Open the bonnet of a modern car, and it's all plastic covers and no-user-serviceable-parts-inside apart from a few filler caps. Open the bonnet of a classic, though, and you see shapes of real, unashamed metal, on display and flaunting their functions. They give the sense of the machine as an almost-living thing, not an electronically-controlled transport module.
John Simister: Is an undetectable turnkey classic possible?
A deep concern for the planet's welfare ensures that the cars in John Simister's current assemblage of classics all have engines of under a litre, including a two-stroke Saab which causes the road behind to disappear from view after a cold start. This squares well with John's status as a Car of the Year jury member and a writer both on modern cars and old ones, the latter for Octane and Practical Classics. He has been a journalist since 1984, and lives in the Chiltern Hills with his wife Deborah and a dog called Sprocket.