Car of the Year 2020
Please see the finalists for this year's Historic Motoring Awards Car of the Year, the finalists were hand selected by the Octane team, but the winner is up to you! Voting is free, please use the form below to submit your vote (only one vote per person). Voting will close during the awards show on the 22nd October - don't forget to register to watch to see if your favourite wins!
Ferrari 330 GTS
Many experts commented that being declared Best in Show at the London Concours was a major step forward for this previously overlooked and underappreciated model of Ferrari. But then this 1967 example of the successor to the 275 is probably the finest example anywhere in the world. Originally show at the Turin Salon it was fully bodily and mechanically restored in the USA either side of the turn of the millennium so when it came to the UK in 2017 it needed only a mechanical overhaul and roof and trim renovation.
Bertone Stratos Zero
This influential wedge-shaped spaceship from the drawing board of Marcello Gandini was never formally a Lancia, but was a styling exercise that, when sceptics suggested it couldn’t work, Nuccio Bertone ordered to be equipped with a Fulvia engine and driven across Turin. Displayed at Turin in 1970 and preceding Bertone’s more recognisably Stratos prototype by more than a year, it was little used until Philip Sarofim took ownership and allowed a journalist to sample it and share his impressions with enthusiasts for the very first time.
Mercedes Streamliner recreation
This car has been dubbed the first Silver Arrow and is a recreation painstakingly recreated by Merceds-Benz to fill an important gap in its history, the missing link between its cream champions and silver dream machines. Based on an SSKL, the streamliner (or Stromlinien) was designed by mechanical engineer Reinhard Baron von Koenig-Fachsenfeld specifically for Avus and despite its coffin-nosed appearance was styled to be aerodynamic. That didn’t stop spectators dubbing it The Gherkin, though. Built on a spare chassis that had been created in the late 1990s using the original blueprints, the replica took just seven months to make to make M-B’s 125 years in motorsport.
Porsche 930 GTX
This forgotten great was Porsche’s first turbo Le Mans winner. Ok, Le Mans class winner and 15th overall. What makes it remarkable, however, is not the exploits in La Sarthe of its small but dedicated Swiss privateer team. After the race it was bought by hillclimber Walter Pauli and it did a few events but then, for no more sinister reason than it stayed with one owner for 40 years, completely fell off the radar and was subsequently forgotten about. When it was finally sold on, its former life came to light and it has since been sold on again to the UK where it now resides, wearing its past with pride.
Ferrari 250 GTE police car
Masterminded by and trusted to policeman Armando Spatafora of the Squadra Mobile (Italy’s equivalent of the Flying Squad), this car existed to bridege the gap when the criminals were running better and quicker cars than the authorities. Powered by the legendary Colombo V12, it was finished in November 1962 and started active duty straight away, with its four trusted pilots given specialist training by racing driver Roberto Lippi. The GTE became idolised on its home turf and was retired only after six years and sold on to a member of the public in 1973. It was sold again in 2015, when it started to come into public view and has been a hit everywhere ever since.
Land Rover Oxford 86in Station Wagon ‘Oxford’
One half of the student Land Rover pairing that completed an overland expedition from London to Singapore in 1955-56, 'Oxford' was recovered as a wreck from Saint Helena in the South Atlantic by enthusiast Adam Bennett a few years ago, sympathetically restored – and in late 2019 drove 19,000km from Singapore to London, in a recreation of that pioneering trip made famous in a BBC TV series produced by the young David Attenborough. 'Cambridge' sadly was later scrapped.
Nissan Skyline ‘Godzilla’
The R-32 Skyline was awesome enough, but the Group A racer ‘Godzilla’ took things to a whole new level, demolishing everything in its path. A front-runner in the 1993 Japanese Touring Car Championship, this car was then partially dismantled and then mothballed before coming to the UK and being resuscitated by Rod Bell and preparing for an assault on historic racing. Assistance in prepping the four-wheel-drive twin-turbo straight six is being offered by Andy Middlehurst. We can’t wait…
Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 racer (ex-Mussolini)
What might look on the surface like a relatively crude single-seater racer (and a dilapidated one at that) is actually an aristocratic 1929 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 seris 3 Super Sport with an important and fascinating history. First delivered to Benito Mussolini wearing a Farina body, after a run of Italian owners it wound up in Asmara, the capital of east African Italian colony Eritrea famed for its incredible Art Deco and futurist architecture. With Asmara a hotbed of motorsport, this car was adapted to take part and seems to be little-changed since. A full restoration has now commenced on this car and it is expected to take tow to three years to return it to its as-build form, but this year it had its moment in the sun in its latter incarnation.
McLaren F1 GTR
In 1995 a detuned road car won the world’s greatest and most famous endurance race, the Le Mans 24 Hours. This car. While the McLaren F1 was designed to be a watershed in motor engineering, setting technical benchmarks that would never be matched, and despite its creator Gordon Murray’s background in designing race cars, the car was never intended to race. It was run by the fledgling Lanzante team as it moved out of historic motorsport and under the banner of Kokusai Kaihatsu Racing. Piloted by Yannick Dalmas, Masanori Sekiya and JJ Lehto the BMW-V1 powered GTR led home a train of four F1s punctuated only by a sole Courage C34.
1907 Peking to Paris Itala
Arguably one of the most important cars in all of motoring history, this Itala took part in the first global epic, the 10,000-mile 1907 Peking to Paris rally. Prince Scipione’s mount finished not only finished first, but rather than rest on its laurels in the French capital, immediately headed on to Milan. It then lay dormant for decades until Fiat decided to revive it in 1989 to recreate its defining achievement. It did, of course, and it has since completed the raid a third time, but that time from west to east. Remarkably preserved, it still has its original engine and, understandably, is rarely permitted to be driven by all but the chosen few.
Voting is now closed
The voting for the Historic Motoring Awards Car of the Year 2020 is now closed!
The winner will be posted on the site after the awards show on the 22nd October.