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    / #1977-Ferrari-308GTB : Drawn To Drive / #Ferrari-308GTB

    Steve Bolton is a child of the ‘80s, so the fact that he was influenced by a certain Hawaiian detective TV show is no surprise. The allure of the Pininfarina-styled body and the distinctive roar of the V-8 is a combination that’s hard to resist, no matter your age. The Ferrari 308 came after the unloved #Bertone-308GT4 , and many felt this was finally a worthy successor to the voluptuous curves of the Dino a few years prior. The #1977 #Ferrari #Ferrari-308 was also the first year of steel-bodied cars, instead of fiberglass, plus it had the desirable carbureted engine. Not many people get the chance to drive their childhood dreams, but in today’s film, this is precisely what happens. Even though this particular model is a GTB, versus the famous GTS, the emotion, and sound, is just as exciting.
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    Car #1980-Triumph-Spitfire-1500 / #1980 / #Triumph-Spitfire-1500 / #Triumph-Spitfire-1500 / #Triumph-Spitfire / #Triumph
    Car #1977-Triumph-TR7-FHC / #1977 / #Triumph-TR7-FHC / #Triumph-TR7

    OWNED BY Jeffrey Aronson
    FROM Vinalhaven, Maine, USA
    FIRST CLASSIC Morris Minor
    DREAM CLASSIC A Lotus Seven of any description!
    BEST TRIP Destination anywhere, east or west, I don’t care…

    I’m the progeny of an Englishmum who scorned small British cars and an American father who considered a full ashtray a sign to search for his next Buick. I, meanwhile, bought into the marketing of the British sports-car companies, especially Triumph and MG. Their advertisements assured me of a near-James Bond lifestyle, but, with no Casino Royale close by, their new-car prices stubbornly sat above my pay grade. Good fortune smiled on meas their ‘budget’ sports cars, the Spridgets and Spitfires, became affordable once used and abused by lead-footed American owners.

    Working in automotive journalism and education in rural settings, my classics had to perform to help me earn an income. A succession of low-rent used sports cars – Fiat 124 Spider, MG Midget RWA, rubber-bumper MGB, a brace of Spitfires and Corvair Monzas – came and dissolved into the heavily salted roads of wintry New England. By 2001, my affordable choices had been reduced to the unloved products of late British Leyland: my current 1980 Triumph Spitfire 1500 with its gargantuan ‘rubber’ bumpers and utterly emasculated engine; and my ’77 TR7 fixed-head coupé, whose startling styling still divides the US classic-car community. Naturally, both broke down on their first trips home.

    While the later examples of the Spitfire sold well in the USA in period, they didn’t capture the hearts of the flat-capped enthusiast. So I wasn’t surprised to discover a disco-era electric-blue Spitfire, replete with hounds tooth-check upholstery and chest-hair medallion shift knob, available for sale in 2014. This final-year example had been purchased by a student in Boston, who then gave it to his father. When he became too old to climb into it, he squirrelled it away in a barn in Maine A friend drove me the 80 miles to the car and then followed me to within a few miles of my ferry trip home. Just as I pulled in to board the ferry, the clutch pedal seized in place. Stranded, I had to call for a tow truck. A broken slave-cylinder bracket proved to be the issue, and a used one was sourced from a speciality garage. I’ve since relied on the car for 200-mile work trips and 500-mile jaunts throughout northern New England.

    The TR7 came into my life in September 2018, and I again appear to be the second or third owner. Its Java Green paint and interior panels of eye-searing green plaid closed the sale long before the end of my test drive. About 60 miles from my ferry terminal destination, 160 miles into my trip, I passed an exit with an auto parts store in view. The TR7 promptly began to stumble and then die on a bridge spanning a wide river. I rolled backwards against the traffic, managed to start the car and limped into the parking lot. Cleaning out the fuel filter enabled me to complete the trip. It’s behaved flawlessly since, entertaining bystanders who’ve never experienced its colour scheme or its ‘Shape of things to come’.

    In period I detested the styling of the TR7 fhc and felt dismayed by the soaring list price and safety-car bumpers adorning the Spitfire. Now I cherish and defend them to the hilt. While the actors who portrayed James Bond have either passed away or aged out of the role, my British Leyland sports cars enable me to maintain the same veneer of ‘Jet-set Man’ they provided me with decades ago.

    Rubber-bumpered TR7 (left) turns locals green and regularly catches the eye. Spitfire (above) and TR7 are both well-versed in long trips across the States, whatever the weather – after tricky starts under Aronson’s enthusiastic ownership.

    Among Maine’s other sports-car imports The rugged side of the Aronson collection.

    ‘My affordable choices had been reduced to the unloved products of late British Leyland. Both broke down’
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    CHASING CARS Quentin Willson’s hot tips

    Jaguar XJ-S / XJS leaves the bargain basement E-type replacement finally unlocks the wallets of a new generation of Jaguar lovers

    / #Jaguar-XJ-S / #Jaguar-XJS / #Jaguar / #1985-Jaguar-XJ-SC-V12-Cabriolet / #1985 / #1977

    VALUE 2010 UK £6250

    VALUE NOW 2018 UK £13k

    Finally, after years of false dawns and flat values things are looking up for Jaguar’s XJ-S. There’s clear evidence that a new demand is moving prices higher and anything low mileage, rare or special has comfortably broken the £20k threshold. Maybe a new generation of Jaguar fanciers has come of age or we’ve just all suddenly realised that Coventry’s slinky GT has been too cheap for too long, but a fresh sentiment is definitely stirring out there. In Anglia’s May sale a 1989 5.3 convertible with 54,000 miles and eight stamps in the book made £18,550 and a ’1992 facelift 4.0 coupé with 62,000 and 15 dealer stamps made a solid £18,020. Slades Garage in Buckinghamshire has a rare ’ 1985-Jaguar-XJ-S-V12-SC-Cabriolet with just 14,000 miles for £39,950 while UK Sports and Prestige in Harrogate has a ’1995 4.0 litre Celebration coupé with 70k for £29,900. These figures are all significantly up on last year.

    Compared to Italian supercars such prices look bargain basement and perhaps that’s the reason for this renaissance – a light bulb moment where enthusiasts recognise a new value and desirability in low-mileage cosseted examples.

    But while the general market catches up with this shift there will be opportunities such as the red ’1977 V12 coupé with 59,000 miles that slipped under the radar in Barons’ May sale, knocked down for a very cheap £5610. And it’s the pre-HE cars that I reckon have the greatest long-term potential. Launch year ’1975s are the purest and rarest with their Kent alloys, Seventies colours and unadorned bodies. Find an ultra-rare V12 manual (only 300-odd were built) and you’ll have a Jag coupé that’s actually more exclusive than a 1961 flat-floor outside bonnet lock E-type. And remember those first cars starred in TV series such as Return of The Saint and The New Avengers, so there’s a great retro Seventies heritage bubbling away too.

    Already I’m seeing signs that early cars are attracting strong attention and selling quickly, so don’t hang about – the 1975-1977 XJ-S is definitely one to buy right now.

    ‘Coventry’s slinky GT has been too cheap for too long’
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    Tony Wilkes
    Car #BMW-3.0Si / #BMW-E3 / #BMW-3.0Si-E3 / #BMW / #BMW-New-Six / #1977-BMW-3.0Si-E3 / #1977

    Name Tony Wilkes Age 38
    Occupation TV / film location manager
    From Glasgow
    First classic ’1974 Triumph GT6
    Dream classic Probably a ’1973 911 RS 2.7 Lightweight
    Best trip Lake Como, Italy, to Achensee, Austria, via the Stelvio Pass in the BMW


    Imagine my delight when I spotted My BMW 3.0 Si E3 on page 187 of June 2017’s edition of C&SC. Martin Buckley’s assertion that ‘it’s the best-driving chrome-bumper BMW of them all’ is one that I couldn’t agree with more. In the five years that I’ve owned it, my Si has been a most impressive companion over some 10,000 miles – the majority of which have been in mainland Europe.

    Built in January 1977 and delivered the following month, it wasn’t registered until July. RUW 848R was worked hard over its first few years. Traded in for an E12 M535i at 60,000 miles in 1981, the Si then found its second and longest-term owner in Motortune’s Brompton Road showroom. Lord Montagu- Pollock (who sadly passed away last year) paid the princely sum of £2800 for the E3 and owned it for 18 years. He used the car exactly as intended – on long, hard-charging European adventures, or cruising around central London in luxury and style. Towards the end of one of these journeys in 1992, the thermostat failed and cooked the ‘six’. The Si was fitted with Munich’s last reconditioned engine in Milcars’ Temple Fortune workshop.

    The Montagu-Pollock family made the difficult decision to finally part with their beloved companion in 1999, and the 3.0 Si was replaced by an E34 M5 Touring.

    Fast-forward 14 years, and I couldn’t believe my luck when I found the car – a rare, late Bosch L-Jetronic-equipped model. It came with voluminous history and a vast quantity of new-old-stock genuine BMW parts. Not being one to do things by half measures, I decided that RUW’s maiden voyage should be to the Leutasch Valley in the Austrian Tirol. Seven hours and 700km into the trip, I was hooked by the E3’s remarkable ability to hoover up the miles with absolute poise and comfort. Next was a jaunt to Italy via some of the most spectacular scenery imaginable. I was delighted to be invited to Munich in September 2016 to exhibit the car at BMW’s 100th-anniversary celebration weekend at the 1972 Olympic Park – one of the most fantastic events that I’ve attended. The E3 was also my wedding car, bought as a surprise for my wife.

    We got married at Lake Como in Italy, so my parents volunteered to drive the BMW across Europe in secrecy. I planned a route for them, plus one for myself and my fiancée, to ensure that there was no chance of spoiling the surprise along the way. My parents then changed their directions and ended up three cars ahead of us coming over the St Gotthard Pass. I was concerned to say the least. Once we’d dropped down the other side into Italy and onto the autostrada, I had no option but to pass as quickly as possible.

    Moments later I received a text from my mother stating: ‘That was close!’ Needless to say, we got away with it and the big reveal on our wedding day worked a treat. Our Si is now very much part of the family. In my ownership, the BMW has been phenomenal. It has never let me down and is perfectly comfortable occupying the outside lane of any motorway – more so now that I’ve fitted a five-speed ’box from a BMW 635CSi E24, which, as well as reducing revs at higher cruising speeds, has also improved fuel economy.

    Sadly, the passage of time has not been kind to the E3. A combination of rampant rust, savage depreciation when new and suppressed values in comparison to the more popular E9 coupés has meant that these handsome saloons have virtually disappeared from our roads.

    Many succumbed to terminal rot, while others were broken for parts. At the last count, there were about 50 E3s left in the UK, only a handful of which are roadworthy. They are hugely sought-after and attract incredibly enthusiastic owners. But then you could say that I’m biased, because I now own an Si pair and run the E3 Register on behalf of the BMW Car Club.

    Much-travelled BMW, during an outstanding run from Italy to Austria via the breathtaking Stelvio Pass, after Wilkes’ wedding at Lake Como.

    The Ultimate Driving Machine on one of Europe’s greatest routes, the Großglockner Pass. E3 part-way through its Alpine adventure. Previous owner Giles Montagu-Pollock RIP. Sierra beige Si at BMWCC Gaydon festival. Milcars fitted last recon ‘six’ from Munich.

    ‘Seven hours into the trip, I was hooked by its ability to hoover up the miles with absolute poise and comfort’
    • A CAR I WISH I’D BOUGHT Buckley has missed two examples of the 3.0Si: is fate working against him? Ten years ago I got friendly with quite a famou A CAR I WISH I’D BOUGHT

      Buckley has missed two examples of the 3.0Si: is fate working against him?

      Ten years ago I got friendly with quite a famous American film producer who shared my love of boxy Italian saloons. Lovely guy and not at all ‘Hollywood’ – as you’d expect for someone who owned a Fiat 125. I can’t remember how it came up, but one of us was offered a rather nice BMW 3.0Si E3. Mr Film Producer said he’d buy it for when he was in the UK and that I could run it the rest of the time. Somehow, we didn’t do the deal and a bit later I missed a sound 3.0Si E3 through another attack of uncharacteristic ‘sensible’ thinking, so maybe I’m just destined not to have one. Pity, to my mind it’s the best-driving chrome-bumper BMW of them all.
        More ...
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    CAR / #Jaguar-XJ-C #V12 : #Sovereign #Swagger / #1977-Jaguar-XJ-C-V12 / #Jaguar-XJ-C-V12 / #Arden / #1977 / #Jaguar-XJ-C-V12-Sovereign-Swagger / #Jaguar-XJ-C / #Jaguar-XJ-C-Series-2 / #Jaguar-XJ-Series-2 / #Jaguar-XJ / #Jaguar / #Jaguar-XJ12-C / #Jaguar-XJ12 / #Jaguar-XJ12-Series-2

    Here's a great example of a rare #1977-Jaguar-XJ-C-V12 tuned by Arden.

    The Coupe version of the XJ V12 are extremely rare, which only 329 produced in 1977. The proportions of the pillarless design compliments the classy XJ, changing it into more of a full-size grand touring car.
    It's an unconventional beauty that's sure to turn heads at gatherings.

    Basic info : XJ Coupé /
    Jaguar XJ12 Coupe Jaguar XJ5.3C
    Also called Jaguar XJ-C, XJ6-C, XJ12-C
    Jaguar XJ4.2C
    Jaguar XJ5.3C
    Daimler Sovereign Coupé
    Daimler Double-Six Coupé
    Production 1975–78 / 10,487 produced
    Assembly Coventry, England
    Body and chassis
    Body style2-door coupe
    Engine 4.2 L XK I6 / 5.3 L Jaguar #V12 engine


    Wheelbase 108.75 in (2,762 mm)
    Length 190.75 in (4,845 mm)
    Width 69.75 in (1,772 mm)
    Height 54.125 in (1,375 mm)
    Kerb weight 4,050 lb (1,837 kg)

    A 9,378-car run of two-door XJ coupés with a pillarless hardtop body called the XJ-C was built between 1975 and 1978. The car was actually launched at the London Motor Show in October 1973, but it subsequently became clear that it was not ready for productionand the economic troubles unfolding in the western world at this time seem to have reduced further any sense of urgency about producing and selling the cars: it was reported that problems with window sealing delayed production. XJ coupés finally started to emerge from Jaguar show-rooms only some two years later. The coupé was based on the short-wheelbase version of the XJ. The coupé's elongated doors were made out of a lengthened standard XJ front door (the weld seams are clearly visible under the interior panels where two front door shells were grafted together with a single outer skin). A few XJ-Cs were modified by Lynx Cars and Avon into convertibles with a retractable canvas top, but this was not a factory product. Lynx conversions (16 in total) did benefit of powered tops. Both six and twelve-cylinder models were offered, 6,505 of the former and 1,873 of the latter. Even with the delay, these cars suffered from water leaks and wind noise. The delayed introduction, the labour-intensive work required by the modified saloon body, the higher price than the four-door car, and the early demise promulgated by the new XJ-S, all ensured a small production run.

    All coupes came with a vinyl roof as standard. Since the coupe lacked B-pillars, the roof flexed enough that the paint used by Jaguar at the time would develop cracks. More modern paints do not suffer such problems, so whenever a coupe is repainted it is viable to remove the vinyl. Today many XJ-Cs no longer have their vinyl roof, also removing the threat of roof rust. Some owners also modified their XJ-C by changing to Series III bumpers. This lifted the front indicators from under the bumper and provided built in rear fog lights.

    A small number of Daimler versions of the XJ-C were made. One prototype Daimler Vanden Plas version XJ-C was also made, however this version never went into production
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    Stag. A new kind of #Triumph . #1977 / #USA / #Triumph-Stag / Triumph / #Triumph-Stag-V8

    For years. Triumph has been making fine sports cars for people who love cars. Now Triumph introduces a sports car which loves in return.

    To all the things that make a true sports car good to drive, the Stag adds all the things that make a car good to ride in. Stag adds power to Triumph’s rack and pinion steering and front disc brakes. It combines more room and comfort with Triumph s road hugging, independent suspension.

    The engine is a big, smooth #V8 , making the Stag the fastest car in the line. There’s true 2 plus 2 seating, electric windows and a solid, padded roll bar, even when the top is down.

    Big, wide doors make it easy to get in and out, controls are in easy reach of your fingertips, and both the reclining bucket seats and the padded steering wheel are fully adjustable.

    The Stag is a new kind of Triumph, a powerful over-the-road car built by the biggest maker of sports cars in the world.

    Base price is $5525* including chrome wire wheels and radial ply tires.

    Options include a detachable hard top with a heated rear window, automatic transmission, air conditioning, and the pleasure of test driving the Stag at your nearest Triumph dealer.

    For the name of your nearest Triumph dealer, call 800631-1971 toll free. In New Jersey, call 800-962-2803.

    *With Automatic gearbox and some options
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    Phil Bell
    A childhood infatuation defined Phil’s motoring aspirations in #1977 – and our cover feature brought it all flooding back / #Aston-Martin / #Aston-Martin-DBS /

    Back in 1977 this particular schoolboy was left awestruck by road test reports of the new Aston Martin V8 Vantage. Its brutally handsome grand coupé lines grabbed my attention like no Aston, or indeed no car, before. And colourful descriptions of its urgent and relentless surge all the way a top speed limited more by the bravery of the driver than engineering or aerodynamics distilled all of my motoring aspirations in an instant. I had to wait 30 years for the chance to drive one and despite having driven many great cars in the intervening years, it still impressed. On a mixture of the fast, sweeping A-roads it was designed for, and the twiddly country lanes that should have outwitted it, this athletic heavyweight combined TVR Griffith brutality and Jaguar XJ6 refinement with surprising success.

    Another decade and many more cars later, I’m still under the Aston’s spell, but now my affections are divided between the V8 Vantage and the crisp, almost delicate – by comparison – DBS. At its 1967 launch journalists loved what they described as its Italianate styling, roomy and luxurious interior and predictable handling. They seemed to work hard to find good things to say about performance from the old four-litre twin-cam, carried over from the DB6. It wasn’t slow, but nowhere near as commandingly fast as an Aston should be.

    The sense of disappointment stuck to these cars for decades, consigning them to the role of parts donor. Now their performance matters rather less than their status as the beginning of a dynasty, one that would spawn the V8, Lagonda, Volante, Zagato and a host of evolutions and special variants. And the V8 Vantage that captivated that Nottinghamshire schoolboy.

    The sight of seven of them stampeding through the Surrey countryside for our DBS 50th anniversary feature brought back the same feelings of excitement for me. Despite the fact that performance cars have gone on to become considerably faster and massively more powerful, the #DBS and its #V8 descendants have lost little of their considerable road presence.

    I hope that you enjoy our special celebration and that it brings back great memories of the first time that you encountered one of these legendary beasts.

    Phil realised a schoolboy dream when he drove Oselli’s thundering #Aston-Martin-V8-Vantage in 2005 (right), but the DBS has more delicate charms.
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    / #BMW / #1977 / #BMW-E24 / #BMW-633CSi / #BMW-633CSi-E24 / ESTIMATE £8000-£10,000 / #BMW-6-Series / #BMW-6-Series-E24 /

    Early E12-based Sixes are certainly getting rather thin on the ground so it’s nice to see one of the earlier machines coming to auction at H&H. This example has an indicated 112k miles showing and it’s nice to see one in period bronze with a nice tan interior. For the purist the car shouldn’t be sporting the spoilers it’s wearing – the front spoiler appears to be from a later M635CSi and the rear one is from a later E28-based car. Other than that it looks pretty good, and the most important question to ask is when will you see another coming up for sale?
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