A few years ago I bought a mint, low mileage Alfasud. I’ve always loved them and owned a few. I hired it out once and
vowed to never, ever do it again. Because some cars you like, others you love and others become a part of you. So it is with me and Suds.
And this car I love more than the other Suds because it is such a timewarp car – low mileage, low owners, rust free.
The trouble is I don’t get much chance to drive it. In 6 years I’ve done no more than 2,000 miles.
So I’ve broken my golden rule and put it on hire. For one day only. The event is quite fitting: our new Modern Classics Rally. It brings together several of my personal cars with a couple of cars that lie firmly in the Latest Additions of the classic car cannon.
Like out other events the day will include a chance to drive five cars over a 150 mile route with lunch and, for this event, a visit to the Coventry Motor Museum. It is a one-off event on 10th October and the only chance to drive some of these cars. All for the special price of just £150 for drivers and £75 for passengers. Just 12 places are available.
The rally will include six cars:
Arguably the best front wheel drive hatchback/notchback of the 70s and early 80s (bar none), this is one of the last 1.5 Green Cloverleaf models. Yes, it is better than a Golf GTI mk1.
Fiat Coupe 20v Turbo
Over the years Fiat has made some great cars and some duds: sadly the duds have generally outnumbered the stars, which may explain why the brilliant Coupe of the 90s is so overlooked. Its distinctive Chris Bangle design is backed by a sharp chassis and, at the time, the fastest front drive engine in the world (apparently). It’s good, very good.
When Audi rebooted the 4wd concept for sports cars in the 1980s the world looked on bemused. Back then, Audi really was a quirky manufacturer of innovative cars, rather than a manufacturer of bland execuboxes pretending to be a quirky manufacturer of innovative cars, as it is today. Only when Walter Rohl gunned a Quattro around the world’s rally stages, did a collective lightbulb go on. A red Quattro became as much a statement of success in the 80s as a red 911 Turbo, a car equally at home pile-driving B-roads into submission as dawdling down the King’s Road. Forget Ashes to Ashes, the Quattro is the real deal.
Alfa GTV 3.0
Alfa Romeo has had more than its fair share of false starts, but with the 916 GTV of the mid 90s it got it pretty much right. Based on the same Tipo chassis as the Fiat Coupe, the GTV was heavily Alfa’d and as a result has sharp steering, active rear steering and gorgeous styling. Match this to the iconic Busso 3 litre V6, unquestionably the last great Alfa engine, and you have a very desirable mix. The GTV is something quite special.
Ford Capri 280
Ah, the humble Capri, a car that does nothing exceptionally well and yet does everything right. It looks good, handles neatly and sounds great. It also likes roundabouts. Our car is one of the final 280 Brooklands, a special edition with 2.8 Cologne V6, five speed gearbox, lsd and power steering.
Saab 900 T16S
My irrational love of Saabs has made me the butt of many jokes but drive a classic 900 and you’ll see there’s method in my madness. The 900 Turbo is quick – at the time Saab stated that 175 bhp was the most you could safely get out of a fwd chassis – and quirky,