Practical Classics Magazine – April 2013

If like me you passed your driving test in the late seventies, then the cover photo on this months Practical Classics instantly transports you back to those days of late-teenage dreaming about the cars that you might just be able to afford to purchase if those spiteful insurance companies would just realise you`re far less risk than they say you are; probably…

The cover photo is for a great comparison test between those seventies working class heroes; the Avenger GLS, Marina HL, Cortina mk 3 1600GT and the car that set the affordable performance benchmark of the era, the one and only, Triumph Dolomite Sprint.
Racing icon, Barrie ‘Whizzo’ Williams, has the enviable task of giving them a thorough run around the Curborough sprint circuit and you wouldn`t have put your money on his final choice of which one he would take home!

Readers restorations this month are a homebuilt recreation of a Morris Minor fire truck and a much modified Triumph Spitfire with a fabulous mirror-finish paintjob applied by the owner that involved a staggering 2000 hours of flatting back!

In-depth articles cover such diverse cars as the technically forward thinking 1950`s Panhard Dyna Z, the more recent Vauxhall Calibra (with advice to ‘buy one now whilst prices are reasonable’), and an ownership guide to the various affordable non-911 Porsches that can be just as much fun to own as the rear-engined icon but for a fraction of the price.

Specialist reports cover the best home maintenance to keep your Jaguar XJ-S V12 in tiptop order and various methods to keep your classic weatherproofed.

Other articles include a chat with former Lotus F1 driver, Philip Robinson, and a look at his rather lovely Climax-engined Herald special amongst other interesting projects he has on the go, and a brave soul who considers daily commuting in that paragon of reliability (not…), a 1980`s Maserati Bi-Turbo, to be a perfectly reasonable thing to do on a budget that wouldn`t buy a monthly bus ticket!

The regular staff reports on their latest trials and tribulations keeping their classics rolling are a great read, and if you thought last month`s saga about Sam Glover`s trip to Poland to collect another obscure eastern European rarity to add to his collection was a rather brave thing to do, then his story this month about collecting yet another internet purchase of something called the Izh 2125 (me neither…) from MOSCOW is simply staggering!

Maybe we should start a new campaign - SoS - 'Save our Suds'
Maybe we should start a new campaign – SoS – ‘Save our Suds’

The results of a survey about classic car ownership in the UK makes for surprising reading and if you`re hankering after something to get your hands oily with then this months classifieds have a 33,000 mile Alfasud 1200 in need of a little TLC open to offers, a Morris Marina with just 25,000 miles for not much money, or, if you have the sort of budget available that has to be wired from an offshore account, then perhaps a partially restored Aston DB2/4 for £70,000 might be a great project as well as a potentially lucrative investment!

Scrutineering by Chris Dymock

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