Baby, you can drive my car: famous Mini fans in pictures

Famous Mini fans

The original Mini isn’t just a car; it’s also a pop culture phenomenon. At the height of its powers in the 1960s, it joined Rolls-Royces, Bentleys and Jaguars in the garages of the rich and famous. Now, as the Mini celebrates its 60th anniversary, we look back at iconic images from the period. Time to meet some of the Mini’s most noted fans.

A Beatle and a Mini

Famous Mini fans

Among the most celebrated Mini-lovers were the Beatles. Ringo Starr is pictured here in 1964 with a Monte Carlo Rally Mini.

Radford retro

Famous Mini fans

Swedish actress Britt Ekland also owned a Mini: bought as a birthday present by her comedian husband, Peter Sellers. After collecting the car from Mini customisers Radford in Hammersmith, the couple look understandably pleased.

A royal endorsement

Famous Mini fans

Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon were both Mini fans. Here they are leaving Great Ormond Street Hospital in London with their son in 1965.

Prime mate

Famous Mini fans

Not to be outdone by the Beatles, the Monkees were Mini fans, too. Here’s guitarist and singer Mike Nesmith enjoying a jaunt with girlfriend Phyllis in a soft-top Mini in 1967.

Getting Twiggy with it

Famous Mini fans

Model and style icon Twiggy is very much associated with the Mini. Here she smiles as she prepares to drive away in 1968. She passed her driving test in this Mini, too.

Posing up a storm

Famous Mini fans

On the left, like James Bond leaning on his Aston Martin DB5, here is American actor Warren Beatty with his red Mini Minor. It’s a promo portrait for the film Kaleidoscope. On the right are The Beach Boys, with a Mini Moke in full band promo mode.

The Italian Job

Famous Mini fans

The Mini was the car of the stars, and also a movie hero in its own right. Of course we’re talking about The Italian Job.

Cool fellas, de Ville

Famous Mini fans

Now, this is pretty cool. George Harrison’s psychedelic Radford Mini de Ville is the stuff of legend. It’s fun to see it at work with John Lennon riding shotgun in 1967, as the band works on Magical Mystery Tour.

Muscle and Moke

Famous Mini fans

On the left, a dramatic shot of American actress Lindsay Wagner using her strength to ‘lift’ a Mini. Wagner was promoting the television series, The Bionic Woman. On the right, French actress Brigitte Bardot takes her dogs for a ride in a Mini Moke in 1980.

Designer transport

Famous Mini fans

Here is Mary Quant in her special edition Mini Designer in 1988. That was 31 years ago, but the Mini was already 29 years old.

Minis in Paris

Famous Mini fans

The year is 1994 and the singer posing with this Mini is Nina Hagen. The cari has come a long way from the original Austin Seven and Morris Mini Minor of 1959.

Caine and able

Famous Mini fans

In 1996, a man who helped make the Mini famous, Michael Caine, poses with a Cooper he has signed. The car was due to be auctioned for charity.

Feeling blue

Famous Mini fans

This bright blue Paul Smith Edition Mini is pictured in 1998. A total of 1,800 were made, of which 300 were sold in the UK. The rest went to Japan.

Stripe dream

Famous Mini fans

This striped special was part of the 40th birthday celebrations, when celebrities helped design their own Minis. Here is Paul Smith’s take.

There’s a star Mini

Famous Mini fans

Cooler still is David Bowie’s customised Mini. It’s completely covered in chrome.

60 Years Lifestyle Collection

Famous Mini fans

In celebration of this incredible little car’s birthday, BMW prepared a special classic restoration, wearing the stripes of the 60 Years Lifestyle Collection of clothing.

60 Years Edition

Famous Mini fans

The new 60 Years Edition is modern Mini’s birthday present to itself. Many happy returns!

The real cars of Le Mans 66

Le Mans 66 Ford v Ferrari

With Le Mans 66 opening in cinemas, the famous story of Ford’s triumph over Ferrari in the 24-hour race will be further immortalised in popular culture. It’s a rare treat for racing and motoring enthusiasts to see a movie where cars are the stars.

And if you can get to Los Angeles before January 19 2020, you could see them in person at the world-renowed Petersen Automotive Museum.

Winning numbers

Le Mans 66 Ford v Ferrari

Two Ferraris featured in the film will be on display at LA’s Petersen Automotive Museum in January, as a part of the ‘Winning Numbers’ exhibit. The 1961 Ferrari 250 SWB SEFAC and 1957 Ferrari 625/250 TR will be joined by a Ford GT40 Mk3, the first Shelby Cobra from 1962 and a 1952 Ferrari 212/225 Barchetta. We start with the Ferraris…

Ferrari 250 SWB SEFAC

Le Mans 66 Ford v Ferrari

The 250 Short Wheel Base is an integral part of Ferrari’s road and race history. Affectionately known as the ‘hot rods’, the SEFAC 250 SWB Competizione racers were made from thinner alloy and produced more than 300hp.

The car on display at the Petersen brought home a GT class win for Ferrari at Le Mans in 1961 and finished third overall. It’s fair to say this car is a building block of the Ferrari Le Mans legend, one with which Ford was so determined to grapple.

The car is owned by Petersen founding chairman Bruce Meyer, who loaned it to the Le Mans 66 production team. Meyer bought it in 2010.

Ferrari 625 TRC

Le Mans 66 Ford v Ferrari

The other movie star car is a Ferrari 625 TRC Spyder by Scaglietti. Unlike the 250 SWB SEFAC, which is a GT racer, the TRC is a sports prototype. It came about right at the start of Ferrari’s era of dominance at Le Mans. The marque took outright wins from 1960 to 1965. The events of 1966’s race are, of course, the subject of the film.

While not a Le Mans winner itself, this 625 is an integral part of this story. It was raced in 1962 by none other than Ken Miles, star character of Le Mans 66, played by Christian Bale. He won his first race in the car, in Santa Barbara.

It’s appearance in Le Mans 66 must have been something of a trip down memory lane. Bruce Meyer bought the car in 2006.

Shelby Cobra

Le Mans 66 Ford v Ferrari

Matt Damon stars opposite Christian Bale in Le Mans 66, playing a young Caroll Shelby. He was instrumental in developing the GT40 to a state where it could legitimately take on Ferrari at Le Mans. Shelby had proven himself with his work on the AC Cobra.

Famous now, the Shelby Cobra was an experiment back in 1962 A Shelby-tuned Ford V8 was added to a small British roadster called the AC Ace, along with wide wheelarches and fat tyres.

The 1962 car on display at the Petersen is the very first production-specification, competition-ready car produced by Shelby. It’s also part of the Bruce Meyer collection.

Ford GT40 Mk3

Le Mans 66 Ford v Ferrari

The story culminates with the victory of the Ford GT40 over Ferrari at Le Mans, the American marque taking over the podium with a 1-2-3 finish. It’s only right that an example should feature in the display at the Petersen.

This is a road-going Mk3 from 1967. It differs from the 1966 cars most obviously at the front, with more bulbous lights for road use. Other changes include more space for luggage, movement of the gear shifter to the middle, plus a de-tuned power output of 310hp.

Just seven Mk3 GT40s were made, of which one is on display at the Petersen. The car’s significantly modified looks supposedly put off some buyers, who wanted something resembling the triumphant racers.

Ferrari 212 225 Barchetta

Le Mans 66 Ford v Ferrari

This is a very significant car in the story of Ford taking on Ferrari, in spite of being built 14 years before Ford’s Le Mans win.

Henry Ford’s relationship with Ferrari became obsessive over time. Before having his takeover offer turned down, however, he was like any other fan. This 212 225 was a special order by FoMoCo for Henry Ford II, used as his personal car.

It’s said the diminutive Barchetta served as inspiration for a great many design cues that appeared on the Ford Thunderbird in 1955.

Ford v Ferrari

Le Mans 66 Ford v Ferrari

“The story of Ford’s triumph over Ferrari at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans will be told for generations,” said Terry L. Karges, executive director at the Petersen Museum. “We’re excited to see the film, but we’re most excited to offer fans of the movie an opportunity to see the cars that will be in the film and learn about other vehicles that are pivotal to the story.”

Silverstone Classic 2019

The best motoring events for car enthusiasts in 2019

Silverstone Classic 2019

2019 is already turning out to be another another vintage year for car enthusiasts, with an ever-increasing number of motoring events to attend. Here, we have researched some of the UK’s biggest and best car shows and motorsport events, along with a selection of European shows within easy reach of French ports.

We’ll be adding to the list throughout 2019, so be sure to bookmark this page. Alternatively, get in touch if you fancy adding your own event to our list.

Classic Motor Show – 8-10 November

Classic Motor Show – 8-10 November

If you’re looking for a reason not to put your classic car into hibernation, this could be it. The Classic Motor Show is held at the NEC, were more than 3,000 classics are expected to go on display in an area the size of 18 football pitches.

If you’d like to see your event included in our next update, get in touch with us. Happy motoring.


The one’s you’ve missed… catch ’em in 2020!

Sunday Scramble – 6 January

Sunday Scramble – 6 January

Bicester Heritage welcomed around 5,500 car enthusiasts for the last Sunday Scramble of 2018, and the promise of good weather could tempt a similar number out of their beds for the first event of 2019. What better way to kick off the motoring new year? The Sunday Scramble will continue throughout 2019.

Haynes Breakfast Club – 6 January

Haynes Breakfast Club – 6 January

Alternatively, car fans in the South and South West might prefer to head to the Haynes Motor Museum for the first Breakfast Club of the year. The museum, which is located just off the A303 in Somerset, is home to around 400 cars, while the cafe opens at 9am on Breakfast Club Sundays. These events are free to attend and held on the first Sunday of each month.

Autosport International – 10-13 January

Autosport International – 10-13 January

Autosport International is the biggest pre-season motorsport show, bringing together racing, automotive and engineering sectors under the roof of Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre (NEC). Highlights include a live action arena, the Silverstone Auctions Autosport sale and a celebration of 50 years of Formula 5000.

Mini Fair 2019 – 27 January

Mini Fair 2019 – 27 January

Champagne corks will be popping at the Staffordshire County Showground as the classic Mini celebrates its 60th anniversary. This is also the 20th year of MINI Fair, with thousands of people expected to attend this event organised by the British Mini Club. Highlights include a Mini Jumble, Pride of Ownership competition and club displays.

Great Western Classic Car Show – 9-10 February

Great Western Classic Car Show – 9-10 February

The Footman James Great Western Classic Car Show is the biggest event of its kind in the South West of England, with thousands of car enthusiasts converging on the Royal Bath & West Showground.

Retromobile – 6-10 February

Retromobile – 6-10 February

Retromobile is held in the largest and most prestigious hall at the Porte de Versailles Exhibition Centre, Paris, a location befitting an event of this stature. This year, highlights include a celebration of 100 years of Citroen and 45 years of the Peugeot Renault Volvo (PRV) V6 engine.

London Classic Car Show – 14-17 February

London Classic Car Show – 14-17 February

Ian Callum, Jaguar’s director of design, will receive The London Classic Car Show Icon Award 2019 at this year’s event, where you’ll also see a tribute to The Italian Job film, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019. The London Classic Car Show is held at Excel London from Valentine’s Day.

Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show – 19-24 February

Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show – 19-24 February

The Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show is the largest showcase of motorhomes, campervans, caravans, caravan holidays and lodges in the UK. The latest 2019 touring caravans and motorhomes will be on display, along with a new-for-2019 Camping Zone. Head to Birmingham’s NEC if caravans float your boat.

Race Retro – 22-24 February

Race Retro – 22-24 February

At the end of February, all motorsport roads will lead to Stoneleigh Park for the Race Retro international historic motorsport show. Highlights include a live rally stage, ‘arrive and drive a classic car’, Pride of the Paddock and a Silverstone Auctions sale.

Practical Classics Restoration Show – 22-24 March

Practical Classics Restoration Show – 22-24 March

Last year’s Practical Classics Classic Car & Restoration Show attracted around 28,000 visitors across three days, with 150 car clubs also in attendance. Highlights include the UK’s biggest ‘barn-find’ display, the Practical Classics Live Stage, the Lancaster Insurance Pride of Ownership competition and an autojumble. Head to the NEC at the end of March.

Britcar, Silverstone – 30 March

Britcar, Silverstone – 30 March

The Britcar Endurance Championship gets underway at Silverstone on 30 March, with further races at Brands Hatch, Donington, Oulton Park and Snetterton. At the time of writing, the dates remain provisional, so be sure to check the Britcar website for more details.

BTCC, Brands Hatch – 6-7 April

BTCC, Brands Hatch – 6-7 April

Brands Hatch will host the curtain-raiser of the 2019 British Touring Car Championship in April, before the BTCC juggernaut heads to Donington Park at the end of the month, Thruxton in May, Croft and Oulton Park in June, Snetterton and Thruxton in August, Knockhill and Silverstone in September, before culminating at Brands Hatch in October.

Techno-Classica Essen – 10-14 April

Techno-Classica Essen – 10-14 April

Techno-Classica Essen is a European classic car show with a global reputation, with around 1,250 exhibitors from 30 countries. In 2018, the event attracted 188,000 visitors from 41 different nations. Essen is a four- to five-hour drive from Calais.

The Easter Motor Show at Weston Park – 21-22 April

Amazing cars of the Goodwood Revival car park

Happy Easter! If you’re trying to escape Easter Egg temptation, why not get along to Weston Park in Staffordshire for The Easter Motor Show, a new classic vehicle event. The organisers are promising plenty of cars plus trade stalls, a craft tent, a special classic commercial theme – and even some contemporary cars from invited modern vehicle dealerships. Adults tickets cost £10, kids aged 4-16 are £5, and a family ticket is £25.

Donington Historic Festival – 3-5 May

Donington Historic Festival – 3-5 May

At the time of writing, the timetable for the 2019 Donington Historic Festival hasn’t been announced, but if previous events are anything to go by, this is a must-visit event for fans of historic motorsport. ‘Early bird’ tickets are available until the end of January.

Gaydon Land Rover Show – 11-12 May

Gaydon Land Rover Show - 11-12 May

Hundreds of Land Rovers will be on display at the Gaydon Land Rover Show in May. Owners can enter their vehicle for just £7, giving entry to display the Land Rover, as well as admitting the driver and one passenger to enter the show for the weekend. The event is held at the British Motor Museum, which is five minutes from junction 12 of the M40.

Beaulieu Spring Autojumble – 18-19 May

Beaulieu Spring Autojumble

The Beaulieu Spring Autojumble is 25 years old in 2019. To celebrate, organisers are encouraging all jumblers to decorate their stands in a silver theme – and as over 1,000 stands are expected, it should be quite the spectacle. The fast-growing Land Rover Rummage is another highlight of the Spring Autojumble: bargain-hunting starts at 10am on both Saturday and Sunday. 

Power Maxed MotoFest Coventry – 1-2 June

Power Maxed MotoFest Coventry– 1-2 June

Formerly known as the Coventry MotoFest, the Power Maxed MotoFest Coventry is ‘a unique blend of motorsport demonstrations, static displays, live music and anything else with a connection to Coventry and transport’. The organisers are hoping to make it the ‘Edinburgh Festival of motoring’. Nice.

Goodwood Breakfast Club: Supercar Sunday – 2 June

Goodwood Breakfast Club Supercar Sunday

The latest FREE TO ATTEND Goodwood Breakfast Club is celebrating all things supercars – and Motoring Research will be there, in a bright blue brand new Audi R8 V10. Look out for our logo and come along to say hello! 

Classic & Performance Car Spectacular – 1-2 June

Classic & Performance Car Spectacular – 1-2 June

Tatton Park, Cheshire, is the venue for the Classic & Performance Car Spectacular on 1 and 2 June. Around 2,000 cars will be on display, along with 250 stalls and 90+ clubs. If you miss this one, Tatton Park will also play host to a Classic American show in July and a ‘Passion for Power’ show in August.

The Isle of Man TT – 1-7 June

The Isle of Man TT– 1-7 June

The fastest road race on the planet gets underway on Saturday 1 June, although qualifying begins on Saturday 25 May. All eyes will be on the Isle of Man as the world’s bravest riders test their mettle on the formidable 37.73-mile course.

London Concours – 5-6 June

London Concours

Billed as the ‘ultimate automotive summer garden party’ London Concours takes place at the Honourable Artillery Company, in the heart of the city. More than 100 high-end classics and supercars were on show last year, from American muscle to a McLaren F1. Tickets for the 2019 event are on sale now, priced from £35.

Le Mans 24 Hours – 15-16 June

Le Mans 24 Hours – 15-16 June

The 87th running of the Le Mans 24 Hours will take place on 15-16 June, and for the first time ever, the event will mark the end of the World Endurance Championship. Qualifying begins on 12 June and Le Mans is located less than three hours from the ferry terminals at Cherbourg, St-Malo and Le Havre.

MG Live – 15-16 June CANCELLED

MG Live – 15-16 June

Sorry, MG fans – the popular MG Live event has been CANCELLED this year, due to resurfacing work at the Silverstone circuit. The organisers are bitterly disappointed but hope the event can return in a new guise next year. 

Bromley Pageant – 23 June

Bromley Pageant – 23 June

The Bromley Pageant is one of the world’s largest one-day classic car shows, with more than 3,000 vehicles expected to be on display in Kent. Highlights include an autojumble, trade village and a chance to meet Jimmy de Ville of Goblin Works Garage and Fifth Gear fame.

Goodwood Festival of Speed – 4-7 July

Goodwood Festival of Speed – 4-7 July

In 1993, Lord March hosted a hillclimb in the grounds of Goodwood House in Sussex and created the Festival of Speed. It has grown to become one of the world’s biggest and most famous motoring events, but the hillclimb remains central to its success. 

Motoring Research is there all weekend… we have already checked out the performance car park and looked at the new cars being showcased at the 2019 Festival of Speed… check out our other Goodwood news throughout the weekend! 

BMC and Leyland Show – 7 July

BMC and Leyland Show – 7 July

In stark contrast to the Goodwood Festival of Speed, this is a show celebrating the vehicles produced by BMC, British Leyland and Rover Group. Convoys will run from the BMW Mini plant in Cowley and MG Longbridge, while the event will celebrate 60 years of Farina. Head to the British Motor Museum, Gaydon, if BL is your thing.

Japfest – 13 July

Japfest – 5 May and 13 July

Fans of Japanese cars have two Japfest events to choose from – the Silverstone was in May, and the Donington round runs in July. Highlights include the Japfest Sprint Test, club displays and track time.

British Grand Prix – 12-14 July

British Grand Prix – 12-14 July

With no deal in place beyond 2019, this could be the last time Silverstone hosts the Formula 1 British Grand Prix. In 2018, the British GP had the highest attendance of any race on the F1 calendar – will Silverstone’s fate be sealed before Lewis Hamilton and co. return to Northamptonshire?

Festival of the Unexceptional – 20 July

Festival of the Unexceptional – 20 July

For 2019, the Festival of the Unexceptional will move to the Claydon Estate, Buckinghamshire, where everything from Marinas to Metros and Chevettes to Corollas will line up to compete in the Concours de l’Ordinaire. The event is open to classic cars and light commercial vehicles built between 1966 and 1996.

Silverstone Classic – 26-28 July

Silverstone Classic – 26-28 July

To some people, this is one of the highlights of the motoring calendar – a three-day, non-stop historic motoring racing extravaganza. Once in, there’s free access to the paddocks and grandstands, with displays from more than 100 car clubs featuring more than 10,000 classic cars (with more than 100,000 visitors expected over the weekend). Celebrations this year include 50 years of the Ford Capri and 60 years of the Mini. 

Silverstone Classic 2019

Silverstone Classic 2019

Top racers will be in attendance too, including three-time BTCC champion Colin Turkington (pictured above), who’ll be driving an ex-Steve Soper BMW M3 racer. Other headline races include pre-66 touring cars, FIA Masters historic Formula One and a massive 60-car grid full of classic Mini racers.

CarFest North – 26-28 July

CarFest North – 26-28 July

CarFest North takes place at Bolesworth Castle, Cheshire, where you can expect to find the usual mix of music, cars and family fun. BBC Children in Need will receive 50 percent of the total profits, with a number of other charities also benefiting from the proceeds.

Classics on the Common – July

Classics on the Common – July

For one Wednesday every July, Harpenden is invaded by classic cars as it plays host to the UK’s largest weekday car show. Classics on the Common takes place on our doorstep, so we’ll be there to bring you the most interesting cars from the event. Come and say hello.

Ford Fair – 4 August

Ford Fair – 4 August

Ford Fair is Europe’s biggest Ford event, with around 4,000 cars and 18,000 guests expected to flood Silverstone. You can expect the usual mix of showroom-quality vehicles, sprint tests and track time.

Ultimate Street Car – 9-11 August

Ultimate Street Car – 9-11 August

Ultimate Street Car (USC) at Santa Pod Raceway is the ‘largest, loudest, hottest and fastest modified car festival in Europe’. Expect drifting, stunt displays, drag racing, music and tyre smoke. Lots of tyre smoke.

CarFest South – 23-25 August

CarFest South – 23-25 August

CarFest South is like CarFest North, just further south. So, you can expect more of the same, only this time at Laverstoke Park Farm, Hampshire, at the end of August.

Salon Privé – 5-8 September

Salon Privé – 5-8 September

Salon Privé is a motoring event for fans of superlatives. ‘The most luxurious of garden parties set against the backdrop of Britain’s greatest palace (Blenheim Palace). Presenting the finest collection of supercars, hypercars and classic cars, along with a luxury retail village and exquisite cuisine, it is a truly unique experience’. Tickets are priced accordingly…

Concours of Elegance – 6-8 September

Concours of Elegance – 6-8 September

The Concours of Elegance 2019 will take place at Hampton Court Palace in September, with 60 of the finest cars ever built lining up in the Fountain Gardens. A number of car manufacturers will be attendance, including Ferrari, McLaren, Aston Martin and Geely.

Beaulieu International Autojumble – 7-8 September

Beaulieu International Autojumble – 7-8 September

If rummaging for oily car parts is your idea of a dirty weekend, the International Autojumble is the event for you. Some 2,000 stands are expected to fill the grounds of the Beaulieu Motor Museum, making it the biggest outdoor sale of motoring items this side of the Atlantic.

Goodwood Revival – 13-15 September

Goodwood Revival – 13-15 September

Step back in time at the Goodwood Revival. Visitors are encouraged to dress in period clothing at this event celebrating the golden era of motorsport. Tickets are available now and you’re advised to book early to avoid disappointment.

Wales Rally GB – 3-6 October

Wales Rally GB – 3-6 October

The 12th round of the FIA World Rally Championship drops in on Wales in October. Wales Rally GB takes place over four days of competition and each day is divided into a number of ‘Special Stages’.

Truckfest – 5-6 October

Truckfest – 5-6 October

The TruckFest calendar draws to a close at the Newark and Notts Showground in October, but there are seven other opportunities to get your trucking fix. The TruckFest year kicks off at the East of England showground in May, before rolling into Wolsingham, Malvern, Edinburgh, Kent, Shepton Mallet and Knutsford.

London to Brighton Veteran Car Run – 3 November

London to Brighton Veteran Car Run – 3 November

In 2018, 400 pioneering veteran cars gathered in Hyde Park for the start of the annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run. In total, nearly 90 percent of the starters made it to Brighton before the 4.30pm deadline to claim a finishers’ medal. How many will make it in 2019?

Read more:

How to create a winning election ‘battle bus’

election 2019 campaign bus

In just five weeks, the country will be converging on polling stations to vote in the general election. In the meantime, the major political parties will be touring the country in their ‘battle buses’, eager to convince voters to pick them on 12 December. If you haven’t ordered your party bus, you’re leaving it a little late. Here’s a guide to choosing the right one.

Jo’s on the goelection 2019 campaign bus

Today, the Liberal Democrats have unveiled their new party bus. But this isn’t just any Liberal Democrats ‘battle bus’, this is Jo Swinson’s Liberal Democrats ‘battle bus’.

Choose the right buselection 2019 campaign bus

To avoid a party political breakdown, make sure you choose a bus that’s strong and stable. A future fare for all. Or something.

Choose a bus that reflects your valueselection 2019 campaign bus

To ensure the electorate feels at one with your party, choose a bus that reflects your values and beliefs. This Communist Party of the Russian Federation propaganda bus may work for you, comrade.

Paint it the right colourelection 2019 campaign bus

Painting the bus in the colours of your political party is a good idea. Including an illustration of where voters should place their cross should avoid any unwanted spoilt ballots.

Choose your wordselection 2019 campaign bus

Choosing a memorable slogan is another winning idea. Either that or this is an instruction to the bus driver.

Avoid waffleelection 2019 campaign bus

A message to all political parties putting together their next election broadcast: avoid waffle.

Honesty is the best policyelection 2019 campaign bus

If you’re going to put a political message on the side of your bus, make sure you’re prepared to stand by it, weeks, months and even years down the line.

Forward, togetherelection 2019 campaign bus

The ‘Straight Talk Express’: a bus that’s not for turning. No U-turns, no backtracking and no manifesto reversals.

Make sure your message stands outelection 2019 campaign bus

If you can’t get your hands on a Big Yellow Taxi or Yellow Submarine, a Big Yellow Bus with a big message ought to do the trick.

Give yourself a platformelection 2019 campaign bus

As any title-winning football team will testify, a bus gives you a great opportunity to build a rapport with your fans.

Give yourself a platformelection 2019 campaign bus

Yep, fans love open-top buses…

Clowning aroundelection 2019 campaign bus

You’ve just got to make sure you don’t come across as clowns.

In the countryelection 2019 campaign bus

What’s the point of having a bus if you don’t use it to reach out to the floating votes in rural areas? Get out there, get stuck in and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.

Perfect your hand gestureelection 2019 campaign bus

When you exit the bus, make sure you’ve perfected your patriotic and ‘on the road to victory’ hand gestures.

Face valueselection 2019 campaign bus

Make sure you include a stonking great photo of your face on the side of the bus. That way, when you arrive in town in your ‘just stepped out of the back garden clothes’, the electorate will know that it’s you.

Creating the right impressionelection 2019 campaign bus

Once on the bus, make sure there are flowers on the table, a copy of a book that reflects your values, and a tie. Removing your tie is only slightly behind rolling up your sleeves on the list of things that show you mean business.

Keep the bus cleanelection 2019 campaign bus

Keeping the bus clean is essential. If you can put your hands on a beach towel to use for cleaning purposes, even better.

Don’t be afraid to go smallerelection 2019 campaign bus

If your political coffers can’t stretch to a full-fat ‘battle bus’, don’t be afraid to use something smaller. It’s what you say, not how you say it.

A fare deal for allelection 2019 campaign bus

If in doubt, give your bus a splash of colour and park it somewhere prominent. Avoid bus stops, unless you’re prepared to offer lifts to people making their way back to the park-and-ride on the edge of town. 

New BMW M2 CS – and the coolest classic M cars

BMW M2 CS

The first production road car developed by BMW’s M division was the M1 of 1978, but the company has a history dating back to 1972 and the founding of BMW Motorsport GmbH. Later it became known as BMW M GmbH: a company responsible for developing some of the most iconic performance cars of all-time, as well as some capable but controversial SUVs.

Happily, the latest offering from BMW M is as old-school ‘M’ as they come. The new M2 CS is a feisty 450hp run-out special, and leads our list of 25 of the greatest M cars of all time.

BMW M2 CSBMW M2 CS

The M2 and subsequent M2 Competition were already firecrackers. The new CS takes things up a notch, before this compact coupe is discontinued. It loses weight and gains 40hp, plus a stunning Misano Blue paint colour.

Carbon fibre parts, such as the front splitter, boot spoiler and rear diffuser, help the CS cut kilos. The vented carbon bonnet is half the weight of a standard steel item, and extracts hot air while adding front-end downforce. The carbon roof needs fewer seals, so saves on sound-deadening. And those new 19-inch forged wheels save significant unsprung weight.

There’s a general feeling that performance cars like the M2 aren’t long for this world, and with the CS being a run-out model, the end seems nigh. For now, we’re just grateful for this tyre-smoking tearaway. Now, back to where it all began…

BMW E26 M1Are these the best BMW M cars of all-time?

Commercial disaster it might have been, but the M1 holds a special place in motoring history as BMW’s first and only supercar, not to mention one of Giorgetto Giugiaro’s finest creations.

Quite why BMW felt it needed to build a supercar is still unknown, but it turned to Lamborghini for help with the chassis and production. But with the Italians falling behind schedule, BMW took the project in house and even created its own ProCar race series to help promote its new supercar.

BMW M635CSi/M6Are these the best BMW M cars of all-time?

The 3.5-litre straight-six engine of the BMW M1 found a new home in the M635CSi, known as the M6 in Japan and North America. The ultimate version of the E24 6 Series was developed by BMW Motorsport and featured a revised chassis and a number of cosmetic upgrades.

In 1989, when the M635CSi was in the twilight of its life, it cost an eye-watering £46,000 – a massive £9,000 more than the regular 635CSi. That meant it was battling with the likes of the Ferrari Mondial, Lamborghini Jalpa and Porsche 911. BMW obviously had one eye on the future when it developed the M1…

BMW E28 M5Are these the best BMW M cars of all-time?

The E28 M5 was one of the original Q-cars, but its discreet appearance was no accident. BMW knew that this handbuilt and costly super-saloon would appeal to buyers in their 40s and 50s, many of whom wouldn’t be turned on by big spoilers, wide arches and associated trinkets.

Even the rear spoiler was an option, while buyers could choose to delete the M5 badge from the boot lid. At launch, the E28 M5 was the fastest production saloon car in the world, with a 0-60mph time of 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 153mph. A legend was born.

BMW E30 M3Are these the best BMW M cars of all-time?

In common with the E28 M5, the development of the E30 M3 was driven by a desire to mess with the head of Mercedes-Benz, both on the track and on the road. By the time it was unveiled at the 1985 Frankfurt Motor Show, BMW was already playing catch-up, with the 190E 2.3-16 unveiled a year earlier.

Within 12 months, BMW had exceeded the 5,000 units required for Group A homologation – it was clear that it had a hit on its hands. As the M3’s racing career developed, so did the need to create more homologation specials, which resulted in the Evolution and Evolution II special editions. A convertible version signalled a shift from pure racing to a luxury product.

BMW E36 M3 EvoAre these the best BMW M cars of all-time?

The second generation E36 M3 highlights this move upmarket, presenting a more refined take on the performance saloon model. That it was built on standard production lines and not at BMW’s M GmbH plant only serves to highlight this point. All of which means the E36 M3 shouldn’t register on a list of all-time greats, right? Well, no, not exactly.

Contemporary reviews were quick to point out that the saloon felt sharper than the coupe, while special editions only served to enhance the E36’s reputation. And in the more powerful M3 Evo, with its larger 3.2-litre engine, the E36 evolved into a highly accomplished all-rounder.

BMW E46 M3Are these the best BMW M cars of all-time?

If the jury is out on the E36, there can be no such doubts when it comes to the E46 M3. This felt like a return to form for the M3, complete with ‘phat’ arches and 343hp from its 3.2-litre straight-six engine. The 0-60mph time dropped to a smidgen over five seconds. Properly quick, then.

In so many ways, the E46 could be classed as the definitive M3. It has the looks, the pedigree, the performance and – perhaps crucially – the soundtrack. The engine and exhaust combine to deliver a symphony for the ears, ranging from a rasp to a wail. Hard to beat?

BMW E46 M3 CSLAre these the best BMW M cars of all-time?

Yes, it is possible to improve on perfection, and it comes in the form of the CSL. It speaks volumes that the current M2 – widely considered to be one of the greatest M cars of all-time – has been compared to the E46 M3 CSL. Stripped of all but the bare essentials, the CSL was 110kg lighter than the regular M3, creating a more hardcore driving experience.

CSL stands for ‘Coupe Sport Lightweight’, a reference to the hugely successful 3.0 CSL of 1972. If any car was fit to wear the legendary badge, this was it. We’ll also give a special mention to the M3 CS, a kind of halfway house between the M3 and the CSL.

BMW 1 Series M CoupeAre these the best BMW M cars of all-time?

The BMW 1 Series M Coupe – or 1 M Coupe – was an unlikely hero. Created using bits from the M3 and the Z4, BMW turned the junior exec into a senior performance player. It might not be an M car in the truest sense – there’s no bespoke engine to be found here – but it deserves its place alongside the Bavarian thoroughbreds.

BMW squeezed 340hp from 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged six-cylinder engine, with a maximum 369lb ft of torque available on overboost. If you were fortunate enough to buy one new, you’re sitting on a little goldmine. Price then: £39,995. Price now: upwards of £40,000, but as much as £65,000.

BMW E39 M5Are these the best BMW M cars of all-time?

The all-time greats just keep on coming. If the E46 M3 CSL is the ‘A Day in the Life’ of the M world, the E39 M5 is probably ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’. In fact, the E39 is a far better all-rounder – as at home on the commute as it is on the track.

Power is sourced from a normally aspirated 4.9-litre V8 engine producing 400hp at 6,600rpm and 369lb ft of torque at 3,800rpm. But the E39 M5 was more than just a terrific engine. BMW’s M division tweaked the suspension, lowered the ride height, sharpened the steering and added a limited-slip diff to create one of the greatest performance saloons of all-time.

BMW E34 M5Are these the best BMW M cars of all-time?

Back in 1990 the E34 M5 was the fastest saloon car in the world, which is why Car magazine chose to pit against the Ferrari Testarossa. Perhaps predictably, the Testarossa won the day, with the magazine claiming that the M5 was “massively competent, but not really fun to drive”.

Retrospectively, Evo magazine concluded that “it takes time to uncover this precise adjustability… but it’s worth the effort. It’s a car you could spend a great deal of time with and never get bored. Phwoar.” That’ll do for us.

BMW E90/E92 M3Are these the best BMW M cars of all-time?

The introduction of the E92 – the fourth generation M3 – is the point at which the performance 3 Series jumped from six to eight cylinders. The E92 M3 coupe came first, swiftly followed by the E90 saloon, both of which were powered by a 4.0-litre V8 engine producing 420hp.

Sure, the shift from straight-six to vee-eight might have upset the purists, but the E90/E92 soon won people over thanks to its devastating performance. Another contender for the greatest all-rounder, the E90/E92 featured a ‘M’ button, unlocking the M3’s true potential.

BMW E90 M3 CRTAre these the best BMW M cars of all-time?

The E90/E92 spawned a number of special editions, including the M3 Coupe Edition, M3 GTS and the last-of-the-line M Performance Edition. Picking the best is a highly subjective opinion and – with a limitless amount of cash – we’d opt for the super-expensive M3 CRT. The CRT stands for Carbon Racing Technology, previewing new body panels set to appear on the i3 and i8.

The CRT also received uprated brakes, adjustable coilovers, titanium mufflers and less sound deadening for a more hardcore driving experience. All were finished in Frozen Polar Silver paint, but none came to the UK. Shame.

BMW F13 M6Are these the best BMW M cars of all-time?

Aside from the ludicrously vulgar X5 M and X6 M, the M6 Coupe is the most expensive current M car in the BMW range. The M6 Coupe starts at £95,580, while the M6 Convertible manages to break into six figures. There’s also an M6 Gran Coupe in the middle, but our money – nobody mention depreciation – would be on the Coupe.

Power is sourced from a 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine developing a huge 560hp and 516lb ft of torque. Remove the rev limiter and this super-svelte M car will top 189mph, sprinting to 62mph in just 3.9 seconds. We’d add the £9,000 Competition Package for good measure. Well, if you’re going to drop the best part of £100k on a new car, you might as well do it in style.

BMW F82 M4 GTSAre these the best BMW M cars of all-time?

As the fastest production BMW ever built, the M4 GTS demands attention. Some will be unable to see beyond the slightly ‘aftermarket’ styling or the £120,000+ price tag BMW is demanding for the pleasure of owning this Top Trumps winner. But a 190mph top speed and 0-62mph time of 3.8 seconds might shift the balance in its favour.

It is, of course, at home on the track, where the GTS can make the most of its 69hp and 39lb ft gains over the standard M4. Production is limited to 700 worldwide, with a mere 30 coming to the UK. Expect the majority of these to be squirrelled away for investment purposes.

BMW Z3 M CoupeAre these the best BMW M cars of all-time?

A controversial choice, perhaps, but you only need to look at the prices being asked for the Z3 M Coupe to appreciate the greatness of BMW’s ‘breadvan’. You could understand the desire to create a Z3 M Roadster, but the Coupe required a greater leap of faith for BMW bosses.

The 3.2-litre six-cylinder engine developed between 321hp and 325hp, depending on the engine, with the 0-62mph sitting at just over five seconds. The looks might be an acquired taste, but exclusivity and the M badge will ensure classic status.

BMW E60 M5Are these the best BMW M cars of all-time?

If you want pedigree, the BMW E60 M5 has it by the bucketload. This was the first production saloon car to be powered by a V10 petrol engine, while the SMG transmission was a result of BMW’s involvement with the Sauber F1 team. Yet again, the M5 took the mantle of world’s fastest four-door saloon, with an unlimited top speed of 200mph.

The full force of 507 horses kicks in at 7,750rpm, which simply encourages you to explore the upper reaches of the rev range. And yet, the E60 M5 will happily spend its entire time on the autobahn, barely breaking sweat as it soothes away the miles. But it’s not the best all-rounder of the E60 generation…

BMW E61 M5 TouringAre these the best BMW M cars of all-time?

Because that accolade belongs to the E61 M5 Touring: the first M5 wagon to be officially sold in the UK. Everyone loves a performance wagon, right, while the M5 Touring also managed to smooth away the controversial Chris Bangle styling of the E60 saloon.

Seriously, where are the drawbacks? The performance figures are identical, and yet the Touring offers 1,650 litres of luggage capacity. BMW hasn’t built another M5 Touring, making this the last of the breed. We had a look on Auto Trader for inspiration (well you would, wouldn’t you?) where we found just two for sale, both available for less than £30,000.

BMW Z4 M CoupeAre these the best BMW M cars of all-time?

If the styling of the BMW Z3 M Coupe was a tad divisive, the Z4 M Coupe was a more sombre affair. Power is sourced from a 3.2-litre straight-six engine developing 343hp and 269lb ft of torque.

Purists rejoice, because the Z4 M Coupe and its Roadster sibling were only offered with a six-speed manual transmission, with a 0-62mph time sneaking below five seconds. Chris Bangle’s ‘flame surfacing’ has aged remarkably well, while prices start from around £15,000. Bargain.

BMW M550d xDriveAre these the best BMW M cars of all-time?

A diesel M car: whatever next? But before the purists choke on their V-Power, we should remember that the M550d xDrive features a quad-turbocharged diesel engine producing 400hp and 561lb ft of torque.

Sure, it’s a BMW M Performance product rather than a proper M car, but these are different times. Besides, a 0-62mph time of 4.4 seconds for the saloon and 4.6 seconds for the Touring will have this diesel upstart nipping at the heels of any genuine M car.

BMW G30 M5

M cars BMW

The new M5 takes the difficult-to-love F10 formula and very nearly perfects it, with the sharpened looks of the G30 combining with a great new automatic gearbox, a livelier updated engine and switchable four-wheel-drive.

It’s a 600hp stonker jack-of-all-trades car that the F10 tried but never quite managed to be. The current Mercedes E63 has a similar weapons-grade capability with switchable all-wheel-drive. The next Audi RS 6 has got a real fight on its hands.

BMW E31 850CSi (M8)Are these the best BMW M cars of all-time?

The best M car that never was? The E31 850CSi was developed by BMW Motorsport and featured a 5.6-litre V12 engine developing 385hp and 406lb ft of torque. It was, if you like, a BMW M8 in all but name.

A true M8 was planned – with a lightweight body and a 550hp V12 engine – but BMW pulled the plug. The new M8 is due out this year.

BMW E63 M6Are these the best BMW M cars of all-time?

In many ways, the E63 M6 was a two-door M5, powered by the same 5.0-litre V10 engine. And yet the coupe featured a carbon fibre roof and new dashboard, making it 80kg lighter than the super-saloon.

When new it was criticised for being more expensive and less practical than the M5, but a decade on that hardly seems to matter. Best of all: prices start from around £15,000.

BMW E9 3.0 CSLAre these the best BMW M cars of all-time?

Without the E9 3.0 CSL there might not be a BMW M division. It is, if you like, the godfather of the M badge: the very genesis of the brand.

BMW’s Motorsport division developed and raced the ‘Batmobile’, laying the foundations for the future of performance gems.

BMW E12 M535iAre these the best BMW M cars of all-time?

Again, the M535i isn’t a true M car, but as the forerunner to the M5 it warrants a place on our list. The only M car prior to the M535i was the M1, which makes this saloon the first car to be developed with everyday customers in mind.

We’ll give a special mention to the E12 530 MLE (Motorsport Limited Edition): a homologation special developed by BMW of South Africa and BMW Motorsport GmbH.

The best used cars on sale, in every category

Best used cars on sale

CarGurus has launched its UK Best Used Car Awards. A panel of expert judges voted on the best second-hand buys in 13 different segments, based on availability, search interest and projected value retention. From city cars to luxurious SUVs, these are their top choices.

Seat Ateca

Best used cars on sale

The Seat Ateca mid-size SUV takes the overall win, as best used car you can buy. It was praised for offering both the practicality and efficiency buyers need, alongside a pleasant driving experience and good looks.

Hyundai i10

Best used cars on sale

Starting with city cars, it’s the outgoing Hyundai i10 that comes out on top, with Volkswagen’s Up and the Smart ForFour close behind. A worthy winner in our eyes, the i10 was great value when new, and remains so used.

Ford Fiesta

Best used cars on sale

The last-generation Ford Fiesta takes victory honours in the supermini class, with the Skoda Fabia and outgoing Renault Clio as runners-up. Sales figures reflect the Fiesta’s popularity as well as the judges’ praise. It’s regularly the best-selling car in the UK.

Seat Leon

Best used cars on sale

The Seat Leon takes the top spot as a small family car, beating the outgoing Kia Ceed and the Audi A3. No Golf to be seen here, it seems, only its sporty Spanish cousin. The Leon is a desirable, capable and high quality hatchback.

Ford S-Max

Best used cars on sale

‘Large family car’ is a curious segment. Everything from MPVs to saloons can qualify, as reflected in the top three. Ford’s S-Max wins, trailed by the Skoda Superb and Vauxhall Zafira Tourer. It’s an MPV in a saloon sandwich.

Suzuki Vitara

Best used cars on sale

Small crossovers are a fast-growing sector of the car market. The winner is perhaps unexpected, although deserving: the Suzuki Vitara. The Skoda Yeti follows, then the Renault Captur.

Seat Ateca

Best used cars on sale

The larger ‘normal’ crossover segment delivers Seat another win, with the Ateca beating the BMW X1 and Renault Kadjar. It also beat everything else, of course, winning best overall buy.

Audi Q7

Best used cars on sale

In the ‘proper’ SUV segment, the Audi Q7, Peugeot 5008 and Jaguar F-Pace came out on top. The Audi is a pleasant thing, although we reckon Volkswagen Touareg is just as tempting.

BMW M2

Best used cars on sale

Onto the spicier stuff, and it’s the BMW M2 that gets the nod in the performance car class. In second, perhaps predictably, is the Porsche 911 (2012-2019). And third, from the supermini segment, is the Ford Fiesta, this time in hot ST form.

Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet

Best used cars on sale

Convertibles come in all shapes and sizes, as evidenced by this top three. In first place is the Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet, with the dinky and sporty Mazda MX-5 following, then the Mini Convertible.

BMW 4 Series

Best used cars on sale

Style, sportiness and, often, attainability define the coupe class. The outgoing BMW 4 Series takes top honours, with the Audi TT and Mercedes E-Class Coupe behind.

BMW i3

Best used cars on sale

‘Green car’ is an interesting one. Shouldn’t all new-ish cars be green? Well, not as green as this winner: the BMW i3. It’s followed by the Hyundai Ioniq and Renault Zoe.

Audi A6

Best used cars on sale

Executive cars appeal to the heart and the head. CarGurus deems the last-generation Audi A6 best in the second-hand market. The old BMW 3 Series comes second, with the Volvo S90 third.

Range Rover

Best used cars on sale

The final segment is luxury cars. The Range Rover takes the win, followed by last-generation versions of the Mercedes-Benz CLS and Porsche Panamera.

Win on Sunday, sell on Monday: How Formula 1 markets road cars

Many of the earliest Formula 1 teams were simple concerns, focused only on the spirit of competition. Today, the world of Formula 1 is dominated by global automotive giants, who use it to develop and promote technology to be used by regular drivers on the road

Ahead of this weekend’s United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, we have taken a look at how car manufacturers use modern Formula 1 racing as a worldwide advertising billboard.

More on Motoring Research:

Silver Arrows dominate the hybrid F1 era

Mercedes-Benz was one of the earliest manufacturers to become involved with Formula 1. Legendary drivers like Juan Manual Fangio and Stirling Moss drove for the team in the 1950s, until 1955 when Mercedes withdrew from motorsport entirely.

2010 saw the return of the Mercedes-Benz team to Formula 1. The introduction of turbocharged V-6 hybrid engines in 2014 has seen the team win six Constructors’ Championships, with Lewis Hamilton on course for another Drivers’ Championship this year.

2020 Mercedes-AMG One

Mercedes-AMG has looked to turn that on-track success into a road car like no other. Known simply as the ‘One’, this hypercar is powered by the same 1.6-liter turbocharged V-6 engine as used in the F1 race cars.

With more than 1,000 horsepower, and an eight-speed paddle shift gearbox, this is an extremely direct demonstration of motorsport technology for the road.

Lewis Hamilton reveals the Mercedes-AMG One

Mercedes-AMG star driver Lewis Hamilton was on hand to help reveal the One, driving it on to the stage at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. A combination of four electric motors, along with the turbocharged V-6 engine, allows the One to travel up to 15 miles on battery power alone.

Lewis Hamilton has been involved in developing the One, meaning those who buy the 275 production cars will know its abilities have been tested by a multiple F1 World Champion driver. Hamilton’s team mate, Valtteri Bottas, has also spent time with the 217 mph One. 

An almost guaranteed Mercedes-Benz leader on track

Mercedes-Benz entered into an agreement with Formula 1, agreeing to provide the safety car for the championship from the 1996 season onwards. This includes cars used by the medical teams and doctors, along with other official vehicles.

It means that in the event of a race being neutralized due to bad weather or an accident, millions of F1 fans around the world will see a Mercedes leading the field. Various road-going Mercedes models have been used, with the 577 horsepower AMG GT R currently responsible for safety car duty. 

Alfa Romeo celebrates a return to Formula 1

Italian company Alfa Romeo can trace the roots of its motorsport activity as far back as 1911, and it became active in Formula 1 from the outset. This included seeing its driver, Giuseppe Farina, win the inaugural FIA World Championship of Drivers in 1950.

Alfa withdrew as a factory team in 1951, but continued to supply engines to F1 until 1985. For the 2018 season, Alfa Romeo entered into a partnership with the Swiss Sauber team. Heading into 2019, this resulted in the outfit being renamed Alfa Romeo Racing.

2019 Quadrifoglio Alfa Romeo Racing Special Editions

Alfa has been keen to use its reborn Formula 1 project to help market its range of road cars. This includes ‘Alfa Romeo Racing’ versions of the Giulia Quadrifoglio sedan, and Stelvio Quadrifoglio SUV, wearing liveries inspired by the F1 racing cars.

Both Giulia and Stelvio use a 2.9-liter turbocharged V-6 engine producing 513 horsepower, and are fitted with an Akrapovic titanium exhaust system. Current Alfa Romeo Racing drivers Kimi Räikkönen and Antonio Giovinazzi were drafted in to help show off the new cars.

2019 Ferrari Monza SP1

Enzo Ferrari was famous for initially having no interest in producing road cars, with his interest solely focused on motorsport. However, after WWII, Ferrari began to produce cars for the street in order to fund his racing team.

Having competed in every season of Formula 1 since 1950, Ferrari is now intrinsically linked with the category. Such a close association means Scuderia Ferrari members are frequently involved with road cars. Here, Team Principal Mario Binotto, and driver Sebastian Vettel, are seen with the limited edition Monza SP 1.

Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari California T

The advantage of driving for a company which solely makes exotic sports cars means that the company car choices tend to be impressive. Four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel moved to Ferrari for the 2015 season, and wasted no time in getting involved with the range of road cars.

Vettel has appeared in videos promoting Ferrari road cars, including the California T convertible. Introduced in 2014, the California T was the first Ferrari to use a turbocharged engine since the F40, mirroring the move of F1 to forced-induction power.

Michael Schumacher and his car collection

Winning five Formula 1 World Championships with Ferrari between 2000 and 2004, Michael Schumacher is rightly regarded as a legend by the Scuderia. His move to the Italian team in 1996 transformed Ferrari into a world-beating outfit, with a level of ruthless on-track efficiency never seen before.

Schumacher was also a keen advocate for Ferrari’s road cars, seen here alongside his race car and two vehicles from his own personal collection.

Developing the Enzo Ferrari with Michael Schumacher

Much like Mercedes-AMG with the One, Ferrari has created several F1-inspired road cars and made use of its talent in the Scuderia to help develop them. Schumacher’s dominance of the sport coincided with the creation of the 2002 Enzo Ferrari. This hypercar was made from carbon fiber and powered by a mid-mounted V-12 engine with 651 horsepower.

Other items taken from Formula 1 included a paddle shift transmission, and brakes featuring carbon ceramic discs. Schumacher assisted in refining the abilities of the Enzo, and also worked on the track-only FXX version. The German driver later owned examples of both the Enzo and FXX.

Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari for Alonso and Massa

Alonso and Massa will have needed sizeable garages during their time at Ferrari. In 2010, the duo received their own Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari, featuring a 180 horsepower 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Naturally, an F1-inspired paddle shift transmission was part of the package.

Painted in the same Scuderia Red as the Ferrari F1 racers, carbon fiber was used for various parts including the exterior mirror covers. Brembo performance brakes, and special 17-inch wheels added to the deal, but the F1 link was tenuous at best.

BMW’s brand takeover of Williams Racing

In the early 2000s, the only cars capable of coming close to Ferrari during their dominant period were powered by BMW engines. The German company had launched a partnership with the Williams team, leading to the outfit being branded as BMW Williams F1.

Along with developing V-10 engines for use in the Williams F1 cars, the racing cars were also finished in a BMW-inspired blue and white livery. German driver Ralf Schumacher, brother of Michael Schumacher, was retained along with Columbian Juan Pablo Montoya for driving duties.

F1 technology for BMW road cars

Whilst Ferrari would still take multiple championships, the naturally aspirated P83 V-10 engine built by BMW in 2003 was regarded as one of the greatest ever made. Revving to 19,000 rpm, it generated a staggering 940 horsepower.

BMW was keen to highlight the ability of its engines, and fitted the 2005 E60 M5 with a 5.0-liter V-10 producing 500 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque. A seven-speed paddle shift transmission was also inspired by F1, although American customers were offered a six-speed manual unit, too. The same drivetrain combination was also fitted to the 2005 M6 coupe and convertible.

McLaren names a supercar after Formula 1

McLaren had been the dominant team in F1 during the late 1980s and early 1990s, mastering the use of lightweight materials like carbon fiber. Designer Gordon Murray convinced McLaren to back his vision of a three-seater sports car, using the knowledge the company had gained from Formula 1.

The result was the F1, built around a carbon fiber chassis and fitted with a BMW V-12 engine. Murray had been fastidious in his pursuit of performance, with details like gold leaf used in the engine bay as a heat shield. With 618 horsepower, the F1 became the world’s fastest production car in 1998, setting a top speed of 240.1 mph.

McLaren names a supercar after a legendary driver

The F1 was the first step taken by McLaren into the road car market, with the company now responsible for producing almost 5,000 cars a year. In 2018 it introduced the latest in its ‘Ultimate Series’, named after Ayrton Senna – the legendary F1 driver who won three World Championships with McLaren.

Limited to 500 units, the Formula 1 inspiration includes Brembo carbon ceramic brakes, special center-lock alloy wheels, and a roof-mounted air intake. Power comes from a twin-turbocharged V-8 engine, producing 789 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque.

Sergio Perez and the McLaren P1

Before the Senna, McLaren Automotive’s most recent Ultimate Series hypercar was the P1. Launched in 2013, the development and release of the hybrid-powered machine coincided with Mexican driver Sergio Perez joining the McLaren Formula 1 team.

Part of this included Perez being tasked with demonstrating the performance of the new P1 road car on the Top Gear test track. Driving a 903 horsepower hypercar on a closed course was likely to be one of the easier corporate responsibilities for Perez, who was unceremoniously dropped by McLaren and the end of the 2013 season.

McLaren driver Lando Norris and his company car

Current McLaren Formula 1 driver Lando Norris is performing well in this first season with the team. The 19-year-old is also rather pleased with his company car at McLaren, having taken delivery of a 570S coupe.

Powered by a twin-turbocharged V-8 engine with 570 horsepower, the 570S is capable of a top speed in excess of 200 mph. This is certainly not your usual car for a teenager, but then Lando Norris is not an average teen driver.

Linking the Honda Civic Type R to Toro Rosso

The latest Honda Civic Type R has become the first version of the performance compact car to be sold in the United States. As a global product, Honda has been keen to use its presence in Formula 1 to spread the message of its new Type R.

Honda currently supplies engines to the Toro Rosso F1 team, meaning its drivers for the 2018 season bagged themselves new company cars. Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley took delivery of their own turbocharged Type Rs last year. There is no word on whether Hartley had to return his when he left the team at the end of the year…

From a time when McLaren and Honda were still friends

Honda supplied McLaren with engines from the 2015 season through 2017. It marked the return of the Japanese manufacturer to F1 as an engine builder for the first time in seven years, with a change to the new turbo hybrid era also taking place.

The three seasons were fraught, with the Honda engines suffering from terrible reliability issues. Even when it did work, the power plant was also noted to be down on performance. Despite this, McLaren driver Jenson Button was still on hand to try and help sell the benefits of the Honda Civic Type R and its turbocharged engine.

Fernando Alonso tests the new NSX

The original Acura NSX was developed with assistance from Ayrton Senna, whilst Honda was responsible for supplying engines to McLaren. Fast-forward to the second-generation NSX, and Honda was once again in charge of engines to power McLaren’s F1 contenders.

Despite the animosity between the two companies, McLaren driver Fernando Alonso still took part in marketing events like driving the new NSX. F1 inspiration can be found in the turbocharged V-6 engine and its hybrid electric powertrain. Alonso also found that the braking ability of the NSX was closest in feel to his F1 racer.

Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing working together

Red Bull Racing adopted car manufacturer Aston Martin as a title sponsor during 2018, whilst the two companies were involved in the creation of the ultimate road car. Details first emerged in 2017 of plans for a mid-engined Aston Martin hypercar, with input from Adrian Newey – Red Bull Racing’s Chief Technical Officer.

Advanced aerodynamics, lightweight carbon fibre construction, and an F1-inspired energy recovery system are all ideas provided by Red Bull Racing for the Valkyrie.

Aston Martin Valkyrie hits the tracks

The engine in the Valkyrie is supplied by Cosworth Racing, producing an astonishing 1,160 horsepower from a 6.5-liter V-12. An F1-style paddle shift transmission is part of the package, whilst the seats for each of the 150 examples of the Valkyrie will be custom fitted to their buyer.

For those who find the regular Valkyrie too vanilla, Aston Martin also plans an AMR Pro version. This will feature a more aggressive energy recovery system for an extra power boost, and carbon-carbon brakes inspired by Formula 1. It will generate so much downforce that the AMR Pro could, hypothetically, be driven upside down.

Infiniti rewards Vettel with a special edition FX50

Red Bull Racing enjoyed considerable success from 2010 to 2013, securing four World Championships with Sebastian Vettel. The team also established a sponsor partnership with Nissan’s luxury division, Infiniti.

To celebrate Vettel’s success, in 2012 Infiniti created a special edition of the FX50 SUV. The changes included matte white exterior paintwork, an aggressive aero kit inspired by an F1 car, and a 5.0-liter V-8 engine with 420 horsepower. Buyers could also opt for a gigantic carbon fiber rear spoiler, adding $6,000 to the $127,000 list price.

Daniel Ricciardo with the Infiniti Q50 Hybrid

At least Vettel could be proud that Infiniti created a car with more power and a large spoiler for him. During his time with Red Bull Racing, in 2015 Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo became the first Formula 1 driver to test out the redesigned Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez circuit in Mexico City.

Ricciardo had to make do with driving the updated race track in an Infiniti Q50 Hybrid sedan. This featured 359 horsepower from a 3.5-liter V-6, combined with an electric motor. Ricciardo could only watch, as then Toro Rosso test driver Carlos Sainz Jr. took to the track in a Red Bull Formula 1 car.

Renault Sport and the range of Megane hot hatches

Renault has had a lengthy involvement with Formula 1, entering its own team in 1977 and supplying engines to others since 1983. Underpinning this on-track activity has been a range of road-going performance cars, said to take inspiration from the track.

The latest in this lineage is the Megane R.S. Trophy-R, powered by a 300 horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. An Akrapovic titanium exhaust, carbon fiber bodywork for the hood and rear diffuser, plus optional carbon fiber wheels all link to Renault’s F1 efforts. With a price starting at $65,000, the cost of this compact hatch is also F1-inspired.

Megane Renault Sport 230 Renault F1 Team

Back in 2006, Renault was the team to beat in Formula 1, as Fernando Alonso tasted title success with the team in 2005. A year later he was on track for a second championship, whilst Renault released a special edition of the Megane hatchback to celebrate.

In addition to the incredibly lengthy name, the R.S. 230 Renault F1 Team gained lightweight alloy wheels, special decals, and Recaro seats. Far removed from Alonso’s weekend racer, the R.S. 230 still proved popular with European hot hatchback fans.

F1 dominance leads to the Renault Clio Williams

Renault has a track record for producing hatchbacks inspired by Formula 1 success. The early 1990s saw a dominant partnership with Williams Racing, with a special version of the Clio supermini created in 1993. It led to a highly respected hot hatch, featuring a 145 horsepower 2.0-liter engine.

Although the links to the F1 were limited to badging at best, the Clio Williams did actually enjoy on-track action during the 1996 F1 season. A Clio Williams served as the safety car for the Argentine Grand Prix that year, spending several laps controlling the field.

The time Renault placed an F1 engine in the Espace minivan

Two years later in 1995, Renault decided to celebrate its continued Formula 1 success with the sheer madness of the Espace F1. Mounted in the middle of the minivan was a 3.5-liter V1-20 engine taken directly from a Formula 1 car, and uprated to 789 horsepower.

A semi-automatic transmission was also fitted, along with carbon ceramic brakes. Four bucket seats allowed passengers to enjoy the performance, which included accelerating from 0-124 mph in just 6.9 seconds. Unsurprisingly, the Espace F1 remained as a concept only.

Daniel Ricciardo gets his own special Koleos SUV

Formula 1 fans were shocked when Daniel Ricciardo abandoned Red Bull Racing for Renault at the end of the 2018 season. However, the move opened up possibilities for Renault to market F1-inspired products in Ricciardo’s Australian homeland.

Available only in Australia, the Koleos Formula Edition adds 19-inch wheels, special side steps, and unique badging to the 400 examples. Ricciardo has been denied any Espace F1-style performance in this SUV though. A 2.5-liter gasoline engine offers more sedate performance with 169 horsepower.

Spot the difference: test your knowledge of car badges

Volkswagen badge

We do love a game to test our car knowledge. Some of the questions in this spot-the-difference badge quiz put together by Whocanfixmycar.com are easy, but others will befuddle your brain.

So, anoraks at the ready, let’s get into it…

Abarth

Abarth badge

We start with Abarth. Left or right? The rather intricate logo features a scorpion. It’s small and powerful, and also happened to be Carlo Abarth’s zodiac sign.

The correct answer is ‘left’. If the balance of colours wasn’t the giveaway, it’s the fact that scorpions are arachnids, and therefore have eight legs.

Aston Martin

Aston Martin badge

Aston Martin is perhaps the UK’s most glamorous automotive export. We’d forgive you for being so drawn by the looks of its cars, you haven’t had time to study the badge.

The Aston logo is a set of wings, as seen on the right. The left-hand logo appears to be one big wing.

BMW

BMW badge

The Bavarian Motor Works badge has the colours of the Bavarian flag incorporated into it. Many believe the badge represents a spinning propeller, but this is a myth.

If it were a propeller, which way would it spin? That’s the clue for this one. When you realise right is right, it becomes obvious.

Ferrari

Ferrari badge

 

Ferrari’s prancing horse is one of the most recognisable logos in motoring. It was originally the crest of Italian WW1 fighter ace, Count Fracesco Baracca.

This one was pretty easy. The correct prancing horse is on the left.

Ford

Ford badgeThe Blue Oval has, for most of its life, simply displayed ‘Ford’ in a curvaceous font. Which one is correct, though?

If you know the way Ford flourishes, you’ll know right is right. The left-hand badge seems a little simple, even to untrained eyes.

Honda

Honda badge

 

Honda’s prominent ‘H’ has been a symbol of Japanese mobility for more than 70 years. But which badge is correct?

It is, of course, the left one. Look at the ‘legs’ of the letter: they’re too close together on the right-hand image.

Hyundai

Hyundai badge

Hyundai is an industrial titan first and a carmaker second. The slanted ‘H’ has thus been around a while longer than the cars to which it’s attached. It’s quite recognisable, so this one should be easy.

It’s slanted the wrong way on the right. So left is right here.

Jaguar

Jaguar badge

Jaguar has had many iconic logos over the years, from the ‘growler’ to the ‘leaper’. Can you spot the correct badge, though?

It’s a bit of a trick, this one. If you were focusing too much on the leaper, you are missing the point. It’s the written word ‘Jaguar’ that’s the giveaway. Left wins again.

Jeep

Jeep badge

Jeep has a logo that reflects its cars: simple and fit for purpose. This shouldn’t be too difficult.

Yup, you guessed it (probably). Right is right. The ‘J’ in Jeep has never had a crossed top.

Kia

Kia badge

No style for style’s sake, no embellishment, just function. Much like what Kia has represented for many years. So what’s the difference?

Of course the A isn’t actually supposed to be a normal A. The real logo on the left loses the line across the middle.

Koenigsegg

Koenigsegg badge

OK, we’ll be somewhat impressed if you’ve even heard of Koenigsegg, let alone seen the logo. The Swedish hypercar manufacturer isn’t exactly mainstream.

But those in the know will know the left badge is correct. The shield is the crest of the Koenigsegg family. That little ghost shouldn’t be there, although it is the symbol of the fighter squadron that operated out of Koenigsegg headquarters today.

Maserati

Maserati badge

Maserati was around long before Ferrari. Neptune’s trident symbolises power and agility, while the blue and white colour scheme is a homage to the city of Bologna’s flag.

An easy one, we would hope. Power and agility are best expressed when the trident is pointing upwards.

Mazda

Mazda badge

The lesser-known Japanese brand is famous for its back-to-basics sports cars, and today sells some of the best everyday cars on sale. We’d forgive you for not spotting the difference on this one.

In fact, the badge on the right is just a little bit droopy. Left is correct.

Peugeot

Peugeot badge

The Peugeot lion has been around for more than 150 years, first used for a company that made steel products. It represented strength and sharpness.

Did you spot the difference between the two lions? Right is correct, and it’s all in the mouth and tail.

Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce badge

You might mostly know Rolls-Royce for the Spirit of Ecstasy bonnet mascot, but its badge is also very recognisable.

Because ‘R-R’ doesn’t stand for ‘Royce-Rolls’, the overlap has to be the right way round. That’s why left is correct.

Seat

Seat badge

The Spanish manufacturer has been building cars since 1950, and is now under the Volkswagen Group umbrella. It does a good job of draping familiar platforms in sleeker bodywork.

There’s always a bit of flourish with Seat. So why would its badge just be a plain old ‘S’? If you guessed left, you guessed right.

Tesla

Tesla badge

A curious one, Tesla. While extremely famous and seemingly a massive talking point, it’s not been around that long. So how do you tell which is the correct badge?

Well, it’s design intuition, really. Does the right one look a little too plain? Does the left look too fiddly? The former is the case, so left is correct.

Vauxhall

Vauxhall badge

The Griffin. What a history Vauxhall has had, so this shouldn’t be too difficult.

The Vauxhall logo has carried a flag with a ‘V’ since the 1920s. Right is right.

Volkswagen

Volkswagen badge

Volkswagen doesn’t really do animals rearing up, or exotic family crests. It does the job of a people’s car. You’ll have to be hot on your logos to know this one.

Especially because Volkswagen has recently made a switch. The new logo doesn’t shirk tradition, though, particularly the tradition of keeping the ‘V’ and ‘W’ separate. Right is right.

Volvo

Volvo badge

Simple, Swedish, stylish, safe – all fair descriptions of both the Volvo badge and the cars to which it’s attached.

Of course, with such a simple logo, it’s hard to not be obvious, so they had a bit of fun with it. Left is right, but that doesn’t mean girls can’t drive Volvos.

Save the manuals: the stick-shift sports cars still on sale

Sports cars with a manual 2019
With every passing year, a traditional stick-and-three-pedals manual transmission is getting harder to find. Key new sports cars like the Alpine A110 and Toyota Supra have abandoned the idea altogether. And for those still offering manuals, they are more of a niche option – coming to market months and even years after the auto version. Want a new sports car that you shift yourself? These are the last remaining contenders to give you that manual fix.

Porsche 911Sports cars with a manual 2019

Porsche has taken its time, but a manual-equipped ‘992’ 911 is on the way. Arriving in 2020, it’s only available on Carrera S and Carrera 4S models as a no-cost option. That means you won’t be able to get a brand new manual 911 for less than £90,000. Happily, however, rumour has it that the upcoming GT3 will retain a manual ’box, too.

Aston Martin Vantage AMRSports cars with a manual 2019

Aston Martin is another marque that abandoned the stick and clutch pedal temporarily. Launched with an eight-speed automatic gearbox last year, the new Vantage can now be ordered with a stick. Initially, it’ll be the super-limited AMR version, but a manual will be optional for the ‘normal’ car from next year.

Noble M600Stick it! The sports cars you can still buy with a manual gearbox

We sense that the good people at Noble Automotive are fans of the manual gearbox. When describing the M600 on its website, the company says “Our personal preference is indeed a manual system, however we do understand that many supercar buyers prefer, for many reasons, a paddle shift system.” It’s a hunch, but we reckon the auto option will be more popular in foreign markets, while we Brits stick with the stick. As it were.

Chevrolet CorvetteStick it! The sports cars you can still buy with a manual gearbox

The final nail in the manual Corvette’s coffin was hammered in with the reveal of the mid-engined C8. It’s dual-clutch auto only, but arrives next year (as the 911 is getting its manual ’box). Grab a traditional front-engined, rear-drive Corvette with a manual transmission while you still can. With a 460hp 6.2-litre V8, it can still show the Europeans a thing or two.

Jaguar F-TypeStick it! The sports cars you can still buy with a manual gearbox

If you fancy a manual gearbox in your new Jaguar F-Type, you’ll have to ‘make do’ with the V6. Not that this should be too much of a hardship, because even the 3.0-litre V6 340 supercharged version offers a top speed of 161mph and a 0-60mph in 5.5 seconds. Yours for a touch over £60,000. Upgrade to the S and the 0-60mph time drops to 5.3 seconds, while top speed increases to 171mph. You’ll need to find an extra £11,000, mind.

Toyota GT86/Subaru BRZStick it! The sports cars you can still buy with a manual gearbox

The Toyota GT86 and Subaru BRZ are simply dripping in retro charm. Front-engined, rear-wheel drive, six-speed manual gearboxes, superb driving position and perfect balance – everything you need for a B-road blast. You could opt for a six-speed automatic transmission, but then you could take a bath in gravy. Technically possible, but honestly, why?

Chevrolet CamaroStick it! The sports cars you can still buy with a manual gearbox

With 650hp and 650lb ft of torque, the ZL1 is the most powerful Camaro ever produced and available with either a six-speed manual or 10-speed automatic transmission. It’s not long for this world, mind, as GM executives continue to query the Camaro’s unimpressive sales figures. Hopefully, now it’s on sale in Australia, it’ll get the bump it needs to survive.

Lotus ExigeStick it! The sports cars you can still buy with a manual gearbox

The Exige’s days are numbered, as a steady flow of ever more extreme variants seems to suggest. The last time we rounded up the manual survivors, the fastest version had 360hp. Now the Cup 430 has (you guessed it) 430hp. It’ll get to 60mph in 3.2 seconds, weighs just 1,110kg and will top 174mph. It’ll cost you, though – got upwards of £100,000 to spare?

Porsche 718 Cayman GT4Sports cars with a manual 2019

Obviously you could have a ‘normal’ Porsche 718 with a manual, but you want the GT4, with a 420hp 4.0-litre flat-six and a six-speed manual. The difference with this GT4? They are fitting a PDK auto at some point, too. You’ll pay an extra £22,000 versus a 718 Cayman S, though, given its £75,348 price.

Porsche 718 Boxster SpyderSports cars with a manual 2019

It’s a similar story for the Porsche 718 Boxster Spyder. The flat-six is back, and we’re oh-so happy for it. Better still, unlike the previous Spyder, this one gets some Porsche Motorsport suspension hardware at the front, courtesy of the GT3. Six cogs, six cylinders, a clutch pedal and a drop-top. Doesn’t that sound nice? Maybe not in November…

Lotus EliseStick it! The sports cars you can still buy with a manual gearbox

For 20 years, the Lotus Elise has been the default choice for those in search of pure driving thrills. Sadly, with prices starting from £44,640 for the Elise Sport 220, rising to £57,360 for the Cup 250, the little Lotus is less ‘everyman’ than it used to be. Mind you, the Elise Sport does boast one of the best gearknobs since the Ford Puma and the Honda Civic Type R FD2.

Mazda MX-5Stick it! The sports cars you can still buy with a manual gearbox

If you’re after an affordable sports car with a six-speed manual gearbox, the Mazda MX-5 is your best option. The MX-5 is every bit as good as you may have read, and recently got a whole lot better, with the addition of the 184hp 2.0-litre engine. Now with a bit of power to match its plucky character, there’s never been a better MX-5.

Ford MustangSports cars with a manual 2019

If you’re going to do the whole Ford Mustang thing, you really ought to opt for the full-fat 5.0-litre V8. Oh, sure, the 2.3-litre EcoBoost is more efficient and will be cheaper to run, but to enjoy the authentic Mustang experience, vee-eight is where it’s at. Beyond that, it’s up to you – the automatic transmission is marginally more economical, but the six-speed manual allows you to take the ‘Stang by the scruff of the neck and give it a damn good thrashing.

Lotus EvoraStick it! The sports cars you can still buy with a manual gearbox

The latest Lotus Evoras have swollen in terms of performance and price. The 410hp 3.5-litre supercharged V6 engine means the new GT10 is capable of 0-60mph in 3.9 seconds. A six-speed manual gearbox is fitted as standard, although a six-speed automatic is available as an option. It’ll cost you from £85,900.25

Dodge ChallengerStick it! The sports cars you can still buy with a manual gearbox

All but the entry-level Challenger models are fitted with a six-speed Tremec manual gearbox as standard, right through to the SRT Hellcat. Only the bonkers 840hp Demon is auto-only. Still, you’re not exactly living in horsepower poverty with a 707hp Hellcat. For the sake of a manual shift, we’d consider taking the hit.

Nissan 370ZStick it! The sports cars you can still buy with a manual gearbox

The Nissan 370Z takes us back to Datsun Z cars of old. A hairy-chested brute of a sports car powered by a 3.7-litre V8 engine and offering classic rear-wheel drive dynamics. Prices start from £29,870 for the basic Z, rising to £40,370 for the Nismo.

Caterham SevenStick it! The sports cars you can still buy with a manual gearbox

If you want back-to-basics, seat-of-your-pants thrills – this is as good as it gets. The gearstick in a Caterham Seven is a short and stubby affair, perfectly positioned alongside the tiny steering wheel. Prices start from £26,490 for the bargain-basement Seven 270, through to £48,890 for the bonkers 620. Shifting through a six-speed gearbox has never been more exhilarating.

Audi TTStick it! The sports cars you can still buy with a manual gearbox

Sadly, the Audi TT RS won’t offer the option of a manual gearbox, so you’re stuck with the common or garden TT. Might we suggest the 2.0-litre TFSI in S line trim?

Morgan 3 WheelerStick it! The sports cars you can still buy with a manual gearbox

The Morgan 3 Wheeler weighs just 525kg, but manages to punch above its weight in more ways than one. The 2.0-litre V-twin engine is mated to a Mazda-sourced five-speed manual gearbox to offer a unique take on the drivers’ car formula. Brilliant.

British-built, track specialsStick it! The sports cars you can still buy with a manual gearbox