Classic Sports Car - - News -

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

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