At the moment, a day doesn’t pass without another car manufacturer issuing yet another press release about an obscure anniversary celebration. Did you know, for example, that it’s 40 years since Benz and Bosch introduced ABS in the W116 S-class? (That particular missive, declaring it a ‘world first’, conveniently forgot that Jensen offered anti-lock brakes on the FF more than a decade earlier.) Or that Renault is marking its 120th birthday this year? And 2019 looks like being even busier, with Bentley’s centenary and 60 years of the Mini among the biggest.
This month we’ve got the MGA Twin Cam at 60 (p128), and you can find them anywhere if you look hard enough – such as 55 years of the Pagoda (p164), or 65 of the Corvette (p172). But one event that wasn’t going to pass without a fanfare from Martin Buckley was the BMW E9’s 50th. After drooling over them at Techno Classica Essen in March, he set about tracking down an early carb-fed CSL, the E9 Holy Grail (see p106) – before using it as an excuse to compare two of his favourite classics, the underrated CSI and Alfa Montreal.
He even won the battle for the CSL taking top billing on the cover with this succinct argument: “Because it’s the bestlooking BMW of all, and the car that consolidated the firm’s modern image in the public’s mind.”
The fact that it looks magnificent in orange had nothing to do with it…
ALASTAIR CLEMENTSEditor in chief, Classic & Sports Car