PRACTICAL CLASSICs - FEBRUARY 2018

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In the latest issue of Practical Classics Magazine, we take a look at the cars which killed an entire breed of British sports cars: The Hot Hatch. In a giant test, John Simister drives all of the major players and asks whether the classic Brit sportsters can still hold their own against the likes of the Golf GTi and Escort XR3. 

There’s the remarkable restoration story of a TVR Tuscan, we drive a Citroen Dyane to the giant factory facility in France where it was unveiled 50 years ago and if you’re thinking of buying a Fiat 500, we’ve got a massive buying guide for you. 

There’s loads of tech advice and tips too, in the magazine that does it all: We buy, we restore, we maintain and we enjoy – just like you do.

 

 

 

 

 


HOT HATCHES VS BRIT SPORTS CARS

  Once upon a time long ago, if you were a car enthusiast – especially a British one – you hankered after a sports car. It was, visually at least, just one step down from a racing car. But, because the story of the popular British sports car is inextricably tied to the changing fortunes of British Leyland, once-modern sports cars stayed in production far too long and became ever more dated. BL had one last-ditch attempt at a new one, but it was in danger of being too little, too late and too odd. That became obvious when a new kind of sports car came on the scene – one with front-wheel drive, a roof, a stubby tail and a whole lot more energy. Ironically it was a refinement, with added hatchback, of the idea behind BL's own Mini-Coopers, but bigger, faster, better. As the sports cars faded, so the hot hatchbacks roared in. In the latest Practical Classics magazine, John Simister tells the full story...

Once upon a time long ago, if you were a car enthusiast – especially a British one – you hankered after a sports car. It was, visually at least, just one step down from a racing car. But, because the story of the popular British sports car is inextricably tied to the changing fortunes of British Leyland, once-modern sports cars stayed in production far too long and became ever more dated. BL had one last-ditch attempt at a new one, but it was in danger of being too little, too late and too odd. That became obvious when a new kind of sports car came on the scene – one with front-wheel drive, a roof, a stubby tail and a whole lot more energy. Ironically it was a refinement, with added hatchback, of the idea behind BL's own Mini-Coopers, but bigger, faster, better. As the sports cars faded, so the hot hatchbacks roared in. In the latest Practical Classics magazine, John Simister tells the full story...

TVR tuscan

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Ambition, determination and a clear goal can overcome all manner of obstacles, and Ed Keen found plenty of those during the two-year restoration of his TVR Tuscan V6. Not least the ones he created for himself. ‘I’d never done a full one before, only paint and bits, but I wanted to see if I could match the standards of a professional restoration with just the help of local chaps. I’d looked at a lot of restored TVRs and, well, to me they were just not quite restored.’ Ed was also determined that the project wouldn’t take too long, setting a target of 18 months to complete it. Once he started, anyway.

Ed found this Tuscan advertised in the classifieds section of PC sister title Classic Car Weekly just over three years ago. The story of its revival is extraordinary – read all about it in the latest issue of Practical Classics…

 


citroen dyane at 50

A people’s car that combines mechanical durability, comfort, space, fuel efficiency and unmitigated practicality is a goal designers and engineers have been chasing for 100 years. We reckon Citroen hit the jackpot in 1967 with the Dyane. This diminutive hatchback was to become the great uncelebrated workhorse of Europe and a car so popular in Britain, for a while it actually outsold the car it was meant to replace. Celebrating this masterpiece of pragmatism, we decided the Dyane’s fiftieth birthday should be marked with a road trip to its place of birth: PSA’s giant factory facility at Rennes, in convoy with a fleet of enthusiasts keen to see how the production lines have changed in half a century...


TECH TIP!

This month, we show you how to replace the weather sheeting on the insides of your doors. Don’t forget: Door cards can absorb moisture even with good weathersheets in place. A good preventative measure is to paint the reverse of the cards with a couple of heavy coats of household gloss...


staff sagas!

Our team of writers get to grips with their own restorations.