CAR Issue 700: the biggest stories and best moments

Published: 07 October 2020 Updated: 04 May 2022

► Celebrate CAR’s 700th issue 
► A look at some of our best moments and stories
► Get this month’s issue here

The November 2020 issue of CAR marks our 700th consecutive edition on sale, in a run that spans 58 years. You can subscribe to CAR here, but on this page we’ll run through some of the key moments for the magazine. Keep reading to explore some of the stories and adventures that have forged CAR over its first 700 issues.

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Convoy – Mel Nichols (February 1977)

‘It had the unreal quality of a dream. That strange hyper-cleanliness, that dazzling intensity of colour, that haunting feeling of being suspended in time, and even in motion; sitting there with the speedo reading in excess of 160mph and two more gold Lamborghinis drifting along ahead.’ Thus begins Mel Nichols’ seminal Convoy story, an account of a cross-Europe thrash in three new Lambos (Countach, Urraco, Silhouette), one of CAR’s most celebrated, and influential, drive stories. ‘I’m still reliving this particular trip. I always will be,’ concludes Nichols. Us too, Mel.

Read the story in full here

The pride and passion of Enzo Ferrari – Keith Botsford (August 1977)

In 1977, Keith Botsford spent four revealing hours with the car world’s most famous name, yet its least familiar personality. At the time, Enzo Ferrari avoided TV cameras and rarely ventured beyond his office and test circuit. Yet the intensely private Ferrari spoke to CAR with astonishing frankness. ‘I don’t believe there is such a thing as happiness,’ Ferrari told Botsford, who described him as ‘a profoundly lonely, disabused man to whom death is perhaps the most meaningful event in life,’ and yet also ‘an extraordinary mind… That’s why headstrong, brave and brilliant men have so often given their all for this man, and what his dignity and purity have done for the car.’

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When Russell Met Ayrton – Russell Bulgin (September 1990)

Extraordinary writer Russell Bulgin and F1 god Ayrton Senna were both gifted at their art. They were mates, too, going back to Bulgin’s early days as an F1 correspondent. In this 1990 CAR interview, that closeness manifests itself in a glimpse into the enigmatic Senna’s intense mentality: ‘You should have no fear. Because if you have fear, you cannot commit yourself. Fear will determine your limits.’ All the more poignant given that both interviewee and interviewer were taken too soon.

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Ferrari F512M to the Sahara – Richard Bremner (May 1995)

Richard Bremner drove a factory-fresh Ferrari F512M from Maranello to Erg Chebbi, the gateway to the Saharan sand dunes. Why? ‘Because it’s there.’ ‘We arrived in the dark,’ recalls Colin Goodwin, who drove a support car loaded with unused spares. The boys awoke to find an offroad adventure company had parked its Merc G-Wagens next to the Ferrari. ‘I’ve never forgotten the look on their faces,’ says Goodwin.

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61 hours with a Bugatti Veyron – Georg Kacher (September 2006)

The Bugatti Veyron sounds like a low-flying chopper as it starts climbing the hill on the far side of my home village. The roar is muffled for a few seconds by the two-storey buildings that form the core of the settlement in the Munich stockbroker belt.’ Georg Kacher takes in three days with the ultimate supercar of the time, and a car that catapulted Bugatti back into conversations. 

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Discovery to Timbuktu – Mark Walton (April 2006)

‘First, check that it really exists. Second, find out where it is. Then pack your spare undies into a Land Rover Discovery and head off to the Sahara.’ Read Mark Walton’s epic jouornal of Discovery.

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McLaren Tech Centre – Stephen Bayley (April 2007)

Stephen Bayley visits the otherwordly MTC during the tumultous 2007 season. Ron Dennis is still very much in charge, and the interview takes place just one year before the team’s last World Drivers’ Championship title. 

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The last gallon – (September 2019)

A thought from the endlessly creative mind of Mark Walton: if you had the last gallon of fuel on Earth, what vehicle would you put it into, for one last drive? Cue wildly individual choices from six writers – from D-Type Jag to Renault 5, or two VW XL1s (so you could split the gallon and race a mate, see?) – brought to life by inspired art direction from Mal Bailey and photography from Alex Howe. One of CAR’s more imaginative and evocative features.

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By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's Digital Editor, F1 and sim-racing enthusiast. Partial to clever tech and sports bikes