ALPINA B10 3.5/1 (E34)

ALPINA B10 3.5/1 (E34)

Year:                 1992    Mileage:           70,800

Acquired:         2016    Dream car:       Alpina B12 Coupe  

Jurgen Henot -  'It's 25 years old but has everything that a modern car has, plus the straight-six sounds glorious'


 
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Why an Alpina?

People always compare Alpinas to BMW's M cars. Alpina stands for exclusivity, power, comfort and low consumption while M stands for pure performance without a thought for comfort or consumption. 

After I bought my first Alpina, a D3, I got the virus – I ended up buying a Roadster S, and then got a D3 Touring Allrad company car. 

After enjoying Alpina's 50th birthday celebrations, including a passenger ride in a B3 GT3 around the Nürburgring with the firm's CEO, Andreas Bovensiepen, I fancied a B10 BiTurbo. Sadly my budget only stretched to a 3.5/1, and I found this one in Belgium. There were a few minor issues, but nothing I couldn't do myself.

What’s the best bit?

It's 25 years old but has everything that a modern car has; electric seats, windows and sunroof. The straight-six sounds glorious and it looks fabulous. 

What do you like least?

It does seem to consume a lot of petrol compared to more modern cars!

What mods does it have?

I changed the steering wheel from a four-spoke to a three-spoke, and switched the
radio from a modern JVC unit
to a more period-looking
Becker stereo.

I've also replaced the leather around the handbrake and
gear lever, and replaced the indicators and grille as the originals were broken. I've also put the B10 logo back in the right place,

What’s it like to run?

I always take my car to Performance Shop Geel (performance-shop-geel.be) – the staff there are well known around here for their knowledge of BMW M cars. 

Parts are easy to come by via the internet, and there are plenty of books on the E34 that are very useful. 

What advice do you have for potential owners?

Always check for rust, but that's the case for all E34s. Also, check whether the chassis number is original with Alpina.

To have your car featured in the magazine, get in touch via editorial@modernclassicsmagazine.co.uk

Maserati 4200 GT

Maserati 4200 GT

Year:                 2006    Mileage:           128,000

Acquired:         2016    Dream car:       Jensen Interceptor  

Chris Russell:   ‘Pretty great as they came from Ferrari’


 
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Why did you choose this car?

I love the look, shape, sound, speed and performance – and the thought of owning an Italian supercar for less than £20k. It’s a no-brainer, but the two-tone interior was the clincher.

What do you love most?

All of it.

What do you dislike?

If not driven for long periods, 4200s can develop silly little electrical faults.

Any modifications?

I’ve fitted a Capristo exhaust system, but otherwise I’ve left it completely
as stock. After all, they were pretty great and part Ferrari you know...

What major expenses have you had to pay out on it?

You don’t have to be rich to run one, but some money in the bank just in case is a must. Parts are easy to find on the internet, with places like Eurospares, eBay and so on. I am on the Sportsmaserati.com forum, where you can find a wealth of info. If I need any work doing, I take it to a specialist not far from me called the Supercar Centre here in Sheffield. Fuel can be expensive, with it running on super unleaded, but that’s what its like owning a performance car.

Any advice for buyers?

I would say the best advice I could give is once you have found the car you want, arrange for a specialist to check it out – that’s a must.

Any funny mishaps?

The wife’s face the first time I floored it – that still makes me laugh today.

To have your car featured in the magazine, get in touch via editorial@modernclassicsmagazine.co.uk

BMW Z3 M Coupe

 
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BMW Z3 M COUPE

Year:                 1998    Mileage:           78,000

Acquired:         2013    Dream car:       Ferrari BB 512   

David Wilson Nunn - ‘It feels raw and immersive’


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Why did you choose the car?

It was on my bucket list. After owning many BMWs before, including two Z4Ms, I needed to experience the M Coupé and got really lucky with my search and timing. I wish I could say I looked at a few but I didn’t. One viewing was all it took and a week later I was picking her up, driving back from Oxfordshire and wondering what the hell had just happened.

What do you love most?

I love how most people have no idea what it is. The looks divide opinion of course, but I adore the lines and history behind its after-hours, parts-bin creation. It’s oddly practical too, with a large boot and looks great with roof bars. The engine is a masterpiece and it eschews superfluous stuff like traction control for a more analogue experience. Driving it feels raw and properly immersive.

What’s the worst bit?

The small fuel tank. On a spirited good day, you’ll get 200 miles out of it so you need to plan your back-road adventures carefully. Oh, and only two seats. I have two young kids and soon they’ll be fighting for the space.

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What’s it like to run? 

Very easy. Since it shares a lot of its body with the standard Z3 and engine with the E36 M3, common parts are readily available through BMW UK or specialist dealers. Same goes for servicing and I get the oil changed every year regardless of mileage, plus follow the routine for Inspections one and two. I tend not to go to main dealerships as I live pretty close to BMW specialists ETA Motorsport near Brands Hatch. What those guys don’t know about performance Beemers isn’t worth knowing.

Any mods?

She’s a BMW UK launch press car so I didn’t want to muck around too much. So far, I’ve replaced the standard anti-roll bars with an H&R set, which transformed the ride, and am currently considering aftermarket suspension and 10mm rear wheel spacers .

Any buyer advice?

Standard things like checking the rear subframe and diff hangers for cracks or tears. Check the Vanos for unusual noises or leaks. There’s lots of buying advice online such as the Z3MCoupe forum and if you’re really lucky you might even find one for sale on there. Treat it with respect, as your only driver safety aid is watching the weather forecast.

To have your car featured in the magazine, get in touch via editorial@modernclassicsmagazine.co.uk

Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6

Mercedes-benz 190e 2.6

Year:                 1992    Mileage:           167,047

Acquired:         2013    Dream car:       Mercedes-Benz 500E   

Fergus Parnaby - ‘I like a car with character and a powerful engine’


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Why the 190E?

I’ve always had a yearning for these early 1990s brutalist cars. I like the idea of a car with loads of character and a powerful, torquey engine.

What’s your favourite bit?

The feeling of solidity and finish (last of the over-engineered Benzes).

And the least favourite bit? 

Fuel can, naturally, be costly on short runs round town.

What’s it like to run? 

I’m a member of the Mercedes-Benz Club (mercedes-benz-club.co.uk), which has a good forum, and can sort discounts on replacement parts as well as good deals on classic insurance. I try to get proper branded parts. The 15in tyres can be tricky to find, but Bicester Tyre and Exhaust (bicester-tyre-and-exhausts.co.uk) has managed to source them for me.

Any modifications?

None. I’ve kept it stock deliberately; the only thing I’ve done is cosmetic – refurbishing the original wheels.

Any advice for buyers?

A common-sense check for rust and corrosion is a good idea, due to age, but the bodies are strong and should be fine, provided they’ve been well looked-after. Check for dings or scrapes. The springs can corrode over time and will need replacing at some point. Check oil has been changed every 5000 miles if it’s a high-mileage model; the six-cylinder engines will go on almost forever if well-serviced.

What do you fancy next?

Short of moving to the States or Canada and buying a Trans Am or Mustang, I’m tempted by the Alfa 147 GTA or Maserati 3200GT. More sensible would be a Nissan 350Z.

To have your car featured in the magazine, get in touch via editorial@modernclassicsmagazine.co.uk

RenaultSport Clio 172 Phase 1

Renault Sport Clio 172 Phase 1

Year:                 2000     Mileage:           58,000

Acquired:         2016    Dream car:       Renault Alpine A610  

Mark Shaw ‘The huge grin I get when driving in North Wales and surprising modern hot hatches is addictive!’


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Why did I choose the Clio?

After selling my last 205 GTI 1.9 I hankered after something similar and chanced upon a Clio. It was a low-mileage, one-owner 172 in Titanium Silver. I knew after driving it a few yards it had to be mine.

The whole feel of the car was right – lightening throttle-response, direct steering and what felt like the full 172 horses still under the bonnet. I was hooked.  

The best bit? 

The feeling that the car is pretty bespoke and built to do a job. Not many Phase 1s were sold and despite this being the most popular colour, it still turns the heads of those in the know. The huge grin I get when driving on some of the roads in North Wales and surprising modern hot hatches is highly addictive!

The worst bit?

Deciding to purchase a limited- mileage insurance policy. That’s soon to change, though. Oh, and getting it dirty!

Any modifications?

Just a set of H&R lowering springs. These cars sat very high from the factory on 15in rims so I wanted something slightly lower to improve the aesthetics but without affecting the car’s dynamics too much.

Interior-wise, it remains standard apart from a re-trimmed steering wheel in light grey Alcantara and leather.

Running costs are reasonable: I can get 40mpg on a long run and servicing and parts costs are generally cheap. Timing belt changes including the dephaser pulley are critical, and I’d recommend oil and filter changes every 6000 miles.

I’ve joined cliosport.net which is a great resource for help and information on these cracking little cars. Being in the motor trade I’m lucky that any repairs can be carried out in-house. 

Any mishaps?

I find myself looking back at the 172 whenever I park it up. I did this once too often and ended up walking into a lamp post. Worth the embarrassment, safe in the knowledge that this little car is a sound investment and a great modern classic.

To have your car featured in the magazine, get in touch via editorial@modernclassicsmagazine.co.uk

Fiat Coupe 20v Turbo

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Fiat Coupe 20v Turbo

Year:                 1998     Mileage:           115,000

Acquired:         2016    Dream car:       Alfa 156 GTA  

 

 

John Philpotts ‘You could easily get into trouble with the blues and twos if you let the car do what it does best’


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Why a Fiat Coupé Turbo?

I’d always wanted one and approximately seven years ago, a friend of a friend offered me a low mileage example. It was basic spec without the LE or Zender bodykit, so I didn’t really love the looks but it was unbelievable to drive. And the noise... just wow. I sold it after only brief ownership but hankered after another. After mortgages and two kids I finally took the plunge again but with a very strict list of requirements. Broom Yellow, leather, LE body additions, all the big jobs done. This car ticked most boxes.

What do you love about it?

I love the colour. I love the fact the Coupé is so rare and not many people know what it is, so it gets lots of attention. The Chris Bangle styling has aged with great dignity. I also love the gearing; each gear is really long. Third and fourth especially could get you into trouble with the blues and twos if you let the car do what it does best.

What’s the worst bit?

It’s old and Italian so has a sense of fragility. I worry that things will break even though I have not experienced any issues or ‘mood swings’ from the car. 

What’s it like to run?

It’s good, and surprisingly parts supply is great and has not yet been an issue. For example rear discs and pads are stocked at a well-known European car parts supplier for £32 all in. Plus all other consumables are at very reasonable prices. Quite a few Coupés are still being broken too. There are various specialists around. John Cartlidge at Midlands Car Servicing, Leicester, is an extremely knowledgeable person.

Any advice for buyers?

Become a member of the online groups and forums. Do your homework before buying. Make sure the car you are looking at has had the big jobs done such as cambelt, turbo, clutch and manifold. If not, make sure the cost reflects this.

Any funny mishaps?

My three-year-old daughter asked to go out in my yellow car recently for the first time. So, with the rear child seat fitted, she loved it so much that I’m not allowed to go out in the Coupé on my own now, or there’s a tantrum. She’s got great taste, even at three!

To have your car featured in the magazine, get in touch via editorial@modernclassicsmagazine.co.uk

Alfa Romeo GTV

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Alfa Romeo GTV

Year:                 2008     Mileage:           113,000

Acquired:         2016    Dream car:       Alfa Romeo 8C  

Best car film:   Group B (2015)

Dream trip:      Route de Canigou

 

Craig Hallam ‘People think that it’s a £20,000 car – and they fall over when I tell them what the original price was’


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Why the Alfa?

This is Alfa number 13 and my fourth GTV. Having sold my Spider I wanted to get back to that classic look and V6 grunt of the GTV. It was a project and an ugly runt, but by adding some new parts and a lot of TLC she became a real one-off!

What do you love most?

The noise under gentle persuasion, the red near-spotless interior and those GTA dark alloys. People think it is a £20k car and fall over when I tell them the actual value.

What’s the worst bit?

If not driven for a week all the electricity can escape thanks to the immobiliser. Trickle charging and weekly runs keep it in check! 

Any modifications? 

An Autodelta exhaust system and air intake, Bilsteins on the front to improve the ride and the red leather and GTA alloys. 

What’s it like to run? 

These engines are beasts, but well behaved if serviced correctly; I’ve never had a GTV go badly wrong. Flat batteries, Mass Flow Meters and suspension seem the most common. Get a quality relationship with an independent – Luke at SDR Autos in East Sussex is spot on, and GTV City are very amenable breakers.

Any advice for buyers?

Mileage is not an issue, but condition and history are! A 75k mileage GTV can cost a lot if needing attention, whereas one with 125k miles can run trouble free if the owner has kept on top of all the work. If you are looking to keep it for a while, get one with the rear spoiler and teledials. Red, Blue, Silver and Grey are strong colours with Tan or Red leather.

Any funny mishaps?

On taking my son out for a Sunday blast, (he’s six) he pronounced it’s a ‘race car’. He was fascinated by the temp gauge. I told him we will not go fast until it hits 90°. He now tells everyone we meet that ‘dad only drives at 90 with me in the car’... social services anyone?

To have your car featured in the magazine, get in touch via editorial@modernclassicsmagazine.co.uk

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Toyota Celica GT4

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Toyota Celica GT4

Year:                 1991     Mileage:           154,000

Acquired:         2015    Dream car:       MG Metro 6R4 

Best car film:   Group B (2015)

Dream trip:      Italian Alps

 

Scott Wheeler - ‘Rally pedigree and pop-up headlights – I’m in love’


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Why the Celica?

I chose the Celica because I already owned a sixth-gen ST Celica and I wanted to upgrade. I loved the heritage of Group A rallying that came with the model and dreamed of a GT4. 

After looking through internet ads I found one for sale that had the Castrol rally colours. I contacted the guy about it and he said he had sold it but had another one that he was considering selling. So I went round to view it and fell in love. 

I saw that it had a lot of work already done, it just needed more money to be spent on it to make it a good runner. 

I bought the car there and then and I’ve been running it for the past four or five months without any problems.  

What’s the best bit?

I love the rarity of it, not having many about means that it gets a lot of attention wherever I take it. The pop-up headlights always bring a smile when they come out to play.

But the best bit of all is the turbo and four-wheel drive – driving down the road, having the turbo flutter go off, brings a smile to the face of any petrolhead.

What’s the worst bit?

Finding parts is tricky because there are so few left. Trying to track some of the body panels down can be difficult or just plain expensive. Engine parts aren’t too bad – it’s the same unit as
found in the MR2.

Any modifications? 

I’ve relocated the aftermarket Mishimoto intercooler from top mount to front mount, and fitted a new radiator, a turbo, a three-inch stainless steel decat full exhaust system plus 30mm lowering springs all round. To top it off I’ve added some 18in OZ Racing Chrono alloy wheels.

What’s it like to run? 

Running the car is a fairly easy task. Around town it’s easy enough as the steering is fairly light, as is the clutch. The large turning circle makes it harder to park in tight spaces, but on open country roads it’s a dream to drive. The 4WD gives it great grip around corners. It can be tricky to get hold of the rarer parts but they are out there if you look hard enough. There aren’t many specialists but there are plenty of enthusiasts on the Celica Owners’ Club (celica-club.co.uk) forum who can help. 

Any advice for buyers?

Check for rust in the sills, and make sure it’s well-serviced as the turbocharger can put a lot stress on it. Make sure it’s got a good 4WD system with no whining, as it’s expensive to fix.

To have your car featured in the magazine, get in touch via editorial@modernclassicsmagazine.co.uk

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Honda Civic Type R FN2

Honda Civic Type R FN2

Martin Godfrey‘I like the styling because, as strange as it sounds, it’s like a sports trainer. And I love that rear wing’

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Year     2008    Mileage           75,000

Acquired         2016    Dream car       1965 Ford Mustang 

Other Modern Classics owned Toyota Supra MkIV and MINI Cooper S R56

Why the Civic?

I’d always wanted a Type R. I’d been put off buying an EP3 purely because of the age, mileage and the risk of getting one that had been thrashed. I liked the FN2’s styling because, as strange as it sounds, it looks like a sports trainer. And I love that rear wing across the window at the back – some people don’t. I also liked the reliability of Hondas – a sharp contrast after the replacement engine and turbo that my MINI required.

 

What do you like about it?

It’s the nice blend of being comfortable to drive fast and working well as a daily driver, even with stiff suspension. The boot space is impressive too!

 

What don’t you like about it?

I hate that I can’t see the front of the bonnet; it makes car parks a challenge. Although it’s fast it doesn’t feel punchy, or particularly quick. I’ve had turbo cars before and that might explain my feelings, especially compared to the MINI I had.

 

What’s it like to run?

Since I had it I’ve spent £1400, which got me a brand-new set of rear brake discs and callipers, pads front and rear, plus front dampers – all genuine Honda parts. I get around 34mpg out of it, but that’s mostly motorway driving. I use Ivan Barrett’s Garage in Warboys, Cambridgeshire. They really know their stuff. It is one of the few garages that is prepared to fit parts you supply. 

 

Any advice for buyers?

Definitely drive one ‘properly’ before you buy one – push it to the limit if the owner will let you. The Type R’s driving style isn’t for everyone, and it really only reveals itself once you push it. Oh and make sure the brakes have been serviced.

 

Any funny mishaps?

I’d owned it for two weeks when I went to a fireworks display. When I got back to my car there were the remains of a smoking firework next to it and a dent in the bonnet. Oh and on the A12 there’s a slipway that shouldn’t really be a slipway. It’s more of a corner that joins the motorway. The phrase ‘when in doubt, power out’ comes to mind – that was the first time I lit all the shift lights up in every gear. That wasn’t too much fun.

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To have your car featured in the magazine, get in touch via editorial@modernclassicsmagazine.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Five reasons to love Renaults

We love fast Renaults at Modern Classics magazine – here are a few of our favourites. 

1. Renault Clio V6 

Featured in issue 2 of Modern Classics magazine

Renault has form for sticking a big mid-mounted engine into a hatchback shell, but the Clio V6 really does pull on the heartstrings. It’s mad, loud and fast – which is why we love it. It’s also very rare – find out more by picking up issue 2 via the button below.


2. Renault 5 Turbo

Featured in Issue 3 of Modern Classics magazine

The Peugeot 205 GTI and VW Golf GTI may be the default hot hatchback choice these days but that does the riotous Turbo a disservice. More than 10,000 people stumped up the cash for this turbocharged pocket rocket – find out why it’s so compelling by picking up issue 3, available to buy via the button below. 


3. Renault Megane 16v 

Featured in Issue 6 of Modern Classics magazine

With 16v thrust and curvy looks, the Megane delivered a lot of style and substance. It’s a combination that won hearts back in the 1990s, but how does it stack up against its period rivals today? Find out in issue 6, available to buy via the button below. 


4. Renault Avantime 

Featured in Issue 10 of Modern Classics magazine

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A weird mixture of ideas or a brave concept car too ahead of its time? The Renault Avantime combined luxury barge with SUV packaging years before the Bentley Bentayga, and is much more tasteful. Find out why you should save one of the few remaining by picking up issue 10 here.


5. Renault Clio Williams

Featured in issue 12 of Modern Classics 

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The Renault Clio Williams was a sensational shot in the arm for hot hatch loves in the 1990s, and it still stacks up as a superb drive today. Find out why we’re tipping it as a Clever Money Car by picking up a copy of issue 12 here.


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Honda heroes remembered

Honda heroes remembered – from CRX to Civic Type-R

This month we’re featuring a Honda NSX – one of the finest supercars of its generation.

Here are a few more Honda heroes that have graced our pages. Let us know which one is your favourite!


Honda CRX (Issue 2)

A recent example sold for £20k – but we championed the CRX’s charms way back in issue 2...


Honda Accord Type-R (Issue 5)

Don’t be fooled by the Accord’s sober suit – this is a properly engaging performance saloon.


Honda Integra Type-R (Issue 7)

An icon of a generation, there are very few Integra Type-R DC2s remaining – that’s why we tipped them as our top tip in our Investibles feature.


Honda Civic Type-R EP3 (Issue 12)

Is the Honda Civic Type-R EP3 the spiritual successor to the Peugeot 205 GTI? We head to Wales to conduct scientific tests. And by that we mean have lots of fun. 


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Our favourite M cars

This month we’ve picked out the BMW M535i as a car that will make your heart and your potential investment soar.

But it’s not the only Munich hero that we adore. We’ve rounded up a few of our favourite M cars from our previous issues. Let us know which one’s your favourite.


BMW M5 E39 – Issue Two

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The BMW M5 E39 was lauded as the finest supersaloon of its era – we brought along the cars it had to beat, plus two that tried to take it on. Does it still beat all comers as a modern classic? 


BMW M6 – Issue Three

For around £15,000 the stonkingly fast BMW M6 E63 makes a great continent crusher – but is it the best GT you can get for the money? We put it up against rivals from Aston Martin, Jaguar, Maserati and Bentley to find out in issue 3, available to buy below.


BMW M3 E36 – Issue Five

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For years unloved, the BMW M3 E36 has started to grow in value spectacularly – but we think there’s still some to come. We nominated it as a Clever Money Car – find out why by buying a copy of this issue!


BMW 1-Series M – Issue Seven

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Last year we showed you ten modern classics that were set to appreciate as fast as they accelerated. The eye-twistingly rapid BMW 1-Series M has never really depreciated, but it’s set to rise still further. Find out why by checking out issue 7, available to buy below.


BMW M3 CSL E46 – Issue Nine

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The BMW M3 CSL is king of the modern classic BMWs, and prices have risen spectacularly, putting it within reach of the Mercedes-Benz CLK63 AMG Black, a much rarer breed. We hit the track to see which one brings the greater grins. 


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Alfa V6 Engine

This month we get behind the wheel of an Alfa Romeo 164 Cloverleaf, equipped with a throaty V6.

To celebrate, we thought we'd pull together a selection of our favourite Busso-engined cars for you to drool over...enjoy!

The Busso unit is one of the prettiest engines, and sounds as good as it looks. 


Appearing in Issue 1 of Modern Classics, we tipped the Alfa Romeo 156 GTA for stardom.

Its torquey V6 sports 3.2 litres and you’ll be zinging towards the horizon with one of the best soundtracks in the business. It’s truly beautiful too, and practical to boot. We were right about the car’s star quality – mint, low-mileage examples are pushing £15,000 thanks to the car’s relative rarity.


Appearing in Issue 3 ofModern Classics, we pitched Alfa Romeo’s sports saloon, the 75 Cloverleaf against the mighty Mercedes-Benz 190E Cosworth.

The 75 isn’t what you’d call beautiful, but it’s fascinating to look at and utterly of its time. If you love brutalist styling along the lines of the Lancia Delta Integrale, Audi Quattro or Maserati Shamal, you’ll love the 75. It was also the last RWD Alfa saloon until the brand-new Giulia Cloverleaf.


In Issue 4 we got behind the wheel of one of the finest-looking coupes of the 1990s – the Alfa Romeo GTV V6.

With beautiful, mini-Ferrari styling and a great leather interior, this is a supercar for supermarket money. It’s not great for those over six foot, but if you can fit in it, you’re unlikely to want to get out. It’s also affordable – for now – with prices for decent cars starting at around £5000.


Issue 6 saw the ultimate big boy V6 hot hatchback grudge match, with the Alfa Romeo 147 GTA up against the Volkswagen Golf R32.

Though the VW offered crushing pace, it was the 147 GTA that won our hearts with its rev-tastic engine and innate ability to get the driver giggling manically. It’s also a car that’s shot up in value, in line with its big brother, the 156 GTA. Could you be tempted?


This 156 GTA is juicier than most.

156GTAAUTOLUSSO.jpg

 It was a thrashed and neglected ex-Alfa Romeo UK press car, which once had Vicky Butler-Henderson behind the wheel, but specialist Autolusso nursed it back to life – and went much further. With the engine pushed to 3.8 litres and a Quaife sequential gearbox installed, this is a car that can take on a BMW M3 E46 – and win.


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