The London Classic Car Show has the look and feel of a motoring event that has been running since the 1960s, but in fact, no. The classic car event started in 2014 and has done well to rapidly grow in size and popularity ever since. In 2018, the show ran across 4 days, occupying the a large part of the Excel Arena. Recreating a classic californian feel drag strip as the centre piece, where 60 chosen classic cars rolled down the car version of the catwalk.
BMW Z3 the next classic icon
I do have a soft spot for the BMW Z3 2.8, because I have one. The first time I set eyes on the shark grills, that front nose side profile, I thought what a classic in the making. BMW does have a reputation of rotating their model line up and just some times you think, how can they replace that shape with another one, and a few years on you see the decision was probably spot on. Not so with the Z3, there was no direct model shape update, not including the subtle face lift change here, they went on to bring out the Z4 instead. Will the German maker return to the Z3 heritage in the future? That would be an interesting design exercise to work on that style shape.
My Silver shark, looks not too dissimilar to the model above captured at the London Classic Car show, powered hood, a gearbox tunnel that would probably give a Landover forward control a run for its money, in terms of size. Great view forward over a gentle bulging hood. Looks great with the hood up or down. One wonders how desirable these machines would have been if they put in the 4.4V8. One for the mid-crisis-lifers, it would be ‘shall I buy that Ducati’, ‘Harley Davidsons’ or that ‘V8 Z3’, we can only dream. The Z3M does indeed slot in quite nicely.
If your a fan of the Top Gear Specials, the one where James drives the Z3, the Middle East Special. I was glued to that episode, just how great it looked in the dust on a good long cruise.
Maserati Tipo 60 'Birdcage'
1959, Modena, the scene was set for Stirling Moss to drive the Maserati Tipo 60 to its first win, a first of many for a car nicknamed the Birdcage. Towards the end of the 1950s Maserati assigned engineer Giulio Alfieri to come up with the a design for an all new race car. Out of this design work, a tubed chassis car was developed, using around 200 steel tubes, forming cage like structure, not too dissimilar to a birdcage, hence the nickname of the new car ‘birdcage’
The chassis was twinned with a 2 litre, 4 cylinder engine with twin weber carburettors, the whole engine unit sat low in the frame to give the car quite exceptional low centre of gravity. With a weight of 570kg and a engine that produced 200hp, the car could shift. In comparison the current weight of a Formula 1 car is 660Kg.
Stirling Moss was handed the keys and test drove the first car around the test track in Italy’s Aeroautodromo at Modena and in Germany at the Nürburgring. The tests run highlighted issues with the birdcage structure inherent weakness of being liable to fracture. An engineering solution was applied by Giulio to fix the issue.
The Maserati Tipo 61
Maserati updated the power unit in the Tipo 60 to just under 3 litres bringing the weight up to 600kg with a power output of 250hp. During the Le Mans 24 Hour race a Tipo 61 clocked the track speed record of the time for a under 3 litre class of 270Km per hour.
Final year of manufacture February 1961.
A 2013 Auction listing has one of these beautiful cars sold at just over 2 million dollars.
I have had the privilege of riding in a Jensen Interceptor, 6 litre V8. A heavy car that sat on the road like it owned the tarmac beneath its tyres. Impressive cruiser. Bonnet big enough to land a small helicopter and a one off rear hatch lid that the likes have not been seen a 1960s science movie first created the idea of a dome on a car.
If I recall 12miles to the gallon or if driven with the touch of a ballet dancers tap shoe, maybe 14. Is there a better place for the destination of so much crude oil than in a V8 powered Jensen Interceptor. I guess there is always the thought of putting in an electric motor. Jensen made other cars but it was to be the Interceptor as its swung song.
There was a 7.4 litre model to counter balance the loss of power through emission restrictions and of course the ground breaking 4 wheel drive FF model. It was the 6 Litre Jensen the model I remembered, a labour of love that if it could go wrong it unfortunately did. The only thing that was guaranteed, was the need to drink fuel and the grin on the face when the Interceptor was running at a cantor.
Range Rover Classic
The Range Rover Classic, or if your of a certain age, simply a Range Rover. Back when Land Rover designed a ground breaking car at the turn of the 1970s that would go and define a whole genre of car, and then decided to leave the design as is for the next 25 years. Other than adding 2 additional doors, making the grill go horizontal and planting wood and leather inside.
If you have ever sat in a Range Rover, there is one thing that strikes you, your line of sight is almost at the top of the window. Its like sitting on the umpires chair at Wimbledon. It is some place to sit. These days there are bigger cars but there is something quite unique still about the Range Rover Classic.
For a factory rebuilt 2 door fetching upwards of £135,000 the after market for quality early 1970 examples is through the roof. Then there is the after marked customised Range Rovers like the Chieftain.
The Top Driving Simulators
FORZA MOTORSPORT 7
With over 700 cars, from classic cars to modern motoring legends Forza is one of the most forgiving driving simulators, requiring that you put some time and effort into learning the simulator.
The Forza franchise is in its 12th year. Linked below is the Forza game on the Amazon Store.