Three classics shatter the peace and quiet of the Adam and Eve Mews in Kensington. Among their number is the Rolls-Royce Merlin-engined Handlye Special, shaking the windows of nearby offices. Seen recently at the Le Mans Classic, a car of this size, scale and volume is something of spectacle in an upmarket London suburb.
Following the Handlye is a Ferrari Fantuzzi Spyder and a DeLorean DMC-12, giving rides to journalists. These low-speed runs may be a far cry from the ‘moving motorshow’ planned for the ExCeL Centre early next year, but it demonstrates the lengths to which organiser Brand Events UK (BE UK) is prepared to go to get its new show to stand out.
The last of the ‘proper’ Saabs, the classic 900 makes a very practical prospect and in Turbo form is quick, too.
Words: Paul Wager
When you’re developing cars for a market where winter temperatures regularly reach -27°C and it’s dark for half the year, you really need to do a proper job. All of which explains why Saabs and Volvos have gained a reputation for longevity and rugged engineering.
Where Volvo was the very epitome of conventional however, Saab relentlessly ploughed its own furrow. This was in large part a result of its heritage as the offshoot of an aeroplane maker – much like a mass-market version of our own Bristol. The beetle-back styling of the original Saab 92, the two-stroke powerplants, freewheel transmission and ignition/gearlever lock were all Saab oddities which persisted for years. Indeed, until relatively recently Saab still played on its aeronautical heritage in advertising campaigns, long after the firm was separated from the aerospace business in 1990.