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ISSUE 264: As a recently new Alfa Romeo owner (well, it’s the wife’s really) I’m delighted that a good number of fellow Alfa drivers wave or nod in acknowledgment when passing and this friendly greeting is obviously not restricted to the classic examples. My Spider is just six years old and even though it’s a modern car, I was delighted with the reception I received when we recently joined the Alfa Romeo Owners’ Club as it includes registers for all the recent models. So with the lighter nights just around the corner, Kate and I are looking forward to attending a few Club events and will certainly be taking our Italian beauty to as many local pub meets we can manage. My diary is already rapidly filling up with all the classic events I’ll be attending between now and Easter and to get all you Ford fans in the show mood we’re featuring the Cortina in this week’s Best of British feature while pre-war classic fans can enjoy reading all about the fabulous Alfa Romeo 6C. Our regular classic head-to-head pitches a Lotus and a ‘baby’ Aston Martin as hotly contested rivals and our motoring hero this week is Tom Karen, the former managing director of Ogle Design and designer of the Scimitar GTE and Bond Bug. Enjoy!

Iain Wakefield, Deputy editor