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Princess 40M – M/Y ANKA

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Editor: Tim Hutton Website: www.PrivateMotor.Club Email: Hello@PrivateMotor.Club Printed in England

The Private Motor Club journal is a bi-annual publication and the most exclusive automotive journal in the world. Printing by Pureprint Group using GF Smith Colourplan and Heaven 42 paper stocks.

We’ve also driven the new Land Rover Discovery, the tow car of choice for many racers, been a passenger with Justin Law in his mind-meltingly fast Jaguar XJ220 LM, driven around Scotland in a royal Aston Martin, got to grips with in-car audio, looked back at the BOAC 1,000km with Jeff Bloxham’s beautiful images, driven a Bentley from London to Monaco in one hit, payed our respects to John Surtees in a Ferrari 488 GTB and spent some quality time with an Audi RS6. Then, just as we were due to go to press, an e-mail arrived with some stunning imagery from the Mille Miglia, Villa d’Este and the launch of the one millionth Porsche 911. I almost forgot, we also took a Toyota 2000GT into the deserts around Dubai – a real hairs-on-the-back-of-theneck moment as we spent the day with a car so few have seen. Here we are, summer 2017 and issue three is off to the

We’re a young publication and your feedback is very

printers, or rather it’s now back and in the hands of our readers.

important. For issue three, we’ve strived to raise the level with

It’s the biggest issue to date, with 160 pages, but it’s not about

our layout design and establish some in-house styles without

quantity, it’s about quality and the reality is there’s just too much

becoming predictable. This year has already delivered some

going on at this time of year that cannot be missed.

amazing content and it doesn’t look like letting up as we start

The hardest challenge is knowing where to draw the line with

filling the page plan for issue four. But we’re always looking for

adding more content, so we set a date: the end of May. Tour Auto

more stories, going beyond the obvious events. Let us know

was always going to be our feature article and at the end of that

about interesting people, stories you’d like told and those little

month we travelled out to France to follow over 200 classic cars

car events nobody knows about. I also want to look back at some

as they rallied from Paris to Biarritz via race tracks and special

of the great stories from the past.

stages. Not only do we have our thoughts on the event, but

Finally, we’ve also launched our online shop, selling the

we also followed James Cottingham and Andrew Smith in the

journal and other interesting items. We’ll be looking to build

Scuderia Bear GT40 as they looked to improve on a frustrating

content on the website with new writers and photographers as

2016 Tour, where fire ended their hopes of victory. We also

well as continuing to create short films. But the content in the

bumped in to Derek Bell, having fun in a Porsche 911 on his first-

journal will, as always, stay unique. I hope you enjoy reading it as

ever Tour Auto.

much as we’ve enjoyed creating it.

TI M HUT TON – EDI TOR

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CONTRIBUTORS

TOM SHAXSON

BRYAN MCMORRAN

ROB OVERY

RICHARD P WALTON

Know for his Goodwood photography Tom

Once again Bryan has spared us some time

For issue three we commissioned Rob to

A proper old-school photographer, Richard is

is increasingly making a name for himself

from his busy scehdule to research the

shoot our first drive of the all-new Land

classically trained and teaches his photographic

with some of the top media outlets. For issue

tricky but ultimately successful relationship

Rover Discovery, before whisking him off to

knowledge around the world. He was our first

three we commissioned him to photograph

between John Surtees and Ferrari, as well

the Silverstone Classic media day to capture

choice to attempt to capture the spirit of the

our John Surtees / Ferrari 488GTB feature

as borrowing the Prince of Wales’ old Aston

the ferocious new Jaguar XJ220LM from the

Tour Auto. We lost him a few times, but looking

shot on location around West Sussex.

Martin Virage for for a feature in chilly Scotland.

stables of Don Law Racing.

up the nearest mountain we found him.

BŁAZEJ ZUŁAWSKI

STEPHEN ERRITY

CHARLES HUTTON

DAN WEST-BURNHAM

Błazej studied cinematography at the

A professional copy editor with extensive

Charles is one of the most talented graphic

Dan is Mr Motorsport, having worked at various

famous Łódz film school. Instead of making

experience in automotive publishing, Stephen

designers in the country and famous for his

race teams over the years, including Le Mans

films though, he became a photographer

combines an obsessive eye for detail with a love

automotive work. For issue three we worked

and F1. He’s also been a durability driver for

and journalist. Recently he claims not to

for cars. He’s responsible for ensuring PMC’s

together to help us establish a ‘PMC’ style.

premium brands and now works in motorsport

care about cars anymore; his continued

grammar and spelling is up to scratch, while at

When not designing, he continues to restore

logistics/event operations. We hired Dan as a

automotive exploits suggest otherwise.

the same time retaining our unique voice.

a rare Jomoro racing car for his two daughters.

safe pair of hands on our Monaco trip.

STOCKISTS APEX NURBURGRING

AUTO VIVENDI LONDON

CHARLOTTE STREET NEWS LONDON

DUKE OF LONDON LONDON

HERITAGE F1 IPSWICH

MAGALLERIA BRISTOL

MAGAZINE BRIGHTON BRIGHTON

MAGCULTURE LONDON

PARC FERME DUBAI

TIMOTHY EVEREST LONDON

YACHT CLUB MONACO MONTE-CARLO

TOMINI CLASSICS DUBAI

Would you like to be a stockist? Contact us at: hello@privatemotor.club 08 PMC_3_Section1_Aw.indd 8

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THERE AREN’T MANY SPOTS AROUND GOODWOOD THAT WILL STILL PROVIDE YOU WITH A PHOTO OPPORTUNITY THAT TRULY FEELS OF PERIOD. JUST AS THE CARS START THEIR CHARGE DOWN THE LAVANT STRAIGHT THE BANKING DROPS AND FOR A BRIEF MOMENT YOU ARE THERE, IN 1964. 11 PMC_3_Section1_Aw.indd 11

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C O N C O R S O

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V I L L A

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FORTUNE FAVOURS THE PREPARED MIND WORDS A ND PHOTO GRA PHY BŁ A ZE J ZU Ł AW SKI

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YOU MIGHT THINK THAT ALL YOU NEED TO DO TO WIN AN EVENT LIKE THE CONCORSO D’ELEGANZA VILLA D’ESTE IS HAVE A FAT WALLET AND THE ABILITY TO BUY THE MOST EXPENSIVE CAR IN THE WORLD. YOU’D BE WRONG.

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Unless your name is Ralph Lauren and you own a Bugatti 57SC Atlantic, the statement opposite is as true as can be. Of course, every year collectors from around the world park their priceless Ferraris (models like the 250 GTO, 250 GT California Spider or 250 GT Berlinetta SWB), Maseratis (A6G 2000 Frua or 54 GT Zagato), magnificent Rolls-Royces and Mercedes (540 K) on the grounds of one of the world’s most magnificent hotels – the Villa d’Este – in hope of winning one of the coveted trophies of this most famous competition for historic cars. They rarely succeed. Well, some of them come back home with a trophy for “the best preserved pre-war car”, “the car driven from furthest away”, or “the most elegant Rolls-Royce”. But the elusive Copa d’Oro Villa d’Este (voted for by the public) and the Trofeo BMW Group (presented by the Concorso’s esteemed jury, which consisted this year of people like Patrick Le Quément, Harm Lagaay, Lorenzo Ramaciotti, Adolfo Orsi, Yasmine Le Bon and Derek Hill), these trophies always go to something utterly unexpected. I should know. I’ve been attending the Concorso for the past eight years. This time though, it wasn’t Corrado Lopresto, the famous architect from Milan with five Copa d’Oro trophies already on the shelves of his garage (and over 240 other wins), who stole the show. Corrado is a true Villa d’Este institution. He owns the biggest and most interesting collection of Italian one-offs and prototypes in the world. Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Isotta Fraschini, Osca, Volpe – you name it. Corrado is smart and comes prepared. He doesn’t buy expensive Ferraris and Maseratis; he prefers to focus on cars that are truly unique and special, but not that expensive. Prototypes, coachbuilt versions of popular models that become unique masterpieces after the painstaking and sensitive restorations he puts them through in a number of garages around Milan. Needless to say, he owns the only car to ever feature on the UNESCO World Heritage list (an Alfa SZ Codatronca) and Villa d’Este is his ‘turf’. But as I’ve already said, at Villa d’Este the unexpected always happens and the award went… surprisingly not to his 1908 Lancia Tipo 51 Alfa (the oldest surviving Lancia in the world), but to a half-car, half-motorcycle with a 250cc V2 engine out of a Moto Guzzi: the Lurani Nibbio, a record-breaking machine and the crazy creation of one Count Giovanni Lurani. The award was presented to his great-grandson Frederico Geotsche Bebert. Corrado got his ‘revenge’ on the second day, though, when his other car – officially entered under the name of the daughter of its creator Francesco Scaglione, Giovanna – the Alfa Romeo Giulietta SS Prototipo, won Best of Show. His first ever in the Concorso… I personally voted for a 1934 Tatra 77. You can read the full story on the Private Motor Club website.

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AND MY OTHER GIRLFRIEND IS A… WO RDS A ND PHOTO GRA PHY BŁ A ZE J ZU Ł AW SKI

THERE ARE SOME OFFERS YOU JUST CAN’T REFUSE. LIKE WHEN YOU’RE ASKED TO DRIVE IN CONVOY FROM EDINBURGH CASTLE TO THE HIGHLANDS OF SCOTLAND IN A PARADE OF 30 OR SO PORSCHES TO CELEBRATE THE PRODUCTION OF THE COMPANY’S ONE MILLIONTH 911 – ITS BRAND-DEFINING, ICONIC CAR. To start, I have to say that I have fallen in love. She’s a bit ugly,

GT3, a 911 GT3 RS, a GT3 RS 4.0 and a 964 Clubsport (a car that

mind you. Especially around the eyes – something’s not right.

never saw production, but still they’ve pulled one out of the

They seem too close together and maybe she’s a bit cross-eyed,

Porsche Museum in Stuttgart – scary, that thing)

too? They do look like fried eggs those things. Badly fried. Never

Oh! And I’ve forgotten about the regular 911 991 Carrera S.

mind, though, because what she lacks in looks she makes up for

Manual, rear-wheel and right-hand drive (to which I’m not used

when we have much, much closer interactions.

to), in which I gave chase through one of the breathtakingly

Oh, I’m sorry! Where are my manners – let me introduce you

beautiful Scottish glens after a privately owned 911 GT1

to ‘my other girlfriend’. Her name is 11… 911. Her full name – a bit

prototype and a 959. And it kept up. I didn’t have much time

complicated, like her looks – is ‘911 996 GT3’. Ugly, but once she

to admire the scenery, though, and my passenger kept making

gets under your skin there’s no getting rid of her. She makes her

these weird noises.

way straight into your heart... and trousers… in a good way.

The aim here is not to get you all insanely jealous (you are

We’re right near Knockhill Circuit, just outside of Edinburgh.

anyway), but to tell you that, having done all of this (and a few

It’s the last day of our two-day road trip and having driven some

laps in a GT3 RS and 911 Cup car around Knockhill), I still came

pretty exciting incarnations of (as some say) “this glorified

back to the 996 GT3 to drive it for a few more minutes before my

Beetle”, I come back once more to the 996 GT3.

flight left. No other 911 from the range – although they’re all very

Over these two days, surrounded by magnificent Scottish

good – was as organically engaging, direct and rewarding (okay,

landscapes that made me feel like a Polish version of James

only because the 993 was a Tiptronic, but let’s not dwell on that).

Bond, I have driven a 911 Speedster (number 0 of 356 built), a

They say love is blind. And they’re right.

1967 Targa, the super-cool 991 911 R, the facelifted manual 911

Read the full story on the Private Motor Club website

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MAIN LINE TO MONTE CARLO Like a fine wine, the Bentley Continental GT has improved with age. You could argue that it’s now 14 years old and should

Breakfast it is then: load up now and in theory it should just be fuel and convenience breaks all the way to Monaco.

have been long ago replaced, but the truth is it’s still an

Our time on the train is a good opportunity to look at the

exceptionally good Grand Tourer with very little to match it. Yes,

spec of our particular car. It’s a Continental GT Speed Black

there are fine offerings from Ferrari, Aston Martin, Rolls-Royce

Edition finished in anthracite, with Beluga gloss details and

and co, but only the Rolls-Royce can match it in the luxury stakes

black wheels. There’s no denying this car looks serious; parked

and it can’t match it for price and dynamic handling. The GT is

next to a 2003 model, you can see just how far the styling has

almost in a category of its own.

come and underneath the changes are even more obvious. It’s

So, what better way to test this theory than with a non-stop

not nimble like a Ferrari, but then apart from the Continental

run from London to Monaco. A drive I’ve performed many times,

GT3 race car, it was never meant to be. In over 10 years, the

although I often stay in Reims or Lyon to break the trip up. My

‘Conti’ has been developed and improved and what we have

co-driver for the trip is Dan West-Burnham, a test and durability

now is a GT car that can hold its own on twisty Alpine passes.

driver now specialising in logistics and event operations. He’s

But more of that later.

a safe pair of hands and that’s essential on a long drive like this where naps are inevitable.

By the time we disembark the train, it’s 2pm. We pull straight into the fuel station and fill the car with the highest

I pick up Dan from Blackfriars and we cut a dash down to the

octane available. Can we make it to Monaco before the day is

Eurotunnel at Folkestone. Generally it’s worth aiming to arrive a

out? Google Maps says 11 hours, we have 10… Northern France

little early in the hope of getting bumped to a earlier train. Today

is notoriously dull and this spurs us on to get through it as quick

sadly there are delays and the soonest we can board is 12.20.

as possible.

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ARRIVAL IS BACK DOWN TO 00:30, MAYBE, JUST MAYBE WE CAN DO THIS

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In just over two hours we’re knocking on the door of Reims.

their ticket. The automated toll allows you to keeping moving

Normally it’s a no-brainer to stop and get photos at the old race

and the monthly charge comes directly from your bank account.

track, but today our race is against time. We push on towards

Just don’t lose the tag!

Dijon, taking the A26 down to Troyes before heading onto the

With the roads now getting empty, we increase our cruising

A5. Our second fuel stop of the day is also an opportunity to

speed. Keeping a watchful eye for any cameras, my stint at the

grab some sweets, crisps and water. Pulling out of the service

wheel is hopefully going to see us into Monaco in time. The ETA

station, the sat nav reroutes us onto the A39, a 20-minute

says a quarter past midnight as the A7 becomes the A8 on the

detour that puts our ETA back to 1am. There has been an

outskirts of Marseille. Our speed is now ‘moderate’, the roads are

accident on the A6, so we’re left with no choice. Traffic is

dead quiet and we use the wealthy locals in their supercars as

slow, but we navigate around Lyon and onto the A7, aka the

our pacemakers.

‘Autoroute du Soleil’ – a sure sign that we’re heading south.

We peel off the A8 onto the A500, the final run into Monte-

By now the time of arrival is back down to half past midnight.

Carlo, with just six minutes to spare. By now we’re both deadly

Maybe, just maybe, we can do this.

silent, clock watching, praying for green lights. Porte de Fontvielle

Just past Avignon, we pull in for for a quick McStop and

reveals itself to the right as we drop down to sea level. One

hopefully our final tank of fuel. It’s 10pm, there are 240km left

minute to midnight and we climb up past the marina on the

to go. I should mention our secret weapon: a Sanef Télépeage

race circuit and peel off right past the iconic shop fronts leading

tag. Challenges like this can be won or lost at the toll barriers,

up to Casino Square. We pull up outside the casino. The time?

especially if you find yourself behind a driver who has misplaced

Midnight. We did it.

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We should feel exhausted, but the reality is the Bentley was

minutes we’ve plunged around €10 into toll gates just navigating

probably the best combination of luxury and speed we needed.

on and off the autoroute in the space of a few hundred yards.

I’m sure adrenaline has a part to play, but we both agree we feel

Eventually, I decide for our own sanity that we should programme

fairly fresh. While Autoroute cruising, the fuel economy hasn’t

a station in a local town before our rapidly diminishing mood is

been eye-watering, but that last stretch of focused driving has

ruined for the day.

seen us arrive into the square on fumes. Thankfully our hotel is

Around 20 minutes later we’re back on track, fully fuelled

nearby, as is the fuel station at the Grimaldi Forum. After a few

and longingly looking towards the growing mountains. Four hours

photos outside the casino, we slope off to our hotel to checkin.

in and we’re passing Rivoli, just northwest of Turin on the E70.

Waking up in Monaco it’s hard to believe this is just day

We start to climb up into the mountains as the snowy peaks

two and that yesterday morning we were in London. Today we

grow larger in our view. Feeling peckish, we stop off just before

head towards the mountains: tonight’s destination is Annecy

the border back into France at Bardonecchia.

in preparation for a few days at the Geneva Motor Show. Our

Having not stepped out of the car since being on the coast,

challenge of London to Monaco is done, so we can relax a little

it’s quite a shock when we realise just how cold it has become – a

more today, but there’s still almost 500km of driving to be

whisker above freezing and trying to snow. A quick walk around

done. We start off with the beautiful run along the coast past

the trucker’s service station reveals there’s not much here that

San Remo, before turning left up towards Turin and then into

appeals, so maybe we aren’t that hungry after all. We jump back

the mountains.

in the car and head for the Fréjus tunnel – a 13km lifeline built in

First things first, fuel: buying fuel in Monaco is not to be

the late seventies.

recommended, as it’s a sniff under €2 a litre, but after last night’s

Once back in France, there are just 130km to go. I decide it

dash to Casino Square, we have no choice. We opt for a quick

would be a good idea to head off the main road in the hope of

splash-and-dash to get us onto the Autoroute and here our first

discovering a great route for some photos. I spot a sign for a

major fallout with the sat nav happens. It’s an old unit and in no

col and we head off with high hopes. Sadly, within about 10km

rush to let on when we need to make turns.

we can see that the road is actually going to pass between

This is not ideal as we try to find a mysteriously invisible petrol station nestling on the French-Italian border. Within five

the mountains, so with the light starting to fade we turn back towards Albertville.

WAKING UP IN MONACO IT’S HARD TO BELIEVE THIS IS JUST DAY TWO AND THAT YESTERDAY MORNING WE WERE IN LONDON

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focus, all while the lens is getting wet, too. Abort! Abort!

more sense today. Outside it’s dark, cold, wet and trying to snow,

I jump back into my heated seat, look across to Dan and ask

with temperatures hovering around freezing. Inside it’s warm,

for his educated opinion. Should we push on? It’s a no from Dan,

the stereo is on, the back massagers are on repeat and it feels

so we perform an Austin Powers-style manoeuvre and tiptoe

like home (no, I don’t have back massagers at home!)

back down. I should add the car has behaved fantastically and

Finally, we arrive at Palace de Menthon shortly before 7pm. Maybe it’s yesterday catching up to us, but I’m well and truly

given us no reason to doubt its capabilities; it’s more the drivers inside who doubt their talents.

beat. Power nap, shower and dinner. In good traffic, the Palexpo

I’m happy, I got my shots, so we had back down to the main

– where the Geneva show is held – is just under an hour’s drive

road and into Geneva. The next two days are filled with the usual

away. The hotel is old-school, feeling like something out of a Wes

press-day madness. Dan has to fly back to the UK to crack on

Anderson film, and the food is absolutely fantastic. For the sake

with work and I pick up John Marcar, who’ll be my co-pilot for the

of 20 minutes’ extra drive, I would stay here every year for the

final leg back to the UK.

motor show.

The first stop on our return leg is Nürburg, but not before we

Morning comes around all too quickly. Today’s agenda

seek out some more snow. A place pops up on the sat nav called

includes a meeting in Geneva before heading to the show and

Chatel-Saint-Denis; it has a ‘ski slope’ sign, so brimming with

the closed-curtain reveal of the new McLaren 720S. But I’m

confidence, we head off in search of snow.

still eager to get my snowy photos, so I take the long way into

We get lucky – really lucky. A beautiful ribbon of tarmac

Geneva via La Clusaz, Megeve and the A40 that connects the

carved into steep snow banks leads us to a tree-covered car

city to Chamonix.

park, where we stop for photos. After a good 30 minutes of

As we exit Thones and start to climb up to La Clusaz, it starts

snapping, we turn around and take another intriguing turn.

to snow. Cars coming the other way look well coated, but as

It leads up to the quaintest ski slope I’ve ever seen: no ski

long as it doesn’t get too heavy, we should be in for some great

passes or schnapps in sight, just locals going up and down

photos. We pull into a lay-by for some pictures looking back

via a rickety old lift! The car park presents us with a stunning

down towards La Clusaz; locals and holidaymakers look slightly

view across the trees and into the valley below – there’s no

confused by the sleek anthracite Bentley on UK plates burbling

denying this part of the world is absolutely stunning. After

through the village.

yet more photos, I check the time and realise we’re now well

We test the traction, it’s absolutely fine, so we push on.

behind schedule.

Gradually we start to climb up the hairpins of the Col des Aravis.

In the back of my mind has been the heroic drive down

Drivers coming down are starting to give us looks that suggest

to Monaco and also the fact that we’d soon be on Germany’s

this could be a really bad idea. The road is now all white, as snow

excellent Autobahns. What I don’t account for is traffic, lots and

is falling heavily. I jump out to grab a few photos, but it’s too heavy

lots of traffic, and also the fact that there’s two hours of driving

now, the camera battery is going flat and the camera refuses to

through Switzerland still to cover.

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I JUMP BACK INTO MY HEATED SEAT, LOOK ACROSS TO DAN AND ASK FOR HIS EDUCATED OPINION, SHOULD WE PUSH ON?

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OVER TEN YEARS OLD, IT REALLY IS AGEING LIKE A FINE WINE

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From the border at Basel, there are 450km to go, it’s raining

I could tell you about the drive back through Belgium and the

and the roads are gridlocked. A six-hour journey turns into a

fact that the sat nav decided to take us through central Brussels,

nine-hour journey, so I push our date with the Pistenklause back

but I’m boring myself telling you already. Needless to say, before

to 9pm, then 10pm. Finally we arrive at Sabine Schmitz’s family

long we were back at the Eurotunnel reflecting on another great

hotel Am Tiergarten, dump our bags and go in search of a fine

trip. Over 2,500 miles had been dispatched with ease; the

slab of Argentinean steak on a hot stone. It’s a Nürburg ritual not

Bentley is a phenomenal grand tourer – luxurious enough to

to be missed and doesn’t disappoint; we tip handsomely to say

transport you in heavenly comfort but dynamic enough to be

thanks for staying open for us.

enjoyable when you’re in the mood. It’s also blisteringly quick.

The next morning we head out to a few familiar spots around the Nordschleife for photos before catching up with Misha Charoudin, who shows us around Apex, an exciting new

The Continental GT may be well over 10 years old, but it

guesthouse and car-hire company. Keen not to make the same

really is ageing like a fine wine. I look forward to its replacement

mistake as yesterday, we say our goodbyes and set off for Calais.

– the benchmark has been set very high.

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WO RDS A ND PHOTO GRA PHY BŁ A ZE J ZU Ł AW SKI

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THE 90TH-ANNIVERSARY EDITION OF THE HISTORIC MILLE MIGLIA RALLY LEFT ME A BIT OVERWHELMED. ACTUALLY, MORE THAN A MONTH HAS PASSED SINCE THOSE FOUR MEMORABLE DAYS IN ITALY, AND I STILL CAN’T WRAP MY HEAD AROUND THE FACT THAT I WAS ABLE TO WITNESS IT ALL. It’s pure madness, the Mille Miglia, is what it is. Around 460 historic cars – some of them priceless one-offs –  and 1,000 miles of equally treacherous and picturesque routes through utterly epic Italian countryside. Cheering crowds, police escorts, celebrities, millionaires, torrential downpours, crashes, breakdowns and the heart-warming sensation of achievement when you and your car have made it to the day’s finishing line. And I got all of that just from following the rally in a humble 1.2-litre Fiat Grande Punto rented from Hertz at Bergamo airport.

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SMELL

First I’d like to tell you what this rally smells like. It smells good. After four days all of your clothes, including socks and underwear, have the distinct odour of oil and petrol fumes. It doesn’t go away, even after you’ve had a shower and washed your hair. It embeds itself deep in the fabric of your clothing and the very flesh in your nostrils. If you’re a classic-car nut, like all of the Italian people who gather in numbers any time the rally stops for lunch or at the beginning or end of a timed stage – and for whom the Mille Miglia is almost a national holiday – you enjoy it immensely. It’s the smell of the big 3.0-litre Bentleys, the almost

unattractive, boxy O.M.s, the small 750 and 1100cc Giaurs, Stanguellinis, Bandinis and all other mad Italian creations based on the Fiat Topolino’s underpinnings. It tells tales of highperformance Ferrari, Maserati and Lotus engines. Of two-stroke Saabs and flat-four ‘Pre-A’ Porsche 356s. When you’re standing in the middle of this gigantic

crowd of cars, somewhere in the middle of Siena, Verona, San Marino or Rome, just before the co-drivers hand the time cards to the judges, it almost feels like you’ve evolved into a new mutant-like species for which these fumes have become essential to survive.

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“YOU CAN FALL INTO A CORNER AND STAY ON THE POWER AND THE BACK COMES AROUND TIGHTENING YOUR LINE NICELY, BUT YOU STAY IN YOUR LANE. YOU DON’T NEED THE WHOLE ROAD”

TOUCH

Jochen Mass

I don’t recommend touching the cars – they’re better off without somebody’s greasy fingerprints on their glorious bodies. It’s

better to shake hands with the drivers – and what a line-up of

personas the Mille Miglia has to offer. The entrants come from all over the world: Japan, Russia, Poland, China, Australia, Canada, Armenia, Argentina and of course… the USA.

At this point, it’s important I mention that most of the

spectacular, fast and nimble Ferraris on the ‘grid’ of the Mille

Miglia are owned either by American or German nationals. But not all ‘Yanks’ choose Enzo’s magnificent creations. Some prefer to do things the hard way. It’s one thing to try negotiating the

narrow streets of some renaissance town in Tuscany in a small Siata or Cisitalia, but a completely different story if you want to do it in a massive Lincoln or SSK Mercedes.

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These competitors also have great stories to tell. For example,

“Donne e motori, gioie e dolori” is a quote reportedly attributed

you can talk to Formula One drivers like Jochen Mass or Adrian

to Enzo Ferrari. It means “women and cars, joy and pain”. If I had

Sutil about what it feels like to drive a Mercedes-Benz 300 SL

to add something to this particularly brilliant remark it would be

‘Gullwing’. Apparently it’s not as hard as it seems. “Of course

the feeling of anguish you get when you’re in Italy but know you’re

it’s got swing axles,” says Mass. “But it’s not vicious. You can fall

going home soon. Simon Kidston, to whom I had the pleasure to

into a corner and stay on the power and the back comes around

talk on one of the stops, reminded me that Enzo also said the

tightening your line nicely, but you stay in your lane. You don’t

Mille Miglia is “the most beautiful course in the world”. Hard to

need the whole road,” he adds.

argue with that.

Sutil just confirms this opinion: “You have to step into these

Where else can you follow two priceless Type 35 A Bugattis

cars with a feeling of the 50s, not of modern cars. Be aware of

followed by an Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS Spider Colli (one of two

their limitations and be alert. If you’re a good driver you get

ever made) driven at speed through the centre of a town like

rewarded. If you’re a bad driver… you’d better take it easy. The

Parma with a police escort. Pushing traffic out of the way, going

Mille Miglia is not a race like Formula One. It’s more about stamina

down bus lanes or even the wrong way up one-way streets. If you

than outright speed,” he concludes.

have the right stickers on your car, you can experience this first

And he’s right. It hasn’t been a race since Alfonso de

hand. Even in a beaten-up, rental Punto.

Portago’s fatal crash in 1957. Then there’s Jodie Kidd, who this

But that’s not all. Along the 1,600km of road, almost all of

year alongside Ian Robertson is driving a 328 Mille Miglia from

which is a special stage, you see people sitting in front of their

the BMW museum. She says they’re both very competitive, but

houses, cheering, waving Mille Miglia flags. Taking out their own

mostly aim to survive. Then whenever you see a huge crowd

classic cars (even if they’re really just a nicely preserved Fiat

of Italians with phones in the air, that means ex-US Masterchef

Mirafiori) out of their garages. Eating, drinking wine and prosecco,

judge and restaurateur Joe Bastianich has arrived. I ask him

celebrating this automotive version of the bacchanalia. When

whether he prefers cooking or driving (Joe took part in a 2400

the Mille Miglia comes through your neck of the woods, all normal

Silverstone E-Type Healey alongside an Italian friend of his, Luca

life just comes to a halt. You don’t go to work, you just sit on your

Pascolini)? “Writing songs and making music,” he replies, before

porch or in a café and admire.

fleeing the rapidly growing crowd of fans.

My favorite moment (except the absolutely apocalyptic rain in Rome) was when the cars were going through the sleepy town of Urbino (where Rafael Santi was born). The sight of 15/98, DB2 and DB2/4 Astons and other exotica like the 750cc Autobleu, C-Type Jags and the odd-looking Citroen DS in the quiet, almost empty and extremely narrow streets of this medieval town is something I’ll remember to the end of my days.

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“DONNE E MOTORI, GIOIE E DOLORI” IS A QUOTE REPORTEDLY ATTRIBUTED TO ENZO FERRARI. IT MEANS “WOMEN AND CARS, JOY AND PAIN”

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TASTE

Yes. Italian food is the best in the world. But it’s not the cuisine I’d like to focus on in this paragraph. It’s the fact that once you’ve tasted the Mille Miglia, you’re going to want to come back for more. Even if during those four memorable days, each night you’ve slept for less than four hours. Even if your priceless car ended up in a ditch at some point due to an error in judgement, even if after the rally the bill you’ll receive from your restorer will make your hair stand on end. It’s like a bug, an insect that gets under your skin and never

leaves. When you see the stickers from eight consecutive editions on some of the cars, you suddenly understand that others share this sentiment. The only problem is how to get yourself in. Having money is only the beginning. You need to have the right car (best scenario: one that has already taken part in the original pre-1957 race). It’s best if the make is rare (so that there aren’t too many cars of the same kind on the starting list) and you have to be known in the classic-car world. You have to be active, take part in other rallies, international concours d’elegance and events of that nature. And even then the organizers might not let you participate. All of this makes the Mille Miglia truly exclusive. Unless you

decide to sponsor the event, of course – like Villa Trasqua, an Italian winery, and the Polish mineral-water producer Cisowianka Peralge. Then you get to enter as many cars as you want.

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THE 6TH SENSE

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Even we if we don’t actually know what our ‘sixth sense’ really is, we might speculate that it comes from inputs that all of our other five senses send to our subconscious self. If I had to summarize how all of the above forms a separate category in my brain, I would say one thing. Even if the times of Stirling Moss’ victory – he covered the 1,000-mile route in 10 hours, seven minutes – are long gone and will never come back, the Mille Miglia is one of these special events that evokes a nostalgic feeling of a good old-fashioned sense of adventure, camaraderie, light-hearted foolishness, adrenaline-fuelled competitiveness and glamorous fun. And that’s a world that I want to live in. Permanently.

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LE CHAT RAPIDE WO RDS TIM HU T TO N PHOTO GRA PHY RO B OV E R Y

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2017 MARKS THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BEEFY JAGUAR XJ220

There’s no denying the world took notice when Jaguar revealed the concept at the 1988 British Motor Show. I was there, aged eight, and used up a whole 36-exposure film excitedly taking photos. We all know the story: the V12 that wasn’t to be and the twin-turbo V6 that was used, to get around emissions issues, save weight and allow the car’s wheelbase to be shortened. Until the McLaren F1 officially beat the record in 1998, the XJ220 held the world record for the fastest production road car at 217.1mph. Over 20 years later, that’s still enough to keep it in the top 10 of all time.

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Now, 25 years after the car launched, I’m in the passenger seat of an XJ220 and it’s really rather special. This is an XJ220

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been into walls at over 130mph, a 30mph impact wasn’t a problem. The XJ220 is strong,” Justin explains.

LM and it has 700bhp – or 800bhp if you run it on race fuel. It

In actual fact, the biggest issue was that the car had

was built by Justin and Don from Don Law Racing to fill a void

been sitting around for 20 years at Jaguar Heritage, and this

left by their yellow XJ220S, with a brief to recreate that car

had caused more damage than the 30mph impact. When

(sold in a moment of weakness), but make it better in every

they bought it from Heritage a few years ago, Justin and Don

way possible.

decided to restore it, but to LM specification, This included

“I really missed it, I used to drive it daily and just loved

a full carbon body and doors – the 220S had alloy doors –

the harsh appearance and that big wing,” says Justin. “So I

no air-conditioning, no stereo, full race suspension, six-pot

decided to build one even better. It’s what the 220S should

brakes, magnesium uprights and proper brake ducting. The

have been.”

car also runs full data logging, laser ride-height sensors,

But where do you just find an XJ220 laying around ripe for

steering potentiometers and brake pressure sensors. The

a rebuild? Well, this is Jaguar’s 1990 MIRA crash-test car. Its

XJ220S was supposed to run 680bhp, but in truth it was

sole purpose was to be run into a wall at 30mph and that it did,

about 600. I’m now strapped in and about to experience what

passing with flying colours.

700bhp feels like in a lightweight LM-spec XJ220. Excited is

“Based on the fact that we’ve repaired cars that have

an understatement.

THERE’S NO DENYING THE WORLD TOOK NOTICE WHEN JAGUAR REVEALED THE CONCEPT AT THE 1988 BRITISH MOTOR SHOW I WAS THERE, AGED EIGHT

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‘HOW WAS THAT?’ “BLOODY MEGA,” I EXCLAIM WHILE CLAMBERING OUT, SHAKING WITH EXCITEMENT Although this is a race car and there are no plans to make

Justin shouts across: “It’s so driveable, there’s so much

it road-legal, the cockpit is a nice place to be. Myself and Justin

torque and it doesn’t do anything horrible – it’s just lovely”. He’s

are both well built men, but there’s plenty of room. Justin says

right, it’s mega. On slick tyres, the cornering g-force is completely

a quick hello, and the car is already running as it’s being worked

new to me. We’re picking off historic race cars like parked cars

hard today as part of the press launch of the Silverstone Classic,

on a motorway. Not once does the Jag feel unstable; the power

where the 25th anniversary of the XJ220 will be celebrated.

delivery is just delicious and as the tyres get hotter it moves

Tyre temperatures have been checked, the doors close,

around in a wonderfully productive manner. I foolishly think that

Justin pushes his chequered Vans trainer down on the

I could enjoy this myself before remembering that Justin is a

clutch and engages first, and we’re off. I’m one of those silent

professional racing driver and I’m not. He’s making it look easy.

passengers – truth be told I’m a bad passenger – but Justin does

Like all the best things, our laps are over in a flash and we

this stuff every day and I’m sure he has no desire to show off

cruise back down the pitlane. I thank Justin, probably one too

any more than is needed to give me a thrilling experience. We

many times, and Don opens the door for a ‘how was that?’

build up the speed through Village, on to the Loop and out on to

“Bloody mega,” I exclaim while clambering out, shaking with

Aintree before accelerating hard down the Wellington Straight.

excitement. Justin and Don have built something very special

It’s fast, my God it’s fast. And it’s unrelenting: my body is trying

here. While I have no standard XJ220 experience to benchmark

to prepare for the inevitable gearchange or letting off, but it’s still

it against, I’m fully aware that this is a very well sorted car. Are

pulling. This car is an absolute torque monster and I’m grinning

they going to build a few of these, I ask. Justin just smiles back.

like a Cheshire cat.

Hmm… watch this space!

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VIRAGE VOLA N NTE MOUNTAIN HEIR WOR D S B R YAN MC MOR R AN PHOTOGR APHY TIM HUT TON

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THERE HAS ALWAYS BEEN A LONG-STANDING LOVE AFFAIR BETWEEN THE MEN OF THE WINDSOR HOUSEHOLD AND ASTON MARTIN At nearly 2,000 feet above sea level, a tight, steep left-hander

the luxury British brand. After receiving a 21st birthday gift from

means second gear is necessary. The agricultural gearbox doesn’t

his mother of a DB6 Volante (a car he famously still owns), the

take a wrist flick, more a big, over-exaggerated arm movement.

addition of a V8 Vantage Volante in 1987 saw the birth of one of

With a roar from the twin-piped sports exhaust, the big Aston

the most coveted Astons of all, quite by accident.

takes a breath and powers onwards to the top of the mountain.

Upon being loaned a V8 Vantage Volante back in 1986,

Despite the sun piercing through the dark charcoal clouds,

the Prince decided that while he loved the performance and

the biting wind ensures the temperature reminds us we’re still

dynamics of the car, he didn’t really favour the looks. Like the

in the depths of a February day – as does the minibus unloading

coupe version of the V8 Vantage, the open-topped car was

skiers at the Lecht Ski Centre. They seem quite baffled by the

gilded with protruding side skirts, a deep front spoiler, a blanked-

arrival of two obviously deluded chaps in an open-topped, classic

off radiator grille, a flip-tail boot spoiler and wheelarch extensions.

Aston Martin – especially one with such royal heritage.

This was the 1980s, though: a bodykit like that was very

Tight mountain roads aren’t really the natural habitat of the

much de rigeur for many performance cars and Aston Martin

Aston Martin Virage. The car is much more adept at being the

was no exception. Sensing Charles’ dislike, the company offered

consummate grand tourer, its big Tadek Marek-designed V8 the

to build him a car that would pair Vantage running gear with the

perfect lazy companion on a sweeping A-road powering you

more discreet styling of the standard V8 Volante. Although it was

towards a good lunch – or, in this car’s case, a polo lawn. You see,

initially to be a one-off, some of the company’s other favoured

this particular Virage was hand-built by the artisans at Newport

customers requested a similar specification car, and so a further

Pagnell for Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, as a suitable

26 were built along the same lines.

replacement for his earlier 1987 V8 Vantage Volante.

Never an official model, the car became known as the V8

There has always been a long-standing love affair between

Vantage Volante PoW (Prince of Wales) and today examples

the men of the Windsor household and Aston Martin. Charles’

fetch quite a sum when they come on to the open market.

father, the Duke of Edinburgh, drove a Lagonda, and his brother,

Charles’ car remained with him for a number of years before

Prince Andrew, favoured the DB7 and latterly a long-wheelbase

being auctioned to raise funds for the Prince’s Trust, so a

V8 Volante. But it’s Charles who is best known for his choice of

replacement had to be found.

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THE VIRAGE IS NOW IN FULL FLIGHT AS WE PASS THE SUMMIT AND START A RAPID DESCENT DOWN THE OTHER SIDE

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It was now 1993 and the Virage was the new jewel in Aston’s crown, having superseded the V8 models that had been in production for nearly 20 years. Designed by John Heffernan and Ken Greenly (lecturers at the Royal College of Art, whose previous designs had included the Panther Solo), the Virage was the result of Aston Martin’s gregarious chairman the late Victor Gauntlett’s desire to retain the coachbuilt luxury of old, but with a newer, more modern approach to styling and aerodynamics. The development of the revised V8 powerplant was handled by US engineering company Callaway, with a 16-valve version

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“JUST THREE SIMILAR CARS WERE BUILT, MAKING THIS ‘POW’ SPECIFICATION VERY RARE INDEED.”

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of the original 5.3-litre V8 installed in the new car. Although the Coupe was shown at the British International Motor Show in 1988, it would be a further two years before Aston Martin debuted the open-topped Virage Volante. A more powerful derivative was also planned, albeit later in the car’s life cycle, so until then Aston’s own internal Works Service division had developed a 6.3-litre conversion for the engine, pushing out a chunky 465bhp. Again, this was to come with wider coachwork, plus larger wheels and tyres. History repeated itself, with His Royal Highness loving the extra power, but not being a fan of the outlandish ‘wide boy’ styling. And so a standard ‘narrow-body’ Virage Volante with the more powerful engine was built to satisfy the performance and aesthetic desires of this discerning client. This time, however, just three similar cars were built, making this ‘PoW-spec’ Virage a very rare car indeed. For quite some time now, despite values of classic Aston Martins continuing their rise, the Virage has always been seen as a bit of an underdog. It has never had the same allure the previous V8 models enjoy and its star hasn’t shone as brightly as a result, with values keeping it at the more accessible end of the scale. So maybe now it’s time to redress the balance and re-evaluate the Virage. And if you’re going to do that, you may as well do it with the best one available – the one with the royal seal of approval. A plan was hatched… 61 PMC_3_Section2_Aw.indd 7

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After a quick early-morning flight from Gatwick to Aberdeen,

We hit the A939 and start our charge to the summit, where

we collect L199 GGS from its current custodian, who bought the

the ski centre is located. Spectacular scenery surrounds us as

car at the end of its royal duties. As it idles in the early morning

darker clouds warn us. Despite this, we pull over to lower the

air, you get the sense it needs, even deserves, a big sweeping

fully lined, power-operated roof. What becomes immediately

road to be happy. And so, camera gear loaded, we head off, our

apparent is how well insulated we’ve been in the Virage, the cold

destination literally upwards, high in the Cairngorms.

mountain air now evident as we climb higher and higher.

Settling in, you feel quality workmanship in every surface.

The firmer sports suspension fitted to this car allows more

Swathes of Connolly hide wash over the seats and dashboard,

communication with the road, which has obviously had its

and while they’re now an ageing 23 years young, the big Recaro

surface pockmarked by the ravages of the local climate, while

chairs have lost none of their shape, comfort or support. In fact,

the bellow from the exhaust gives the mountains an aural signal

the only way to date this Virage is by playing the spot-the-parts-

of intent. The Virage is now in full flight as we pass the summit and

bin-components game. That said, it all works beautifully.

start a rapid descent down the other side. The sun glares off the

Heading out onto the A93, we skirt along the River Dee and the Virage starts to get warm and settle into its gait. If you’re

wet road surface, but the big GT gives me confidence to maintain speed, select fifth gear and power on.

familiar with the more modern sports cars that Aston Martin

The majority of Virages were supplied with the rather laborious

produces, such as the Vantage and newer DBs, the Virage seems

three-speed Torqueflite automatic gearbox, so to have one with the

like an anachronism from a bygone age. To see it as such, though,

five-speed manual is a real treat. You get the sense its original owner

is to miss a huge part of its charm.

liked to drive his cars, rather than being driven by them. The big

No, you can’t precisely pin together the apexes of a series

cross-drilled and ventilated front brakes allow me to scrub off speed

of bends like you can in a Vantage GT12 or even the big Rapide

effectively when a corner comes at me quicker than expected. The

S, because that was never a part of its agenda. But it doesn’t

standard engine was powerful at 330bhp (although today’s hottest

waft like a Rolls-Royce, either. Given the car’s weight (over two

of hatches get close to that), but the 6.3-litre allows an additional

tonnes), it can never be classed as lithe, but what you find is that

126 horses into the stable, giving the car a better arsenal with which

the mass actually helps keep it planted, and although there’s

to counterbalance its regal presence. We come to a halt a few

the odd shimmy and shake at low speed, ride quality improves

miles later to bag some photos, and what traffic does pass shows

immeasurably as velocity rises.

appreciation to the mighty Aston.

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IT HAS BEEN SAID THAT IT CAN TAKE YOU 10 MINUTES TO APPRECIATE HOW WELL DRESSED SOMEONE IS, AND I FEEL THE SAME ABOUT THE VIRAGE

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A S T O N

M A R T I N

V I R A G E

V O L A N T E

P O W

I’M A BIG FAN OF CARS THAT CONVEY THE WOLF IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING DEMEANOUR AND I THINK THIS VIRAGE HAS THAT PERSONALITY No matter what model, Aston Martins have always

reminder of what went before and how that was needed to take us

commanded a strong national pride in people. They exude a class

to where we are now. Perhaps some will consider that viewpoint as

and (dare I say it?) a coolness that you just don’t get with other cars.

outdated as the car itself; well so be it.

It has been said it can take you 10 minutes to appreciate how well

It’s time to return the car to its home now. Heading back

dressed someone is, and I feel the same about the Virage. The last

towards Aberdeen, I have time to reflect on the Aston and this one

of the truly coachbuilt cars that the company made, it conveys a

in particular. It’s time for fans to take another look at the Virage,

brutal elegance that some others lack and that makes you realise

as it really does embody everything people loved about all the

how perfect a vehicle it is for royalty. It’s authority dressed in Saville

previous handcrafted models from Newport Pagnell. It redrew the

Row – more Gentleman’s Club than Club Med.

boundaries of what was expected from an outdated company and

And this car is full of surprise and delight. Within the centre armrest, you find a matching leather-wrapped jar in which His

plugged the gap from the older generation to the newer, smaller and sportier DB7.

Royal Highness would keep sugar cubes for his polo ponies. Down

This Aston, more than others, should be celebrated for

in the passenger-side footwell, a secret compartment for a small

ushering in a more modern style and way of thinking, while

handgun, put there at the request of his security detail. Cars like this

retaining some of the more acceptable idiosyncrasies of the

tell stories of a previous life, and this one has the life of the future

previous generation. It carries itself with grace and elegance

King of England embedded in its soul.

despite having to face difficult environments and criticisms

I’m a big fan of cars that convey the ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’

levelled at it. Viewed more with the heart than the adrenaline

demeanour and I think this Virage has that personality. I’ve always

gland, this truly is automotive royalty, full of pomp and

admired the Prince of Wales for his dignity and character and I think

circumstance in a refined way that only the most discerning of

it’s reflected well in this car. Living in the shadow of the younger,

drivers could understand. It isn’t brash or ostentatious, despite

perhaps more relevant, offspring is never easy, and many will

the heritage. It is dignified luxury.

perhaps even view it as a dinosaur from a time that has been and gone, no longer deserving of attention. I couldn’t disagree more. This car’s personality means it doesn’t need to shout about its existence, but it’s there as a gentle

Coco Chanel once said “some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity.” In trying to convey the unique subtleness of this car, I’m not sure I could have put it better myself.

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Abbe


BRITISH. RACING. GREEN (WITH ENVY...)

RE-HOMI NG SOME OF THE WORL D ’ S FIN EST MOTOR CARS FOR OV ER 25 Y EARS CO N TACT U S F O R M OR E DETA ILS ON T H E FEAU T U R ED H R H A STON M A RT IN V IR AGE

W W W. A B B EY F IELDC LA S S IC S . CO. UK PMC_3_Section2_Aw.indd 211 AbbeyfieldAdvert_V2.indd

05/07/2017 16:31 22:03 27/06/2017


1000KMS B R A ND S H ATCH APRIL 12, 1 970

PHOTOGRAPHY AND WORDS: JEFF BLOXHAM 66 PMC_3_Section2_Aw.indd 12

05/07/2017 22:03


The Siffert/Redman Gulf Porsche 917 leads the Ickx/Oliver Ferrari 512S through the bottom straight behind the Pits. The Ferrari finished eighth (213 laps), but the Porsche retired after Redman lost the Porsche at Westfield while being harried by Chris Amon in the Ferrari 512S.

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B O A C

1 0 0 0 K M S

/

B R A N D S

H A T C H

1 9 7 0

/

J E F F

B L O X A M

BACK IN 1970, I WAS A 17-YEAR-OLD MOTOR RACING ENTHUSIAST WITH A PRAKTICA LTL CAMERA AND A TAMRON 200MM LENS For the second year running, I had purchased a Brands Hatch/

In the afternoon as I walked from the GP loop to Clearways,

MCD season pass for all MCD tracks (although I was a bit miffed

I came across the now short-wheelbase Porsche 908 that Tony

that the price had rocketed from £7 the previous year to a

Dean had crashed a few minutes earlier. I remember being

whopping £8). My route to Brands Hatch in those days included

amazed as to how much damage had been done.

a bus to Shortlands, a train to Swanley and a bus to the track;

The following day I took the same bus/train/bus route to the

I didn’t pass my test or get a car until later that year. I was able

track, but this time the weather dawned very wet. If my memory

to spend both Saturday (practice) and Sunday (race) at the

is correct, the race began at noon, and in an attempt to reduce

track. This was to be the fourth BOAC endurance race meeting

the time it would take, it had been changed from a six-hour

I attended, although I missed the 1969 race as I had to go on a

race to a 1,000km event. However, this took no account of the

school trip.

weather, which began very wet, so the race ended up taking six

The Saturday I spent wandering around the paddock. Access to the cars was amazing, as unlike modern days, there were no pit garages; all the cars were next to their transporters.

hours and 45 minutes to complete. I chose to watch the start from the exit of Druids. Why? I couldn’t tell you now, although it might have been in a vain

I remember being disappointed that the second Team

attempt to get a bit of shelter from the rain. So I didn’t witness

Austria Porsche 917 was in plain white instead of the red and

the big accident involving Barrie Smith in the Lola T70 that had

white it would wear later in the year when it won Le Mans, due

started on the wrong tyres and ended up spreading bits of car

to a pre-Le Mans test at Wolfsburg destroying the intended car,

all along the start-finish straight. I did get to photograph Pedro

forcing another to be built up for the race.

Rodriguez spinning his 917 all the way down the hill from Druids

Getting up close and personal with these 917s , 512s and T70s was like being in heaven, to say nothing of all the Chevrons, smaller Porsches and one-off British chassis such as Astra, Nomad, Gropa and Daren.

to Bottom Bend, and he wasn’t the only spinner; many of the two-litre cars also rotated. As the race unfolded, the rain went away, but my memory is of a long, damp and grey day. Still, I had been there to see

In those distant days, you could walk around the track a lot

Porsche 917s do battle with Ferrari 512s, plus a side salad of Lola

like today, except the spectator banks were much closer to the

T70s – three of the most iconic and beautiful cars of the era.

circuit and for the budding photographer there were no debris

Also, 27 of the 72 drivers entered in the race were or would be

fences in the way, so it was a great way for me to learn my trade

Formula One entrants. I was very lucky to have witnessed these

(it also helped that the cornering speeds were much slower!).

top sports cars raced by top drivers flat out at Brands Hatch.

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In the bottom paddock, the Shell/Martini Porsche 908s of Tony Dean/ Hans-Dieter Dechent (on ground) and Gerard Larrouse/Gerhard Koch (on transporter), before being numbered and fully liveried

The privately entered George Loos/Jonathan Williams Ferrari 512S in red/gold livery was an unlucky non-starter. It was last in the queue for wet-weather Firestones and wasn’t ready in time for the start of the race.

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THE WRECKAGE OF THE TONY DEAN PORSCHE 908 AFTER HE CRASHED THE CAR DURING SATURDAY AFTERNOON PRACTICE (DUE TO THE RECENTLY RESURFACED TRACK AT CLEARWAYS BEING A LITTLE BIT SLIPPERY). TO MAKE MATTERS WORSE, DEAN HAD ONLY JUST SOLD THE CAR TO HIS CO-DRIVER HANS-DIETER DECHENT. 71 PMC_3_Section2_Aw.indd 17

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THE RICHARD ATTWOOD/ HANS HERMAN TEAM AUSTRIA PORSCHE917 THROUGH CLEARWAYS ON ITS WAY TO THIRD PLACE

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75

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Leaving Druids corner early in the race, the Vic Elford/Deny Hulme Porsche 917 (unpainted due to being a replacement

respectively. Following are the Siffert/Redman 917, Amon/Merzario 512S and Beltoise/Brabham Matra MS650.

car, after the original was crashed in testing). Next up is the Ferrari 512S of Ickx/Oliver; they would finish second and eighth


THE JEAN-PIERRE BELTOISE/JACK BRABHAM MATRA MS650 ROUNDS DRUIDS HAIRPIN, LAPPING THE JOHN L’AMIE/TOMMY REID PORSCHE 910 THAT FINISHED IN NINTH PLACE (211 LAPS), WHILE THE MATRA ONLY MANAGED 12TH (201 LAPS)

MID-RACE AND THE GULF 917S OF RODRIGUEZ/ KINNUNEN LEADS THE SIFFERT/ REDMAN CAR PAST THE PITS

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The Piers Courage/Andrea De Adamich Alfa Romeo T33/3. Piers spun the Alfa on lap four on the top straight, contacting the barriers and damaging the rear bodywork, and got the car back up to fifth after pitting for repairs before getting a puncture. De Adamich took over, but spun in the same place as Courage after two hours. This time heavy contact with the pitwall meant instant retirement in a cloud of sparks.

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THE JO BONNIER/REINE WISELL LOLA T70 MK3B HEADS DOWN THE PIT STRAIGHT ON ITS WAY TO SEVENTH PLACE (217 LAPS, 18 BEHIND THE WINNERS) 78 PMC_3_Section2_Aw.indd 24

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AN AVERAGE OF 500KM PER DAY, THREE RACES, ELEVEN SPECIAL STAGES –THIS IS BRUTAL WO R D S T I M H U T TO N PHOTOGR APHY R IC HAR D P WALTO N & TIM HU T TO N

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TOURAUTO 81 PMC_3_Section2_Aw.indd 27

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Five consecutive days driving 500km is a tiring proposition for most enthusiasts. Obviously it’s the kind of challenge Private Motor Club readers relish. But say you swap the nice Audi RS6 for an AC Cobra, and then add 11 special stages – two of which are night stages – and four race tracks. That’s what faced this year’s Tour Auto entrants as they rolled out of the Grande Palais in Paris at 6am on Tuesday 25 April. There was a total of 242 cars split into five classes, ranging from Mini Coopers to a flame-throwing Ligier JS2. Only a French event could see such a hardcore Le Mans racer made road-legal! From the ashes of the legendary Tour de France event, Patrick Peter of Peter Auto revived the classic in 1992. It was an instant success, with plenty of owners up for the challenging week of automotive hedonism. There are not many other events that can match Tour Auto’s gruelling schedule: long road sections, wheelto-wheel racing and flat-out special stages provide a breadth of challenge that even the Mille Miglia can’t compete with. Walking around the Grand Palais on the Monday as the cars go through their final checks, I simply do not know where to look first – it’s overwhelming. Let’s start with some of the Ferraris: three 250SWBs, 10 275GTBs, a 250 Lusso and then the 308s. I count eight; the Group 4 cars in particular look very purposeful and the fully original Pioneer-liveried example is a real icon for me personally, having raced a BBurago model of same around the carpet as a young lad. Ferrari and rallying is such an odd combination, but it just works. Cobras, every possible iteration of eligible Porsche 911, Jaguar E-Types, Alfa Romeo Juniors, GTAs, even a TZ1 – it’s all there in one giant fantasy room that in 12 hours’ time will be alive with a cacophony of highly tuned engines. But right now I’m stuck, unable to take my eyes off the six BMW CSL ‘Batmobiles’, all slightly different, all wonderfully lairy-looking.

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NOTHING QUITE PREPARES YOU FOR THE DISPLAY OF CARS IN THE ICONIC GRAND PALAIS

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2 5 0 0 K M S

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525

S T A G E S

km

PARIS >> ST MALO

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The next day arrives quickly and the planned departure slots go out of the window as the cars start to leave in no real order. Our hopes of following the Cottingham/Smith GT40 (1MUF) out of Paris for photos are quickly dashed. We rush back to the Audi RS6 – our mighty steed for the week – and set off across Paris towards Château de Neuville for the official start. In our excitement we forget to zero the trip computer, and reading tulip directions becomes a challenging task, as does trying to follow some of the competitors. We make one wrong turn that costs us 15 minutes. Thankfully, we still arrive in time to catch a few cars arriving and departing, as well as coffee – lots of coffee. We set off mid-pack, destination Le Mans but hoping to stumble across a quaint French village to grab a few pictures along the way. Unsurprisingly, there are a few, so we jump out, get some shots and move on, taking to the Autoroute to catch up to the first special stage. Getting into the stages is tricky, as they’re mostly country roads, so a fair amount of walking across fields is required. The alternative is getting set up before the stage starts, which then means you’re stuck until the whole grid has passed. We find the finish line, with cars full of adrenaline, brakes smoking, exhausts burning and crews buzzing as they get their cards time-checked. We get back on the road to Le Mans, and while it’s always special to be at Circuit de la Sarthe, after the visual treat we’ve had so far, the prospect of standing 10-20 metres away from the cars isn’t as exciting as usual. Food is also only available for the drivers: they eat very well, as you’d expect on any French event, but we choose to find some lunch before the 250km drive to St Malo for the first stopover. Paris was cold and wet, St Malo is dry but windy, but we catch up with the 1MUF GT40 and soak up the atmosphere as crews frantically work on the cars within the allotted time period. Tour Auto is won and lost on timings, and minutes lost to silly mistakes in Parc Ferme can be impossible to make up on the road. Day two sees the drivers face three special stages and a drive to Haute-Goulaine, just southeast of Nantes. The plan was to get up early, get the sunrise and hit the road to the first special stage. The sun did come out, but it also started snowing – the bitter air should have been a sign! Thankfully, it didn’t last long and the pools of water gave some great reflections. A quick breakfast stop saw us on the road following the 308s. There is simply nothing better than seeing a race car on the road and I just can’t see this type of event ever getting past the idea stage in the UK.

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519

km

SAINT-MALO >>>> HAUTE GOULAINE

The first stage of the day doesn’t disappoint. Derek Bell is

hotel for the night as the cars make for the Parc Ferme at Château

casually sat in a cafe having an espresso while he waits for the

de Goulaine, an old castle now home to the family of the Marquis

start. The stage is wet but beautiful, cutting through rape fields.

de Goulaine.

The locals have made crepes for the drivers and media and there’s a seemingly endless flow of hot, strong coffee on tap.

Sadly, our accommodation is a slightly less glamorous hotel in Nantes. Once again, the morning comes around all too quickly

It’s only day two, but the 1MUF GT40 is already looking strong.

as our 5.30am wake-up sees us down at the Chateau in time to

Also in the mix are the Ligier, one of the Cobras, a Jaguar LWE

catch the first of the action. An overnight frost followed by a bright

driven by a local rally legend and the MacNeil 911 RSR. The stages

morning results in some fantastic photos as cold engines warm

are full-on, all-out attack. We skip the second stage of the day to

up and the drivers scrape the ice from their windows. In the next

get ahead of the pack to catch the cars arriving and departing

paddock, a 911 warms up, popping, banging and spitting flames as

the picturesque town of La Roche-Bernard. The location doesn’t

the fuel hits the cold morning air. What a noise!

disappoint and the sun comes out, too. Perfect.

It’s such a beautiful morning that we decide to watch all the

Our photographer Richard P Walton has seemingly scaled

cars leave before heading for brunch. Today’s stop is in Celles-

a rock face to get a drone-like shot, John Marcar my co-driver

sur-Belle at the Abbaye Royale, another fine piece of 12th-century

is off shooting a daily video round-up and I’m perched on a wall

French architecture. Having taken the Autoroute to get back

waiting for the GT40 to come through. There’s no need to speed

ahead of the cars, we stop just inside the village to catch them

on the open-road sections, as timings are generous, but that

winding through the narrow streets. The noise and the visuals

doesn’t stop some of the more local drivers from continuing to

combined raise the hairs on the neck – where else can you get so

push. While it’s exciting to see the cars at speed, there remains

close to such rare and exotic race cars?

the fear in the back of my mind that something tragic could

This afternoon the drivers get to tackle the Val de Vienne

happen. Thankfully nothing does; throughout the week the police

circuit, a relatively new track at under 30 years old. A lap is 3.8km

presence grows and more drivers find themselves getting pulled

and the lap record is 1:28.091; the slowest cars will lap in just

over for speeding.

over two minutes. On track, the racing is fierce and battle scars

The 1MUF GT40 rumbles through the village sounding

are beginning to show on some of the cars. The 1MUF GT40

magnificent. They have already made the point themselves that

continues to strengthen its hold on the event with another race

there’s no need to speed on the public sections, as the GT40 at

victory, this time in the hands of James Cottingham. As the 308s,

low revs sounds full of purpose. I can’t wait to hear it flat-out on

Ligier and 911 RSR rumble out onto the circuit, we set off for the

track. With Richard safely back on the tarmac, we head off to our

evening’s Parc Ferme in Limoges.

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S T A G E S

HAUTE GOULAINE >>>>>>> LIMOGES

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The front of one of the Ferrari 250SWBs is looking decidedly worse for wear as the crew frantically fix a damaged wing and try to shape it enough to fit a new headlight. The buzz around Parc Ferme is intoxicating, some teams are in a race against time, others in a race to finish off a freshly opened bottle of Dom Perignon! The next morning, we collect our route book and head out to find a suitable location for the day’s first photographs. It’s still frosty and the cars are taking it easy on the cold tarmac as we stand in a field full of cows looking for that extra-special angle. From here it’s a short blast in the Audi RS6 to one of the special stages, where we decide to commit to boxing ourselves in and watching the entire grid pass through. The atmosphere in the car queue is relaxed and chatty. While there’s a competitive goal for the entrants, they’re all friends, standing around chatting and cracking jokes. Some poke around their rivals’ cars and others have power naps in the grass as the morning sun finally starts to warm up Tour Auto. Down at the start line, locals and media huddle around the cars as officials count them down. The special stages are fast, challenging backroads with little room for error – the AC Cobra driver must turn all their senses up to 11, as they’ll spin off down to the first corner. With all the cars through, we head to Loc-Dieu, a Cistercian abbey nestled in the countryside half-way between Limoges and Toulouse. We grab a quick canapé, drink and a few photographs across the lake before heading to the third track of the week: Circuit d’Albi. It’s a relatively simple affair, but given its rural location it has a fairly active calendar of racing, trackdays and filming.

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466

km

LIMOGES > TOULOUSE

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After the buzz of the special stage in the morning, the circuit

to an aural overload. The racing is close and hard-fought and the

activity isn’t quite as engaging for a spectator. I have no doubt that

perfect way to sign off Tour Auto’s track action. Next stop Biarritz.

in a car on track it’s fantastic, but our thoughts turn to tomorrow’s

The beach town is rammed as the cars roll in with a sunset

monstrous final day that will see us dip into the Pyrenees before

backdrop, and it should be the fitting end to a great week. But it’s

arriving in Biarritz and then heading back out for two night stages.

not over yet. A two-hour stopover swiftly passes and the cars

After a good session on Google Maps, we decide to head

roll out one more time for two night stages. In my opinion these

straight to Col d’Aspin in the French Pyrenees. This challenging

should have perhaps been held earlier in the week, as the sunset

ribbon of tarmac doesn’t disappoint, so we decide to recce the

finish was really perfect. By the time the cars finally cross the

road a few times in the RS6. You can read more on the Audi later

finish line it’s gone midnight and there’s nobody around apart

in the issue, but the way it tackles these mountain roads is mightily

from the officials a few members of the press.

impressive given we’re laden with luggage and camera gear. After

Back to those night stages, though. We fail to locate the first

some time looking for a good spot, we pull up and set up just as

one, so head directly to the final stage. There’s been a crash on

the Regularity cars come through. These are as impressive as the

the previous stage and crews are delayed, adding to the drama

rest of the field, but they can’t compete for outright victory.

of this final run. Confusion combines with fatigue as the drivers

It gives a good opportunity to work out angles in time for the

wait 45 minutes before getting on their way. The humid evening

competition cars to come through. I hear echoing through the

is rich with tension, the drivers’ faces showing they just want this

valley the sounds of GT40s, Cobras and angry little Alfas. Snow-

stage out of the way.

topped mountains, over a kilometre of viewable action and some of the finest cars ever made – this is automotive Nirvana.

I choose not to chat to the drivers here, as they’re in the zone, full of nervous energy and waiting impatiently. The cars finally set

With the final cars passing through, we jump back in the Audi

off. We’re stuck on the narrow road until they’ve all passed, at

and get very lucky. Looming large in the rear-view mirror are the

which point we make our own dash in the hope of catching 1MUF

Ligier JS2 and 911 RSR, and for over 10 minutes the three cars

crossing the finish line. We miss them by 10 minutes, grab a few

enjoy a spirited blast up and down the other side of the Col before

photos and head to our beds at the end of a 22-hour day.

we pull over to let them press on. Tour Auto just keeps delivering

James and Andrew not only win the class but also the overall

pinch-yourself moments. We pull over for a spot of lunch before

event, triumphing at all four circuits and seven of the 11 specials.

making our way down to Pau-Arnos, the fourth and final track of

1MUF finally crossed the line two minutes ahead of the Ligier

the week. And what a circuit it is, with a huge variety of corners,

JS2. Tour Auto was quite simply the best automotive event

tree-lined sections and a mixture of gradients over the lap.

I have attended to date. Being just the small part of it that we

Positioned in the middle of the circuit for the final race featuring the 911s, 308s, Batmobiles and lone Ligier, I’m subjected

were was brilliant; now I just need to work out how to get on the grid for next year’s event.

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TOULOUSE > BIARRITZ

585

km

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MINUTES WITH DEREK

“ANY RACING DRIVER WHO HAS GOOD EXPERIENCE CAN HELP A DRIVER SCRUB OFF TWO SECONDS A LAP JUST LIKE THAT “

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Here we are at Circuit d’Albi – is this your first time on the

thinking it best to keep them to myself, but he asked. Any racing

Tour Auto?

driver who has good experience can help a driver scrub off two

“It’s remarkable, but it’s an event I’ve never done before. It’s one

seconds a lap just like that once you’ve sat with them for a while.

of the classic events and I always wanted to do it when it was the

It’s been interesting.”

Tour de France. The Mille Miglia I have done, but this was another one I wanted to tick off the list. I didn’t know it was going to be

Are you pushing hard all the way to the finish?

quite as good as it is. The camaraderie is quite different to a lot of

“To be honest, I really want to finish now, so I’m trying to encourage

events where there’s wheel-to-wheel racing; it’s got a similar feel

him to take it a bit easier. Saying that, I know who I can and can’t

to rallying, very friendly and fun. Having said that, the racing part of

beat on track, having raced twice already. That poor car has been

it is an added bonus I didn’t expect. Getting to drive a beautiful car

through so much, hitting the skid plates on the special stages, skid

fast on track and on some of these unbelievable roads has been

marks all up the road. These Porsches are so tough; I have a new

a real treat.”

respect for these cars, even after years of driving them.”

What has been the biggest challenge?

Is there a particular car on the event you fancy a go in?

“Our navigation was very poor on day one. I have only ever driven,

“All the cars are really well prepared. The 1MUF GT40 is going

be that on the RAC Rally or the Mille Miglia, I just do the driving.

really well, just faultless, and one of the Healeys is flying, too. I

So having to read the tulips was a shock. My God, you have to

just don’t think I would want to be sat in one of those all day. I’m a

be so alert! Saying that, we haven’t missed a turn since my little

racer through and through, so it’s the race cars that really get my

off on the second day. I’m also not used to being a passenger,

attention. The Ligier JS2 – I’ve never stopped loving proper race

I actually haven’t been enjoying it. Carlos, the car’s owner and

cars – and also the MacNeil/Gunnar 911 RSR. That is beautiful, it

my co-driver, has done rallying and is an experienced driver, but

has so much power and has been so well prepared. I raced for

I just hate sitting there. Saying that, I’m the twit who stuffed it! He

Gunnar’s father at Daytona one year; if you’re in Palm Beach you

has asked me for feedback. I had been storing my thoughts up,

have to go and see him, he’s just brilliant, full of energy!”

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GT THE SCUDERIA BEAR ‘1 MUF’ GT40. DRIVEN TO VICTORY ON THE 2017 TOUR AUTO BY JAMES COTTINGHAM AND ANDREW SMITH WO R D S T I M H U T TON P H OTO GR APHY R I C H A R D P WALTON & T I M HUT TON

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In a few emails passed around prior to this year’s Tour Auto, a

Apart from a few photo opportunities, it wasn’t until the end

good friend Thomas Brimblecombe suggested some names we

of the day in St Malo that I was able to catch up with Andrew and

should seek out during registration. Notably James Cottingham

find out how their event was going so far.

and Andrew Smith in their popular ‘Scuderia Bear’ 1 MUF GT40. This would be their second Tour Auto; in 2016 they’d been

Leading your class and second overall – things are looking good!

well in contention with the leaders and won a few of the stages,

“Certainly, last year on the first day we had a major engine fire that

but three separate fires had led to them being unable to keep

put us out on the first stage and ruined our chances of the whole

in touch with the frontrunners. One thing was for sure, though:

event, so it’s a better start than last year!”

they’d be back! We caught up with them during scrutineering and said that we’d

Who do you think will be your main rivals over the week?

like to attempt to follow them over the week and catch up with them

“Well, the Cobras, the other GT40 and Jean-Pierre Lajournade in the

at the end of each day. In reality, this was easier said than done.

E-Type. He’s a very experienced rally driver and has driven a lot of

For starters, our plans to lead them out of Paris at dawn with the boot of the Audi RS6 open to allow Richard P Walton to get

these stages before. We have a good advantage over the other cars on the circuit, then we just have to be careful on the special stages.”

some great photos went to pieces in seconds. The cars started to leave, but not in exact numbered order. Our Audi was parked 100

Today feels like it has been a long day?

yards down from the entrance ready to jump in front. It started to

“Yeah, it has. Luckily we made some pretty good time and got here

rain and the crowds quickly grew; even at 6am, people were out to

a bit earlier, but by the time it comes to dinner, it’ll have been a long

see the cars roar off in to Paris.

day, so it’s important to get some good sleep each night.”

Then, 1 MUF suddenly rolled out of the Palais earlier than planned. We jumped in the car and grabbed Richard, who’d been

The GT40 is a pure race car. What’s it like keeping your

catching shots of the cars leaving, but within moments we were

concentration up on the road?

three red lights behind – our plan had failed!

“That last leg was over 200km. You have to keep your eye on the

Around 25 minutes later, we got lucky. Struggling to read the the route, we pulled into a petrol station – and jackpot! James and

ball, eat well and stay hydrated. It’s only going to get harder; today was just one special stage and a race.”

Andrew were parked up having just refuelled. The car barked into life, we gave them a thumbs-up and followed them, somehow,

How does the driving work between you and James?

although after a few miles and some good photos, we managed

“We alternate on the special stages and circuits. I raced at Le

to take a wrong turn and lose them again. This would happen a lot

Mans and James drove the road stages today. Tomorrow I’ll do

over the course of the week.

the road driving.”

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“THOSE SPECIAL STAGES ARE SOMETHING ELSE, 10-12KM OF ROAD LIKE NOTHING YOU’VE DRIVEN BEFORE” Day two and we struggled to catch up with the GT40 at any

You won both stages today, what were they like to drive?

point. There were a few brief waves and some photos during

“Those special stages are something else, 10-12km like nothing

the special stages, but Parc Ferme was away from our hotel, so

you’ve driven before. They’re flat-out and pretty much blind. It

we chose to catch them the next morning instead. Day three

doesn’t get any better than that.”

would see James and Andrew tackle two special stages and Val de Vienne circuit. We caught up with James at the end of the day

These few days have had a real mixture of weather. Has

for an update.

encountering four seasons in one day been an issue? “Today was fine, yesterday in the wet and the cold it was a

How does your plan change now you are heading into the

struggle. Once you’re wet, you’re wet all day. At the end of

final stages?

yesterday in Haute-Goulaine I was pretty miserable, but

“From this morning onwards, we’ve been aiming to be really

luckily I’ve a second suit with me. We also took the seats back

careful, but still go fast. Just not push it too much and create

to the hotel and dried them with hairdryers! The weather

unnecessary problems. Today we won both special stages

today was perfect; if it’s too hot, it can be super-tiring being

and the race, which has been fantastic, but we’ve been really

in the car all day.”

careful on the road and haven’t been caught speeding. Looking ahead, once tomorrow is out of the way, we really are on the

The last day looks like it will feature some great roads…

home stretch. There are a few things on the car we’re a little

“To be honest I haven’t a clue! Because we only get the road

apprehensive about, but the car is good and we’re looking after it.”

books each day, we just take each day as it comes. I know we end in Biarritz and will drive Pau-Arnos, but that’s all I know!”

There seems to have been a larger police presence on the public sections today?

How was it on track at Val de Vienne?

“We’re seriously careful on the road, there’s ample time and you

“On the track I really stroked it around, I didn’t want to go in the

can lose the event during the road stages with stupid mistakes.

gravel. You have to be so careful. There were a few sections

A lot of people take the road section for more than it is, there’s

where once you know the circuit you could take some curb and

plenty of time to do the sections even if you hit traffic. I think

I think you could carry so much speed onto that back straight.

those guys that drive too fast on the road should maybe go do

The car is great on track, though, everyone must have a GT40

a different event.”

in their life!”

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“WE HAD BEEN UP SINCE 6AM, DRIVEN 600KM AND IT WAS NOW ALMOST 1AM, EVERYONE WAS JUST KNACKERED”

Special stage SS1 – La Sarthe SS2 – Circuit du Mans (8 laps) SS3 – Saint-Gouéno - Le Mené SS4 – Les Roches du Diable SS5 – Rochefort-en-Terre - Pluherlin SS6 – Val de Sèvre SS7 – Circuit du Val de Vienne (8 laps) SS8 – Saint-Martin-de-Jussac SS9 – Beyssac SS10 – Saint-Céré SS11 – Circuit d’Albi (8 laps) SS12 – Col de Ares SS13 – Circuit Pau-Arnos (8 laps) SS14 – Hasparren SS15 – Orègue

Distance 9.07 km 33.48 km 11.28 km 12.15 km 7.95 km 7.90 km 30.14 km 7.75 km 9.45 km 14.00 km 28.52 km 9.39 km 24.24 km 4.21 km 13.50 km

Time 5:03.0 15:23.0 8:02.0 7:59.0 4:47.0 4:07.0 15:02.0 4:53.0 6:03.0 9:41.0 13:09.0 5:43.0 12:10.0 3:51.0 9:38.0

Pos. 1. 1. 1. 2. 1. 1. 1. 1. 1. 3. 1. 2. 1. 6. 1.

km/h 107.8 130.6 84.2 91.3 99.7 115.1 120.3 95.2 93.7 86.7 130.1 98.6 119.5 65.6 84.1

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IN OUR CLASS WE WERE VERY COMFORTABLY IN THE LEAD BY THE THIRD DAY, THAT’S WHEN WE STARTED THINKING WE ACTUALLY HAVE A CHANCE OF WINNING Friday morning was another frosty affair, but the sun soon

Was it disappointing to lose close rivals along the way?

broke through and we followed the cars down to the first special

“In our class we were very comfortably in the lead by the third

stage. Andrew and James looked relaxed and with only an hour’s

day. That’s when we started thinking we actually had a chance

driving under their belt since we last spoke, there seemed no

of winning and beating the the more modern cars like the

point in an a update. We stuck around to see and hear them tear

Michelottos and the Ligier. That became our focus, to stay

off the start line down to the first corner – one thing that’s easy is

ahead of the Ligier. You never like to lose rivals, you want as much

picking out the GT40 as it nears you on the road. You can clearly

competition as possible all the way to the end.”

hear it through the glass of the Audi RS6. We pressed on to get ahead of the cars as they started to arrive

Was there a favourite point of the tour?

at Abbaye de Loc-Dieu. Sadly we weren’t invited for lunch, and so

“All the special stages were very enjoyable, they’re just such an

headed off to sort ourselves out before making for the Circuit d’Albi.

adrenaline rush. For us, because we do so much circuit racing,

Once again the GT40 wins its race and it’s on to the final day.

the stages are a highlight. We never do that kind of thing, so it’s the

To say this final day was brutal is an understatement. It

most exciting bit for us.”

covered 500 kilometres, night stages and a race track. High up on the Col d’Aspin, we could hear the distinctive sound of the GT40

What was the hardest moment?

from what felt like a good mile away. After 1 MUF whizzed past, we

“Definitely the end of the last day. As I said before, it was the

needed to stay put to capture the other cars for the article. We

longest day, we had special stages, a race and it was the middle

eventually caught up with them at Pau-Arnos; there was no time

of the night – we were just exhausted. Even after crossing the

for an interview, but the feeling was they’d done enough and a

finish line, we were still with the car until almost 3am, as they ran

final win on track put them in a commanding overall lead.

capacity checks on the engines. It was still really special to roll

Rolling into Biarritz at sunset really felt like the finish, but

through the finish line, though.”

perversely, they needed to get back in the zone for the final night stages. We caught up with Andrew a few days later to discuss the

How did the car fair?

final hours.

“Well, we didn’t change the brake pads or discs. The car was very reliable; we changed a caliper because of a leaking seal and we

The last time I saw you, you and James were sat in the GT40

just used two sets of tyres. We tried to be very kind to the car on

waiting to tackle the final stage. It felt very tense…

the road stages, as that’s when something silly can happen, We

“We were concerned, there had been an accident on the previous

just wanted to stay away from any hazards and potholes.”

stage involving a Cobra and we got to the end of the stage and were trying to work out what had gone on. Then we arrived at the

So will you be back next year?

checkpoint at the start of the final stage and the marshals didn’t

“Oh yes, without a doubt. We’re actually in the middle of restoring

appear to clock us in, so we had to get out and go find them. By

a Cobra, so we’re thinking we might have a go in that next year!”

the time we’d clocked in we’d missed our cut-off time, and there were a few of us with the same issue, so there was a bit of a heated discussion going on. I think that when there’s been an accident on a stage they forget about the timing. We’d been up since 6am, driven

Thanks to James Cottingham and Andrew Smith for their time

600km and it was almost 1am; everyone was just knackered and

during and after Tour Auto. It was a real pleasure to be able to

wanted to get that last stage over and done with.”

share in the excitement of their 2017 journey.

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GTB IL GRANDE JOHN WO RDS BR YA N M CM O RRA N

PHOTO GRA PHY TO M SHA X SO N

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“ I TH OUG H T I WA S A VER Y GO O D E MP LOYEE BECAU S E I WA S SO TOTALLY CO M M I T TED TO WH AT EV ER WE WERE DO I N G , B U T T H AT ’S NOT THE S ORT O F E M P LOYE E THAT S OM E BOS SES WAN T. S OM E WANT THEIR D RIV E RS J U S T TO TU RN U P A ND D RI VE AN D KEEP THEI R COU NSEL, BUT T H AT WA S NEVER M Y WAY A ND I ST IL L DO N’T THI NK THAT IS HOW A ‘ T E AM ’ S HO U LD OPER AT E”

J

O

H

N

S

U

R T

E

E

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We weren’t quite at loggerheads, but we were both being

myself into the worlds of both Surtees and Ferrari in order to

stubborn about what we wanted. I was convinced a story about

understand better, and so I ordered 660 brake horsepower into

the great Jim Clark would make a better road trip, and therefore

life at the push of a little red button, slipped the gearbox into first

a better read. Tim felt differently. He wanted me to get more

with ludicrous ease and set off in pursuit of an answer.

in depth about what happened to Mike Hawthorn. “Pursue a

After winning six World Championships over four seasons

different avenue to everyone else,” he said “and try to find

for the Italian MV Agusta motorcycle team, Surtees tested both

out more about the accident. Tell people more about the man

an Aston Martin DBR1 and a Vanwall single-seater at Goodwood

and his flaws, rather than just another story about the young,

in 1960 for the respective team managers, Reg Parnell and Tony

playboy driver”.

Vandervall. Despite never having even seen the Goodwood

Then we got the news. While I knew a bit about John Surtees,

circuit before, he impressed both with his commitment and

very little of what I’d heard went beyond the usual of him being

inherent turn of speed. Yet he still remained firmly committed to

the only person to win a world championship on two and four

his career with MV Agusta, taking his third 350cc championship

wheels. I knew he still owned the BMW 507 he had had from new.

and fourth 500cc crown.

I also was aware that his young son had been tragically killed in

Now the bug had bitten, though, and he became a busy

a racing accident at Brands Hatch in 2009, ending a promising

man that year, as he also managed to drive some races for

career just as it started. I knew he was revered as being a man

Ken Tyrell in Formula Junior and Colin Chapman in a Formula 1

who had little time for the glamorous side of racing, but relished

Lotus, to such effect that Chapman offered him number-one

the challenges, both on track and in the workshop. But I also

driver status at Lotus for the following 1961 season. It wasn’t to

knew we had to pay our respects in our own way to a remarkable

be: John choosing to go back to Reg Parnell and race for him

man whose talent should have been recognised more.

for two seasons, first in a Climax-powered Cooper, then a Lola.

And so we begin.

He finished 1962 fourth in the driver’s championship – only his

I sometimes wonder whether that one fact about Surtees’

second year of racing cars instead of bikes.

championships overshadows every other achievement he has

A man of this talent, it has to be said, would not go unnoticed

ever had. Some people will probably have the opinion that his

within the walls of Maranello. Devoid of a championship win for

first love was always bikes, and that the transition to four wheels

some time, Enzo Ferrari needed new blood for the team. It’s no

was a byproduct of it after being persuaded to test cars (funnily

secret that Mr Ferrari wasn’t the easiest person to work for, and

enough by Mike Hawthorn), but the fact remains John always

having turned down an offer previously, many believed John

had a love of machinery, irrespective of wheel count. He was a

would never be asked again. After all, how do you say no to the

man of principle, of that there can be no doubt.

great man himself? At that time, John had felt he wasn’t ready,

He stood up to the fearsome Enzo Ferrari, after all, and

so he said no.

walked away from Maranello over differences that wouldn’t

But a second call did come, and this time he was ready. Il

have bothered a lesser man if it meant he got to drive for ‘Il

Grande John was about to be lead driver for the biggest team

Commendatore’. Unapologetic, with steely determination,

of them all.

Surtees was the polar opposite of the usual F1 driver of the 1960s.

Ferrari didn’t pay its drivers a lot; money was put into

Near-fanatical with the engineering, John was a champion who

the team. Perhaps the fact that you were racing for them

understood what made a machine fast and would always try to

was considered payment enough. Yet there was a deeper

immerse himself in the development programmes and tactics

undercurrent: the company wasn’t really making enough

of what he raced. This would ultimately cost him, and Ferrari, the

money. The Italian economy was in a bad way, affected by

24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966.

industrial unrest that caused a ripple effect through to a lot

It seemed to me that this was the story that needed telling.

of Ferrari’s suppliers. Also, just before John’s arrival, the team

What would cause this motorcycle champion from England to

itself had gone through a turbulent time, with many key players

stand up to the might of Maranello and defy what many would

defecting, and on the board, the removal of Mrs Ferrari from

consider holy commandments? Slipping behind the wheel of

the company was causing issues with an ageing Enzo between

the latest Ferrari 488 GTB, my thoughts didn’t seem to be any

his home and office lives. This all fuelled the rumours that

clearer as to why, but I needed to find out. I needed to immerse

Ferrari could be for sale.

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At the beginning of 1963, top management from Ford flew

GTB

to Italy to conduct a top-to-bottom audit of the company, ready to step in and take a majority shareholding in Italy’s finest. The sticking point, however, came in the form of a clause that stipulated Enzo himself would have to seek approval for the race team’s budget, an unacceptable restriction in the Old Man’s eyes, and so he walked away from the table – literally. Enraged by this, the top brass in Dearborn, Michigan, vowed to build a car that would beat Ferrari at its own game, leading, of course, to the GT40 programme. Although all of this was happening way above Surtees’ head, this chain of events signalled the beginning of the end for him as a Ferrari driver. He’d joined a lot of new people in Modena, one of whom was Eugenio Dragoni, the team manager. John knew that Dragoni had connections with Fiat back in Turin, although never really knew his intent, but it was clear that the two men didn’t see eye-to-eye. The 1963 season saw John being paired with Ludovico Scarfiotti, who just happened to be the nephew of Gianni Agnelli, the man one step down from the top of the whole Fiat empire. With Ford now out of the picture, a more acceptable approach from an Italian compatriot might be the answer to Ferrari’s financial woes. Arriving at Ferrari, John was in for a shock when he found out that the sportscar programme took priority over Formula 1. “I’d only driven a sportscar once,” he said “when I had a test for Aston Martin, but my first task was to go to Modena and sort out the sports prototype. In hindsight, I think it was all a question of money. There were a lot of wealthy clients and dealerships all willing to pay good money for the sportscar programme”. Yet even after all his testing, when he got to the actual race meeting, he found that the cars had been given to Maranello Concessionaires for Graham Hill’s benefit. John was given the lead factory car, the one they hadn’t had time to test, and the frustration was telling. The biggest casualty of all, however, was the Grand Prix cars. “I even said at one point,” John continued, “if we wanted to do Formula 1 properly, then we had to stop sportscars completely”. That wasn’t possible in Enzo’s eyes, because sports prototypes bore a closer resemblance to his road cars, and success from that side of the business provided the funding for racing.

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JOHN ALWAYS HAD A LOVE OF MACHINERY, IRRESPECTIVE OF WHEEL COUNT Pushing the 488 harder and faster around the roads that

Despite others protesting otherwise, Enzo allowed John

surround Goodwood, I can concur with Enzo. Given what Ferrari

to race a Lola sportscar in North America as long as he didn’t

has now achieved with this stunning road car, it’s clear that

compete directly with a Ferrari. At the end of the 1965 season,

Formula 1 technology is breathing through it. A seven-speed

with just two world championship races to go, John crashed

dual-clutch gearbox that operates faster than a blink, a traction-

the Lola-Chevrolet heavily in Canada, almost killing himself.

control system that allows me to dance with the car rather than

Back in Maranello, those same dissenting lieutenants felt that

the devil, and active aerodynamics that work so intuitively I’m

to crash in anything other than a Ferrari was just another form

staggered to witness the speed I can carry into the tightest of

of treason.

Sussex corners.

Despite this, John continued to have a good relationship with

In 1964, despite everything, John clinched the World

Enzo, not least since he had taken care of his insurance despite

Championship for Ferrari in just his second season with the

not being at the wheel of a Ferrari. He would spend time away

team. He took the points necessary at Watkins Glen, strangely

from the business with Enzo and his wife, and although they

enough in a car that wasn’t painted red, but in the US colours of

didn’t always agree with each other, they respected each other.

blue and white. A disagreement between the FIA and the Italian

It was this, John feels, that was the start of Dragoni’s conspiracy

Automobile Association regarding the number of 250LMs being

to get him out.

built for homologation caused Enzo to withdraw his entry for

During 1966 and the testing of a new sports prototype,

the US Grand Prix and have the car race under the banner of his

Dragoni would damn John in his report to Enzo. When he drove

importer, Luigi Chinetti’s North American Racing Team (NART).

the new 12-cylinder 312 Grand Prix car, however, John realised he

Although other teams were developing their cars fast, Ferrari

didn’t have the team on his side. Feeling that he was being lied

continued to frustrate the engineer in John, with 1965 seeing

to about the performance of the car, John wanted to race at

them retain the older V8 engine rather than use the new flat 12

Monaco in the previous year’s machine. Dragoni went into battle

they’d developed. This engine would, in John’s mind, give them

with him, insisting he had to drive the new one.

much more dominance. It wasn’t to be, and feelings continued

“But I want to win,” insisted John, “and I can win in the old car.”

to fester. Although his relationship with Enzo was on the whole,

Dragoni said: “No, you’re driving the new one”. The argument

a happy one, others would poison the team spirit, with Dragoni

continued. “If I drive this [new] car in the manner I need to to

undermining Surtees whenever he could, both to Ferrari and the

be quick enough to win, it’ll break”. Sure enough, 15 laps into the

Italian press.

race, the car failed.

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I CLOSE MY EYES AND TRY TO IMAGINE WHAT JOHN MUST HAVE FELT LIKE TURNING UP HERE FOR THAT VERY FIRST TEST IN A RACE CAR A revised engine at Spa gave John one of the greatest

only one ever to win World Championships on bikes and cars. I

victories of his career, yet despite the team’s jubilation, Dragoni

felt like this was too much of a cliche – an albatross even. Getting

showed no gratitude. Now, they had to be ready for Le Mans.

to know him, if only through books, films and articles, showed me

For two years, Ferrari had kept the Fords at bay, but only just.

that this one statistic overshadows a man whose achievements

Their threat to bring down Ferrari for shunning their deal was a

far surpass even that. I knew he was a fighter, a winner and a

real threat, and with every passing year getting closer. John and

true champion. I knew he needed a different story telling. The

the team, however, had a plan. They would set the Ferrari 330 P3

man who walked away from the team that could have given him

sports prototype up like a Grand Prix car. John would start and

even more championships, yet did so because he wouldn’t be

race like only he knew how, forcing the Fords to give chase and

compromised in his efforts.

hopefully break down early on. Until the reality of Dragoni’s plan came to fruition.

John would go on to drive the fearsome Can-Am cars, put the name Honda on the F1 winner’s podium for the first time and

“Mr Agnelli is coming today, and he would like to see Ludovico

devote almost inhuman effort to raise funds for the charity that

start the race,” he told John. Enraged by yet another rebuttal by

carries his son’s name. Yet through all this, he retained a humility

Dragoni, John argued the case, but to no avail. He had denied

that’s sometimes missing from the sport’s greatest names.

him the win at Monaco and he was undermining him here. John

I park the 488 in the paddock at Goodwood, and while it

walked away there and then. Dragoni put the young Scarfiotti

ticks itself cool, I close my eyes and try to imagine what John

into the car to start the race as he intended, and just five hours

must have felt like turning up here for that very first test in

into the 24, he tangled with two other entrants and crashed the

a race car. Goodwood is an exceptionally fast circuit, as are

Ferrari, eliminating the team from the race. Ford locked out the

many of the ones derived from airfields, but he was already

podium to begin its historical dominance at La Sarthe – the

champion-fast, so would it have fazed him at all? I’m convinced

revenge it had promised. Ferrari never raced a full factory team

that his fearless approach to being fast was the same as his

there again.

fearless approach to not being intimidated by anyone. Here

John talked things through with Enzo, but by now other forces were in motion with the Fiat investment, so the two men parted ways. “Sad, sad,” was John’s prudent recollection.

was a man of principle. His efforts with MV Agusta earned him the title ‘Il Grande John’ from the team’s fans, but that was almost a misnomer,

When we decided to pay our tribute to John Surtees with

lost in translation, as it literally means Big John. Not ideal for the

an article, I knew it had to be different to everyone else’s. Many,

slender, almost whippet-like Surtees in physicality, perhaps, but

rightly so, will concentrate on the fact that John had been the

in strength, heart and conviction, most definitely.

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I L

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G T B

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WO RDS A ND PHOTO GRA PHY TIM HU T TO N

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TOYOTA

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IN THE SUMMER OF 1964, RACING MANAGER JIRO KAWANO SELECTED A SMALL TEAM TO WORK WITH HIM ON WHAT WAS REFERRED TO AS ‘PROJECT #280A’ The Toyota 2000GT is one of those cars that we all know exists, but how many of us have actually seen one on the road? Experts believe that around 351 cars were built, so even a Ferrari 250 GTO is a more common sight. Without a racing pedigree that would have them competing in historic events, many 2000GTs have disappeared into collections. Florida-based collector Craig Zinn has 14 of them – keen, to say the least! So why did Toyota end up making the 2000GT? By the midsixties, the company was a major manufacturer of practical, high-volume cars, but there was a desire for an exotic GT car to join the ranks. In the summer of 1964, racing manager Jiro Kawano selected a small team to work with him on what was referred to as ‘Project #280A’. An MGB, Triumph TR2, Abarth Bialbero, Porsche 911, Jaguar E-Type and Lotus Elan were acquired for assessment. The Jaguar’s grand touring ability and performance were to become a benchmark, while the Lotus’ simple design was also a point of inspiration. There were to be five main characteristics: high performance, daily ease of use, compliance with export regulations, quality over quantity and a sound basis for a GT-class racing car.

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In 1965, the team transferred to Yamaha, where the main structure of the car would be designed. Yamaha had previously

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Toyota – one of the more popular choices of car manufacturer in the region.

worked on a project with Nissan that had never come to fruition,

As we cruise along Sheikh Zayed road, I have time to absorb

but Kawano knew the company would be a great partner for his

the stunning interior. The Yamaha partnership is obvious: the

venture. Notable firsts for a Japanese production car included

piano division created a truly stunning woodwork interior

four-wheel disc brakes and a limited-slip differential.

from a mixture of rosewood and mahogany. Elsewhere,

The beautifully clean design is largely thanks to chief body

deep-set chrome-surround dials let you know that this isn’t

designer Satoru Nozaki. Minimum drag was the goal, along with

just another Japanese saloon car, and the manual gearstick

aerodynamics that would avoid the high-speed rear-end lift the

confirms it.

E-Type suffered from. Retractable headlights and integrated foglights completed the clean silhouette.

This was one of just two cars delivered new to Portugal; the team at Tomini found it in Japan and brought it into their

Just three months after construction started, the Toyota

collection in 2015. I’m truly humbled by their willingness to take

2000GT was revealed to the world at the 1965 Tokyo Motor

the car out for filming and photos: secretly, I know they love

Show. And now, 52 years later, here I am sat inside a beautiful

giving their cars a run out from time to time, but this is a very

example from the Tomini Collection in Dubai. It’s quite fitting

special moment, reinforced by the constant flow of other drivers

that we’re surrounded by sand dunes while in a Pegasus White

almost crashing while trying to work out what it is.

THE BEAUTIFULLY CLEAN DESIGN IS LARGELY THANKS TO CHIEF BODY DESIGNER SATORU NOZAKI

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There’s no denying Toyota succeeded with the GT brief.

power of its European rivals, but everyone commented on

The 2.0-litre DOHC six-cylinder engine is deliciously smooth

its sweet handling. The gearbox was also well regarded – a

and inside it’s the right kind of quiet. Once off the highway,

favourite trick of Carroll Shelby was to take passengers out for

we get to test the handling in more detail. The 2000GT won’t

a drive in one and never touch the clutch after take-off. Toyota

break any speed records, but then no GT car should – it’s

invested time and money into an American race programme

just that some do. When new, 0-60mph was dealt with in 10

with Shelby in a bid to ‘win on Sunday, sell on Monday’, but alas

seconds and a top speed of 128mph could be hit, with some

the car just didn’t quite have the power of the championship-

patience required. A low centre of gravity and suspension

winning Porsche 911. After just a year, Toyota pulled the plug

geometry mean the car corners well and and stays flat

on the effort.

– impressive for something produced almost 50 years ago.

This was an expensive car (some say Toyota lost money

Strong braking boosts confidence yet more; this is certainly

on every one), which made breaking into the vital US market

a car I wouldn’t mind hustling along an Alpine pass while

tricky, especially when the Jaguar E-Type was around $800

humming ‘On Days Like These’.

cheaper and the race-winning Porsche 911 just $500 more.

We park up by some lakes to watch the sun go down. With

Just a few years later, the Datsun 240Z arrived. At half the

the quirky headlights dipped, there’s no escaping the fact that

price of the Toyota and boasting good looks and a more

the 2000GT is a truly beautiful car. There’s no fuss in its design

powerful engine, this was what America had been waiting for

and the lines are clean, as are all the areas like lights that can

from Japan.

often ruin a simple body shape. The 2000GT was perhaps not quite as successful as Toyota hoped it would be. On the race track, it lacked the

But their loss is our gain and now the Toyota 2000GT is a rare and beautiful object that holds a special place among some of the finest cars in the world.

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I WOULDN’T MIND HUSTLING ALONG AN ALPINE PASS WHILST HUMMING ‘ON DAYS LIKE THESE’

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A FAVOURITE TRICK OF CARROLL SHELBY WAS TO TAKE PASSENGERS OUT FOR A DRIVE IN ONE AND NEVER TOUCH THE CLUTCH AFTER TAKE-OFF

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SENSE & SENSIBILITY WOR D S B R YAN MC MOR R AN PHOTOGR APHY R IC HAR D P WALTON

This job used to be easy. It was simple, you had new cars and

mind you), traceable and valid competition pedigree or a history

you had old cars. That was that. Now, it has all changed. We

file that would make a librarian weep are all key ingredients that

have new cars, old cars, classic cars, ‘new’ classic cars, and

should go hand-in-hand with a car built in very small numbers.

– my personal, laughable, favourite term –  ‘neo-classics’.

No matter your budget, you can find them out there, whether

Where will it end?

you want to spend 10 thousand or 10 million.

Now, I don’t want to be despondent, nor do I wish to

This really is key in the market at the moment. Too often I’m

sound like your gin-soaked old uncle who sits in the corner

called to look at mediocre cars that have been messed with in

constantly decreeing that “it was better in my day”, so I won’t.

the aim of turning them into a bona-fide money spinner, yet

Instead, my fellow enthusiast, I will try to be positive, to guide

the reality is the owner has just dug themselves a money pit.

you through this automotive minefield and to offer you some

Colour changes (sometimes for a modern hue), more up-to-

solace and knowledge, in the hope that it all starts to make

date gearboxes, even cars that were once hard-tops made into

some sort of sense.

convertibles – all these just detract from a car’s originality, and

What became very apparent over the past two years was that classic cars had become a tradable commodity, much like

therefore its value. You can’t expect Condition 1 money for a Condition 3 car, it just isn’t going to happen.

art and antiquities. If the provenance was there, it was sellable,

And I despair at witnessing people at auctions paying so

and even in some cases if it wasn’t, people were getting caught

much for inferior cars because they’re afraid if they don’t,

up in the excitement of it. The big auction houses were keen to

someone else will and stick it up for more money next week, and

outdo each other in catalogue size and sale numbers, if at the

therefore they’ll have missed out on that profit. Please, people,

expense, in some cases, of quality.

stop doing it. Check the history, do your homework and set your

Cars that were relatively common in number started to

budget accordingly. If you miss it, then it wasn’t meant to be.

fill the halls of the Grand Palais and Goodwood in an effort to

This can happen at both ends of the scale. Don’t think for a

bolster sales and I think many new buyers got swept up in the

second that something “not quite right” is purely dealt from the

tidal wave. The cars were relatively affordable, but nowhere

hand of a seedy-looking chap in a sheepskin jacket, with a well-

near as desirable as the proper blue-chip lots and the inevitable

worn drill that fits the rear of an odometer surprisingly well. Big

has now happened – prices for these cars are stagnant, some

auction houses can also be the source of cars that set out to

even slipping back. These were the much-hyped ‘neo-classics’,

fool, intentionally or not.

such as 80s Ferraris and Lamborghinis.

Let’s take the case of the star of Gooding’s catalogue at

These cars were built in much bigger numbers than their

this year’s Amelia Island auction, the delectable Jaguar XKSS.

predecessors, so they lack what everyone really wants – rarity

Just 17 of these were built (one was famously owned by Steve

(although it’s unlikely you’ll stumble across a pair of Countaches

McQueen, no less) and while they were effectively converted

in a Waitrose car park, I agree). There’s an element of bragging

D-Types that had sat unsold, they’re certainly a jewel in Jaguar’s

rights now with classic cars, and it’s not so much about value, it’s

lustrous crown. Yet this one failed to sell, and it was all down to

more about having something that others don’t.

its history.

If we were to put down two definitive rules for buying a classic

Like some, chassis number XKSS 716 had at one stage been

car these days, they could only be rarity and provenance. With

converted to a D-Type. And then a while later, converted back.

those two guiding parameters in mind, you’re off to a good start.

Originality gone. Its provenance, too, was unremarkable, as was

Witness the crazy prices for the air-cooled 911s at Battersea last

its condition. Then came the realisation that the engine block

year. Rare cars, and so if you want one, you have to pay for the

wasn’t the original either, and this being announced just before

privilege. As I keep telling people, you can buy condition, but

the bidding started put potential suitors on the back foot and

what you can’t buy is history. Single or celebrity ownership (but

caused many to doubt their offers without the auction having

I don’t think a Range Rover once owned by a Kardashian counts,

time to steady their nerves

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The car was bid to $11.9m and went unsold. Gooding’s had

will take an old E-Type or Land Rover and completely restore it

set its estimate at $16-$18m based purely on the fact that a

for you, back to like new? Well, there’s no difference to them

D-Type had achieved $21m last summer and usually XKSS’ can

doing it over anyone else, so fear not, these won’t damage the

command more money. But that D-Type was the sole surviving

values of what’s currently out there. And remember, these

Le Mans car, completely untouched and therefore probably the

brands are forging paths into new territories, such as the Far

best you’ll find. This XKSS simply wasn’t.

East and the southern hemisphere, where their history isn’t as

So, having dealt with the provenance argument, let’s turn

well known as it is in Europe or the US, so anyone who wants

our attention to scarcity. And here, also, we have a potential

to get involved in a brand now has the opportunity to buy a

issue, but this time it’s the actual manufacturers who are the

restored classic from a reputable source. Not something that

cause of it. You simply cannot expect the likes of Aston Martin,

was perhaps available to them in their own country.

Jaguar, Land Rover, et al, to just sit by and look at everyone else

I’ve spoken previously about restorations and cars being

making money from their past endeavours. Sniffing out that

‘over-restored’ to look like new again to the point where they’ve

cake has led to them wanting a slice. And herein lies the case for

had all originality replaced. Don’t get me wrong, I understand

‘continuation’ cars and ‘heritage restorations’.

that cars are mechanical things and that over time parts need

It’s not really a new idea: Aston Martin almost pioneered

changing. That’s a factor of any car, no matter how old. All I will

it in the late 80s when then-chairman Victor Gauntlett

say is that I love originality, and there are certain elements that

commissioned the DB4 GT Zagato ‘Sanction II’, with the four

cannot be replicated, such as leather quality and the patination

remaining unused chassis numbers from the original build run.

of paint. But I would rather see restorations than cars just

Fast-forward to today and Jaguar has done the same with the

rotting away and never seeing a twisting mountain road or

Lightweight E-Types and XKSS. These cars cannot be viewed as

racetrack again.

copies or replicas; after all, they were officially sanctioned (and,

And don’t forget the world of ‘backdating’ or ‘updating’.

in the case of the Jaguars, actually built) by the manufacturer.

This is where you take a newer car and make it look older (a la

But where does that leave them value-wise compared to an

Singer’s simply glorious interpretations of Porsche 911s), or

original car from the period?

make an old car modern (like an Eagle E-Type). Again, these

I don’t think they should command the same value, and

cars don’t pretend to be anything other than what they are, so

indeed, in the eyes of the market a Sanction II DB4 GT Zagato will

I have no qualms about them at all. No-one is out to fool anyone

always trail an original, although they still fetch a significant sum

with them, so they have no affect on their original counterparts,

in auction halls when they do appear. And this will be the case

although it can make them harder to value, as you have no

with the Jaguars in the years to come. They cannot be classed

barometer to use.

the same, as they are, after all, new cars. They have no history as yet.

Does your head hurt yet? Do you now understand what I meant in my opening gambit? It’s a minefield out there in the

Of course, I’m sure if one of the six E-Type Lightweights that

classic car world, when it used to be really simple. Thankfully,

have just been built ever did hit the market, it would sell for a

though, it gives us no shortage of wonderful metal and

handsome price to someone who, perhaps, missed out on the

chrome art to lust over at Goodwood, Ville d’Este, Pebble

initial build. However, if Jaguar is clever, much like McLaren was

Beach and the like. There are still amazing cars out there,

with the F1, the company will have ensured very tight control

available to all budgets – just don’t be fooled by the hype that

of who buys and sells these cars. And will these Jaguars, or the

can be bandied about by sellers, whether they be private,

‘new’ Aston Martin DB4 GT Continuation, have a downward

dealer or auction.

effect on the originals’ prices? In a word, no. If buyers are canny,

Be clear on where your financial boundaries lie and be aware

they’ll understand that an original carries what we spoke of

of the differences between all of these mindboggling terms that

before: history.

people throw about. A car will only be worth what someone is

So what of the ‘heritage restorations’ that are now being carried out by manufacturers, where, again, Jaguar Land Rover

willing to pay for it, but if you do find that car with the Holy Grail of provenance and rarity, be prepared to dig deep.

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IT’S QUITE POSSIBLE THAT THIS IS ALL THE CAR YOU’LL EVER NEED: THE ULTIMATE ONE-CAR GARAGE. WO RDS TIM HU T TO N

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600BHP 140

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THE AUDI BRINGS SUPERCAR-BAITING PERFORMANCE IN A STYLISH PACKAGE When we decided to cover Tour Auto, we knew we’d need a fast

Chasing GT40s and AC Cobras along French A-roads, the car

and spacious car capable of carrying film and photography kit,

feels surefooted. Dynamic mode firms up the ride, but not to a

three men and a week’s worth of clothing. While it was once

bone-shaking level and on the smooth French roads it’s perfect.

quite a booming market, the fast estate category now just has

In the UK you might want to play around a little and create your

a couple of contenders, namely the Audi RS6 and Mercedes-

own setup using the clever Individual mode.

AMG E63. While the Mercedes is a bit of a hooligan and has

With another checkpoint reached, we leave the race cars

the most luggage space, the Audi brings supercar-baiting

to tackle a special stage as we return to the Autoroute and

performance in a stylish package.

get back in front of the cars. Slipped back into Comfort mode,

When the e-mail comes through saying that the RS6 is the

the RS6 becomes a smooth cruiser with the ventilated and

top-of-the-range Performance model in Nardo Grey, we know

massaging seats turned on, you could be forgiven for thinking

it’s going to be a great trip. Knocking on the door of 600bhp, the

you’re in something British and extremely expensive.

RS6 can sprint from 0-60mph in just 3.7 seconds. In Dynamic mode, you can play the part of the hooligan: pops and bangs are your reward for blipping the throttle and unlike other manufacturers, they don’t feel faked. Acceleration is relentless, long into licence-losing territory.

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DRIVERS IN BMW CSL ‘BATMOBILES’ AND ALFA GTAS EVEN COME OVER AND TELL US THE AUDI IS COOL I should also mention just how good the stereo is. The

It would have been very interesting to take to one of the race

Bang & Olufsen system is a £6,300 option admittedly, but

tracks with the Tour Auto cars and see how we faired against the

my word is it good. Impromptu singalongs are thankfully

GT40s, 911 RSRs and Ferrari 308 Group 4 rally cars Even in the

cancelled out as the volume is cranked up with no vibrations

hands of us amateur drivers, I think we could have challenged for

or nasty noises. The depth of sound also means delicate

a strong result!

songs can be enjoyed as the night draws in and passengers

Our Audi RS6 Performance as tested cost £103,215.

are having a power nap before we head to the final night

Personally I would un-tick the power door closure, night vision,

stages of Tour Auto.

speed-limit display and Audi Connect boxes to get the car down

In just five days, we cover 2,500 miles. The three of us are exhausted, the competitors having steered their classic racing

to a nudge under £100,000. But it has to be in Nardo Grey – everything should be in Nardo Grey!

cars even further must be absolutely broken, but the Audi RS6 is ready to keep on going. Probably the greatest asset the RS6 has is that it’s a seriously cool-looking car in Nardo Grey. Drivers in BMW CSL ‘Batmobiles’ and Alfa GTAs even come over and tell us the Audi is cool. To stand out in a crowd of some of the finest racing cars ever made is no mean feat and perhaps something the Mercedes wouldn’t have done.

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IT WOULD HAVE BEEN VERY INTERESTING TO TAKE TO ONE OF THE RACE TRACKS WITH THE TOUR AUTO CARS

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LAND OF DISCOVERY WO RDS TIM HU T TO N PHOTO GRA PHY RO B OVE R Y

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MOST CAR MANUFACTURERS HAVE AMBASSADORS, SOME ARE TO HELP THEM TARGET A LIFESTYLE AUDIENCE AND SOME ARE THERE TO SHOW THAT THIS CAR MEANS BUSINESS

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5 T H

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After an already long day of driving I find myself sat at dinner on

With barely time to let our dinners go down, we head off for

a table with Ben Saunders. Rather embarrassingly, I didn’t really

the final part of the driving day: a night drive through the Eastnor

know too much about Ben. I’m not a particularly adventurous

Castle’s beautiful estate. Eastnor is Land Rover’s Fiorano; set in

person and while I don’t mind the odd country walk, I’m not likely

5,000 acres, it has been a test facility for the company’s vehicles

to feel the desire to climb a mountain or traverse previously

for over 50 years. Driving experiences are available for public to

uncrossed terrain any time soon. His story is impressive: Ben

book; I highly recommend it, but…

was the lead on the first-ever return journey to the South Pole on

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend driving off-road straight

foot, following the route that had defeated Robert Falcon Scott

after dinner! The route is adventurous to say the least and my

so many years ago.

belly is not impressed. Thankfully sat next to me is a Land Rover

What does this have to do with how good the new Land Rover

Experience instructor. The instructors make you look like a hero,

Discovery is? Well, most car manufacturers have ambassadors,

helping you select the right mode for all situations and telling

some are to help them target a lifestyle audience and some are

you where to aim the car in preparation of it moving around as

there to show that this car means business.

it finds traction in seemingly impossible situations. Instantly

In Ben’s training regime for his next adventure, he uses the

noticeable on the slimy surface is how much more well behaved

Discovery in some of the most remote parts of the world. That’s

the Discovery is compared to the outgoing model. That was and

testament enough that this is a seriously competent off-roader

still is a fine car, for which I have a very soft spot, but the removal

– in fact, right now there’s not a whole lot on the market that can

of over 300kg is making our descents less eventful than previous

compete with its off-road credentials.

off-road adventures.

It’s easy to put your name to a product and get paid for it, but

Land Rover has managed to shave 250kg from the body

for some there comes a point where the tools you work with are

and 130kg from the chassis, while further weight-saving can

important to survival. When you consider Ben’s requirements

be achieved by opting for the four-cylinder engine, but I

of the Discovery, you know that this is more than just celebrity

recommend you choose the 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel. It just does

endorsement – this is real.

what you need it to do in a smoother and more enjoyable way.

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Terrain Response 2 monitors driving conditions and

Assist. This enables the driver to guide a trailer into position by

automatically selects the chassis and powertrain setup best

simply following its trajectory on the main screen. The view is

suited to the conditions. It’s very trick, as is All Terrain Progress

excellent and in one move I navigate into a tight spot with ease,

Control (ATPC), a system that enables drivers to set and

controlling the trailer’s path with the rotary knob on the centre

maintain a steady speed in challenging conditions. Using the

console instead of the steering wheel. It’s a little strange at

steering wheel cruise control buttons, I’m able to adjust the

first, but really makes sense once you grasp what’s happening.

speed and can override the system if needed at any point. It’s

Advanced Tow Assist is only available with the Surround

mightily impressive and after a long day of driving, a welcome

Camera, 360-degree Parking Aid and Capability Plus Pack – and

support to a weary driver.

of course you’ll need a tow bar.

Back to where the day started now: a road drive to the

I also get a chance to experiment with the remote intelligent

Brecon Beacons for a picnic. A great idea in theory, but it’s due

seat fold. This can be controlled either using the touchscreen in

to snow. I need not worry, though, as somehow I manage to

the car or via a smartphone app. You can quickly rearrange your

programme the wrong route into the sat nav (my fault entirely,

seats in preparation for that unexpected IKEA shop – just make

the sat nav is very good!) so we end up arriving at Eastnor very

sure you don’t leave a cake on the seat before you start letting

early and sit and eat our picnic indoors. How very English!

it do its thing!

The afternoon is packed with opportunities to sample

Wading depth is up to 900mm and along with all the usual

some of the talents of the new Discovery. Most importantly

talents expected of a Discovery, it’s clear that this is a very

for our readers who race, we get to play with Advanced Tow

capable vehicle – so what’s it like to drive?

TERRAIN RESPONSE 2 OFF-ROAD PERFORMANCE SECOND TO NONE

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5 T H

G E N E R A T I O N

D I S C O

/

L A N D

O F

D I S C O V E R Y

/

T D 6

H S E

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5 T H

G E N E R A T I O N

D I S C O

/

L A N D

O F

D I S C O V E R Y

/

T D 6

H S E

On the road, miles fly by with ease; it’s an incredibly easy car

The styling brings the Discovery inline with the rest of the

to get on with. With a few stops in between, I end up driving the

Land Rover and Range Rover family and from almost all angles

car for over 12 hours, but it doesn’t feel like it. You could easily

it looks great. There has been much discussion about the

push on into southern France in a day and feel fresh at the other

unbalanced rear. The outgoing model had the same unbalanced

end. There are also a good amount of USB sockets – pretty

look and personally I think it looked fine. My only gripe is that

important for those who like a road trip with family or friends.

everything seems a little high, giving the rear the feeling that it

The 3.0-litre TD6 diesel engine is silky smooth and

has been jacked up. It’s not a deal-breaker though.

the

A message to Land Rover: please make an unpainted

electronically controlled eight-speed automatic transmission.

bumper, weatherproofed interior version on steel wheels.

Each shift is completed in just 200 milliseconds and on the

It could be the perfect gap filler while we wait for the next

move gearchanges are barely noticeable.

Defender! Put me down for one…

unstressed,

delivering

plenty

of

torque

through

THE STYLING BRINGS THE DISCOVERY INLINE WITH THE REST OF THE LAND ROVER & RANGE ROVER FAMILY

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DB�� THE ART OF SOUND Remember when you were still growing up and bought your

Nowadays, companies like Harman – whose in-car audio

first car? Mine was a Citroen AX GT, and once I’d fitted a

brands include Bang & Olufsen, Bowers & Wilkins, Harman

stainless-steel exhaust system and air filter, re-jetted the

Kardon, Infinity, Lexicon, JBL, Mark Levinson, Canton and Revel

carb and had it rolling-roaded, I turned my attention to the

– spend time at a very early stage of a new car’s design to ensure

interior – well, the stereo!

there’s no real need for aftermarket in-car entertainment. Car

First came a CD headunit, swiftly followed by a set of 6x9

stereos at all levels are now vastly improved; from the popular

speakers for the rear parcel shelf. I’ll be honest: it was rubbish,

Ford Fiesta right up to the McLaren 720S, Harman works directly

the parcel shelf vibrated, as did everything inside and outside of

with manufacturers to create the perfect sound.

the car. I had successfully managed to ruin a good car.

“The car is one of the most challenging environments for achieving great audio,” says Arndt Hensgens, Harman’s chief engineer for acoustics. “There’s a huge range of materials to consider – plastic, cloth, leather and glass – that all reflect sound waves at different rates. Then you have the shape of the cabin to

WOR D S AND PHOTOGR APHY TIM HU T TO N

take into account.”

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T H E

A R T

O F

S O U N D

/

H A R M A N

/

A S T O N

M A R T I N

D B 1 1

“THE CAR IS ONE OF THE MOST CHALLENGING ENVIRONMENTS FOR ACHIEVING GREAT AUDIO” A RNDT HENS G ENS CHIEF ENG INEER OF ACOU S T ICS , HA RMA N

Private Motor Club decided to take up the kind offer of an

in Germany on the Autobahn; this lasts around three weeks. It’s

Aston Martin DB11 for the day to understand just how good a

not necessary to drive fast, but to test the system effectively

stereo can be. Foolishly, I expected maybe a subwoofer, two rear

we need to drive slowly, accelerate and then brake again, so we

speakers and two front speakers, but in actual fact the DB11 has

need to find areas where we won’t disturb the traffic. This is all to

13 loudspeakers as part of its Bang & Olufsen BeoSound system:

ensure that all aspects of sound quality are perfect, no matter

2 x / 19 mm tweeters – moving acoustic lenses (front) 1x/

100 mm centre midrange (front centre)

1x/

19 mm centre tweeter (front centre)

what your driving style is.” Sat inside, the interior of the DB11 is a visual treat: the speaker grilles have been milled and turned out of a solid block of aluminium, and they perfectly compliment the luxurious trim in the Aston. Behind the front seats and nestled between the

2 x / 100 mm midranges (front door)

two rear seats is the subwoofer. The new location looks great,

2 x / 165 mm woofers (front door)

but also helps to deliver a balanced sound (previous systems

2 x / 19 mm tweeters (rear door) 2 x / 100 mm midranges (rear door) 1x/

200 mm subwoofers (rear)

had the subwoofer under the seat). Driving across the border into Wales and on to some of the UK’s best driving roads, what really impresses is that the sound characteristics are preserved. The system compensates for acceleration and movement, providing an uninterrupted

Each speaker is mounted in a closed cabinet to optimise the

audio experience. It’s very effective as we start to push the car

sound performance, while a 1000-watt BeoCore amplifier

harder.

provides the power – but it’s so much more than a power

This could all easily sound like marketing blurb, but back

war. So, how long did it take to develop this new system? Greg

in March at the Geneva Motor Show, we spent time with Greg

Sikora, senior manager of acoustic systems engineering within

Sikora as he talked us around the interior of the DB11, explaining

Harman’s car audio division, explains:

how each speaker was positioned after months of research.

“We’ve been working with Aston Martin for the last three

Each car interior presents a new challenge and the sleek,

years to define the new Bang & Olufsen system for the Aston

curvaceous DB11 cabin had around 15 engineers working on it

Martin DB11. Many different configurations and designs have

during the design process. These included system architects, as

been proposed and discussed before we came to the current

well as mechanical, software, hardware, acoustics, quality and

setup, which we believe is a new benchmark in the market.

production engineers. That’s around 14 more than I had when

“During development, we talked a lot about speaker

modifying my Citroen AX GT – and the results show!

placement, size of speakers and the cabinets behind, as well

“Each engineer has their favourite playlists focusing on

as the visual elements. The design process is a compromise

different aspects of sound reproduction, such as dynamics,

between following the design language of the car and being a

tonal balance, tactile impact, stage width and depth, low-

true Bang & Olufsen system design.

frequency extension, brilliance and voice intelligibility,” says

“For testing, Harman has created a system called AuraVox,

Sikora. “Very often we use Hotel California by the Eagles or Bird

which helps to rapidly and efficiently complete the first 80% of

On The Wire by Jennifer Warnes, mixed by George Massenburg.

the testing task. It was developed in-house over five years and

During the dynamic tuning stages, we use similar tracks as static

is extremely effective. It uses 24 microphones to measure the

tuning and some additional ones featuring a wide dynamic

sound inside the car, sending this information to the AuraVox

range. The ultimate goal of dynamic tuning is to maintain the

software that automatically evaluates hundreds of parameters

same sound experience whether driving slowly in the city or at

and independently generates the appropriate filters, corrects

high speed on the race track.”

speaker delay differences and sets optimum volume levels of individual channels.

Funnily enough, we also listened to Hotel California during our trip to Wales, as well as some electronic music with a heavy

“The final part of the development is the sound tuning,

bass, Miles Davis’ Kind Of Blue and some of Chopin’s Nocturnes.

where our acoustic engineers spend around seven weeks fine-

Across all genres of music, the system responds really well – so

tuning the system. The first four weeks are spent on static tuning

it’s disappointing when I have to bring the car back to Gaydon

in our facilities, then we begin the dynamic tuning, which we do

and get back into my BMW, which has no stereo at all!

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