Brought to you by Adrian Flux

Exploring the World’s Cult Classic Cars

To those of a certain age, the Dodge Charger conjures images of The Dukes of Hazzard’s General Lee, or Steve McQueen’s Mustang hunting down a Charger-driving hitman in Bullitt. From the mid-70s, however, the Charger morphed first into a personal luxury car, then a sub-compact hatch, and finally today’s grand touring sedan.
The Mazda RX-7 is one of motoring’s boldest success stories, as the men from Hiroshima put their faith in Felix Wankel’s rotary engine when all others had cast it aside. It was a high-risk gamble on unproven technology that had killed off fellow early adopter NSU and nearly did for Citroen, but it paid off spectacularly.
The Baby Boom generation was coming of age, more of them were attending college than ever before, and they were looking for a car - something affordable, smaller, and sporty. Ford came up with the perfect answer, unveiling the Mustang at the New York World’s Fair on April 17, 1964.
It’s March, 1977, and Porsche has dropped a bombshell on fans of the rear-engined, air-cooled 911 - its eventual replacement would be the front-engined, water-cooled 928. Gone was the flat six power unit, replaced by a throbbing V8, and the new car was also significantly bulkier.
The Mercedes ‘Gullwing’ 300SL broke new ground for the men from Stuttgart, bringing startling styling and racetrack performance to those with deep pockets. But it was its little brother, the 190SL - similar styling, reduced performance and cost - that paved the way for the W113 ‘Pagoda’, one of the most accomplished sports tourers ever made.
In 1989, from a standing start, Toyota took aim at the world’s luxury carmakers and damn near scared the life out of them. Creating an entirely new brand for the venture, Toyota launched the Lexus LS 400 squarely at the likes of Mercedes, Jaguar, BMW and Audi - and came within an ace of toppling the lot of them.
Outrageous, sensational, dramatic, exhilarating, extraordinary. Just a few of the adjectives committed to print when the Ford Sierra RS Cosworth burst onto the scene with an extravagant swagger in 1986. Billed as the most exciting Ford since the GT40, the whale-tailed flyer didn’t disappoint.
The Toyota MR2, Japan’s first mid-engined production car, caused a sensation when it arrived in the UK in 1985. Its race-track handling, smooth, high-revving engine and dramatic styling prompted an out-pouring of love from the motoring press.
It was meant to be the ultimate Cortina-basher, a family saloon to herald a bright new future for British Leyland into the 1970s. But the Morris Marina never hit the heights, its numerous flaws prompting regular maulings in the motoring press from the moment road testers got the keys to the first cars.
It remains one of the most spectacular cars ever made, an almost impossibly stylish supercar that also went like a bat out of hell. The “Gullwing” doors of the Mercedes-Benz 300SL imbued an added sense of the outrageous to a car born of impeccable racing pedigree.

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