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5 collector cars to put into your garage this week

Another week, another mouth-watering array of the weird and wonderful gracing us with their wheels in the Classic Driver Market! Homologation specials, Bavarian icons, and the oldest race car in existence – when have you ever heard of a line up like that?

The Azure Allure 

Think of the perfect cross-country cruiser that can seemingly eat up the miles with complete ease, allowing its occupants to relax in its tranquil cabin, and there are strangely plenty of options. Rolls-Royce, Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari and many others all do grand tourers exceptionally well, but when the sun comes out and the only thing on your mind is a slow cruise along the seafront, the Bentley Azure does it better than just about anything on four wheels. 

This 2007 example is finished in an oh-so-stylish deep blue metallic over the finest beige leather and burl wood, giving off the perfect nautical vibe, while under that chrome-grilled, elongated bonnet hides a biturbo V8 that produces over 455 horsepower. The Azure is, in our humble opinion, one of the brand’s finest creations, and this second generation model is the one we’d snap up. With a mere 787 examples ever made, it’s one of the rarest too!




Saved By the Bell

The love affair for Porsche’s 944 is starting to be brought into the limelight. With values of just about every other model in Porsche’s line up heading skywards, it was only a matter of time until the 944 followed suit, but there has always been one variant that had reached those dizzying heights of attraction and performance. 

This specific car has led a remarkable racing life, being owned from new by Brun Motorsport, and participated in races at prestigious tracks such as AVUS, Hockenheim, Spa Francorchamps, and the Nürburgring. 1986 marked the inaugural year of production for the turbo cup, featuring narrow axles, Fuchs wheels, a standard bonnet, and the standard 225 horsepower from the road-going version of the 944. Porsche also lightened the car and made other simple modifications, reducing the weight to 1280 kg. Despite this car’s race-ready interior and peak late 1980s livery, it remains fully road legal, and with its low weight and 80s turbo lag, it delivers an exhilarating driving experience with great handling characteristics.




Ye Hastily and Ye Corybantic

The year is 1898, and a new century is on the horizon. While strolling along the cobbled streets, shuffling through the crowds, and paying close attention not to startle the horses tied to the carts, you suddenly hear the rumble of an engine. In a flash, this burgundy blur whizzes by, and your mind has just been blown into a world of automotive goodness and lustre, for this is the first motor car you’ve ever seen. Although it sounds hard to believe nowadays, this was something of a reality back in the late 1800s, and the Panhard Levassor M4E was the car to snap a 4x5 of, if you were lucky enough to see one. 

This wonderful example is understood to be the earliest surviving intact racing car in the world, and was built to compete in the inaugural Paris-Amsterdam-Paris race of the same year the car was built. Four of the first six places were taken by Panhard’s M4E, including first place, having lead from the start, making this model the first racing car to travel internationally during a race. It’s powered by a front-mounted 4-cylinder engine, producing 8 horsepower; the very first of its kind. Not stopping there, it is also one of the first race cars with a steering wheel, pneumatic tyres instead of the preceding solid items, a front-mounted radiator and aluminium gearbox castings. They don't come much more historically-significant than this!





2024 marks 51 whole years since the BMW first unveiled the 2002 Turbo, a car that would go on to become one of the brand’s most beloved models, but one that was so nearly stalled at the starting block due to surging oil prices and forced cutbacks during 1973. While the bulkier, heavier, and much thirstier V8s struggled, the 2002 Turbo’s plucky four-cylinder engine made a respectable 170 horsepower, with agile handling and styling that really turned heads. 

This fine example is finished in a stylish shade of Polaris Grey, a hue rarely seen on the 2002 Turbo, where most were finished in white, and is complete with the all-important tri-coloured BMW Motorsport decals. The car was originally bought at a Swiss BMW dealer, where it lived a very well-kept life before heading to France in 2011, and remains in a stunning, unrestored condition, giving it plenty of character and charm!




Homologation Special SLC

Here’s a car we never, ever knew existed. The term ‘Homologation Special’ evokes visions of road-going variants of the Lancia Delta Integrale, Audi Quattro and Ford RS200, but not usually the Mercedes-Benz R107 SLC. This luxury cruiser certainly had the power, but its relaxed chassis setup and leather-cladded interior didn’t make it the ideal candidate for rallying. This, however, was quickly changed with the SLC, and the 450 SLC 5.0 was developed specifically as a homologation model for international rally competitions. Certainly, a surprising move by the German automaker.

An unlikely rally racing entrant, the luxurious coupe competed against pintsized four-cylinder-powered cars from Fiat, Datsun and Ford. Sure, the car might have struggled on the twisty turns, but the race-spec versions of the SLC 5.0 showed their true potential over long distances, eventually claiming back-to-back victories at the Rallye Côte d'Ivoire in 1979 and 1980. In road-going form, a mere 2,769 examples of the 5.0-litre SLCs were produced from 1978 through 1981, making examples such as this the rarest of all 107 chassis.