6R4 made an ideal companion around Curborough’s tight curves

Mercedes crop up in a couple of articles, with an overview of the sleeper ‘hot rod’ 450 SEL 6.9 of the late seventies and a road test of the unique and utterly fabulous, 1939 540K Sport Tourer, originally commissioned at enormous cost by German industrialist, Alfried Krupp, and delivered just one week before the outbreak of WW2. Put your foot hard down in this supercharged beast and you`re guaranteed a Christmas card from those nice chaps at OPEC thanking you for your effort as petrol disappears at an eye-watering 8mpg!

This possibly didn`t bother Afried too much, as being the owner of Germany`s largest armaments manufacturer in the late thirties was probably bringing in a bob or two. Back to good old blighty for an in-depth look at Ford`s 1980`s working class hero, the great Sierra Cosworth, and if you can find a good specimen for sale then don`t hesitate because prices are only going in one direction.

A very apt article for is a road test of Morgan`s perennial classic, the 4/4, with the example featured having the Fiat twin cam engine and available to hire for a fun day out. The ex-Sir Stirling Moss and Rowan Atkinson, magnesium-bodied racing Jaguar mk VII, as regularly competed by Rowan in the St Mary`s Trophy at the Goodwood Revival also makes for a great road test write-up.

All the regular articles provide hours of interesting reading and some recent sales have hit the headlines with a ‘brand new’ unregistered Triumph Spitfire 1500 reaching just over £20k and the Batmobile from the 1960`s TV show fetching a staggering £2.9m! Talking about low mileage Triumphs; the classifieds offer a TR6 with only 2019 miles from new for £26k, not outrageous if you look at the costs of a restoration of one to a similar standard.

Scrutineering by Chris Dymock

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