There are times when it seems right to question our obsession with standard cars. Sure, sometimes well-intended mods can actually end up taking the whole plot backwards – the phrase “tuning it to a standstill” springs to mind!

However a properly thought-out and well-executed warm-over can work absolute wonders and lead to spectacular results.

Few are better known that the MkI Lotus Cortina, which turned a seemingly ordinary piece of family tranport into a saloon car championship winner in the hands of Jim Clark.

Just for a change of pace, we’re exploring three highly modified cars, taking very different approaches to a similar question, which is extracting the most performance out of the available package.

One is a comprehensive tribute – the Lotus Cortina you see here – a car that sees a lot of use in all weathers.

Next is one of the nicest restomods you’ll come across, which is a period-looking Porsche 911 Targa that has considerably more bite than standard hidden under the paint.

And third is a factory-modded car. It’s a one-off E-type Series I, built to special order as a race-spec car by Jaguar’s own crew at the legendary Browns Lane workshop.

Really, you’d happily take any one of these three special cars home with you. Enjoy...