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Classic Sports Car - - This Month - ALAS­TAIR CLE­MENTS

As reg­u­lar read­ers will know, in 2017 we pro­duced a one-off ‘Sum­mer Spe­cial’ is­sue of C&SC, mark­ing the 70th birth­day of pos­si­bly the world’s most fa­mous, revered and re­spected mar­que: Fer­rari. How­ever, within that there was an­other sig­nif­i­cant an­niver­sary that was no­table by its ab­sence, and that was 30 years of pos­si­bly the world’s most fa­mous, revered and re­spected su­per­car: the F40.

In this is­sue (p104), James Page rights that wrong, by go­ing un­der the skin of that awe­some ma­chine with the man who was re­spon­si­ble for the way the vis­ceral, spec­tac­u­lar yet un­usu­ally ap­proach­able 200mph ti­tan be­haves, Fer­rari’s chief test driver Dario Benuzzi. This true Maranello le­gend has been with the Mo­dena man­u­fac­turer since 1971 and has re­port­edly tested ev­ery road car since the Dino. He, more than any other, is the man re­spon­si­ble for adding the emo­tional en­ergy to ev­ery Pranc­ing Horse, and few have more soul than the iconic F40.

Talk­ing of emo­tion, it was some­thing that was in plen­ti­ful sup­ply at Novem­ber’s Lan­caster In­sur­ance Clas­sic Mo­tor Show at the NEC. The event’s theme this year of ‘Fam­ily Ties’ yielded some fas­ci­nat­ing sto­ries among the club dis­plays, from a Sun­beam-tal­bot that has had a life­long as­so­ci­a­tion with the fire ser­vice to the Lo­tus Driv­ers’ Club hav­ing sev­eral of the cars on its stand wrapped with striped graph­ics in an eye-catch­ing trib­ute to much-missed for­mer chair­man – and key part of the LDC fam­ily – Mike Stripe, who sadly died in 2016. As ever, we were im­mensely proud to be able to re­ward the very best dis­plays in our an­nual Club Awards, and you can find out all the win­ners on p12.

Tiger-striped Es­prit GT3 was part of a su­perb LDC dis­play

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