Practical Classics – Spring 2013

Blimey, talk about a bumper issue. Practical Classics really has pulled out all the stops this month, with an issue so full of interesting articles and automotive information that it should come with a health warning for those of us that do most of our magazine reading in the smallest room in the house.

Now we are leaving behind the bitter cold and horizontal sleet of winter for spring`s, er, well, more of same unfortunately, some of you may be considering re-entering the enormous freezer commonly known as the garage for three out of four seasons of the year and putting your minds to the perennial heart-versus-head debate about which classic may be the best choice to fill the soon-to-be-cleared space contained therein.

Practical Classics to the rescue then, with a seven page article looking at their suggestions for the top twenty five best drivers cars available for a budget starting from as little as £400 and topping out at no more than £15k – and what a great selection to choose from including the Audi UR Quattro. Not content with depriving us of valuable sleep as we mull over this list of great possibilities, the PC team then go and put their money where their mouth is and purchase six classics which must ‘get through the winter’ for a budget of just £500 each, including any necessary work to get them through a new MOT. With an eclectic selection of cars encompassing two-seat sports cars, saloons and four-wheel drives, the article makes for truly fascinating and fun reading.

MG BGT is by its very nature a Practical Classic
MG BGT must sit high on anyones list of Practical Classics

The PC staff`s latest tales of woes and winnings are also a great read this month, with Kim Henson showing us how he fixed a sagging headlining for the grand total of just £5 after receiving a quote for over £1,000 from a professional trimmer for the work, and if you thought the idea of buying a classic and getting it a new MOT for a maximum spend of only £500 all-in is asking a lot, then Sam Glover`s latest acquisition of a ‘free to good home’ Volvo 360GLT and spending just £22.48 on parts (not to mention quite a few hours…) to obtain a fresh ticket, shows us just what might be possible with a little luck and a bit of hard graft!

If slogging away on a classic car project is your thing, then this months reader`s restorations of a fabulous 1936 BSA TW-2 3-wheeler and a rare 1954 Austin Westminster A90 shows just what can be achieved if you try hard enough. In-depth articles give us all the gen on taking proper care of a Triumph Spitfire, installing a hazard warning light system in classics that never had them fitted when new and everything you need know about the mk1 VW Golf.

Rather buy a runner than spend untold hours in your garage? The classifieds this month have a cracking 1958 Austin Cambridge advertised for £4k, a fully restored 1971 Triumph Herald 13/60 saloon for a very reasonable £3,150 and if you hanker after an automotive TV star of yesteryear, then how about a 1976 Ford Gran Torino complete with a 5.8litre V8 and full Starsky and Hutch paint job for just £8,500?

Choices, choices…

Scrutineering by Chris Dymock

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