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MERCEDES W196 LOTUS CORTINA MERC A Full story sto of Fangio’s lost racer

Reunited with Sir John Whitmore ore

£4.70 | ISSUE 120 JUNE 2013





GTO VS F1 Will the McLaren ever replace the Ferrari as the ultimate classic? The experts decide


Jabbeke, Norman Dewis and the E-type successor

WHY WE LOVE THE SOUND OF ENGINES The science behind our aural satisfaction





Bonhams is delighted to announce that its Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale will feature perhaps the most important Historic racing car ever to be entered for public auction – one of the hallowed Mercedes-Benz factory team’s Grand Prix contenders tailor-made to contest the first truly-postwar Formula 1 World Championship race series in 1954.

For further enquiries please contact:

UK +44 (0) 20 7468 5801

Chassis number ‘00006/54’ – is the actual racing car in which Juan Manuel Fangio promptly dominated the punishing 501km (311-mile) German Grand Prix, to win in 3hrs 45mins 45.8secs.

Further entries invited

Europe +32 (0) 476 879 471

USA +1 415 391 4000

The ex-Works/Juan Manuel Fangio German and Swiss Grands Prix-winning 1954 2½-litre Mercedes-Benz W196 Formula 1 Grand-Prix Single-Seater Chassis No. 00006/54

Photo: “The Spitzley/Monkhouse Collection”

Friday 12 July 2013

International Auctioneers and Valuers –


above 1953 Ferrari 340/375 MM Berlinetta ‘CoMpetizione’ Coachwork by Pinin Farina; Chassis no. 0320AM opposite main 1965 Ferrari 275 GtS Coachwork by Pininfarina; Chassis no. 07189 Left 1967 laMBorGhini Miura p400 Chassis no. 3087 right top 1962 MerCedeS-Benz 300Sl roadSter Chassis no. right bottom 1947 CiSitalia 202 SMM ‘nuvolari’ Spyder Coachwork by Carrozzeria Garella; Chassis no. 002S MM; 1947 Mille Miglia Works team entry


UK +44 (0) 20 7851 7070


GERMANY +49 (0) 40 441 95 737


CANADA +1 519 352 4575



1949 Daimler DB18 Drophead Coupé Coachwork by Barker & Co £20,000 - 30,000 No reserve

Collectors’ Motor Cars Motorcycles & Automobilia

In Association with The VMCC Banbury Run Woodstock, Oxford Saturday 15 June 2013 Entries now invited Bonhams Oxford regional sale rooms are the perfect location for a motoring sale, with all the in-house facilities you would expect from a fully operational auction house. On-site catering will be available all weekend.

Motor Cars +44 (0) 20 7468 5801

Automobilia +44 (0) 8700 273 617

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Catalogue +44 (0) 1666 502 200

International Auctioneers and Valuers -

Contents JUNE 2013 // ISSUE 120

Features 56 ferrari 250Gto and mlaren f1 Three decades apart yet still ultimates in their own right: but can the F1 take a tilt at the GTO’s connoisseur crown? Cover story

74 fanGio’s mercedes W196 Hero worship: Doug Nye on the full story of Fangio’s lost racer 88 …and fanGio himself A five-times World Champion, yet all the other drivers loved him 90 jaGuar f-type New sports car tested – with the legendary Norman Dewis 102 aston martin international Driving a pre-war tourer that wears its history on its sleeve 112 the music of enGines Why are we moved by an engine’s voice? Here’s a music lesson

90 116

116 rolls-royces on shoW BMW’s Rolls-Royce exhibition celebrates ten years of ownership 122 the octane intervieW: ivor Walklett Mr Ginetta also happens to be Britain’s most prolific car designer 128 volksWaGen Xl1 A fuel-miser extraordinaire, this is VW’s alternative hypercar


136 artist: adrian GodinG A view of the classic-car world through stained glass 140 eX-Whitmore lotus cortina On track in the 1960s’ most original surviving racing saloon



aston martin international

‘The sweet-revving 1500 is just itching to show what it’s capable of’ O C T A N E j u n e 2 013 7


REGULARS 14 NEWS AND EVENTS Goodwood revs up; Essen winds down


32 NEW CAR NEWS Hot-hatch wars and Caterham 7 revived 38 DIARY Book now for Le Jog, plus other essential dates 40 LETTERS Dron’s days in Dolomites stir some memories 43 JAY LENO Not all Jay’s favourite cars are iconic 45 DEREK BELL The East takes over where the West le off 47 STEPHEN BAYLEY Orifices: the aesthetic debate starts here



49 ROBERT COUCHER Sobering thought for those who drink and drive 50 GEARBOX Restorer and historic racer Tony Merrick 53 PASSED IT! TONY DRON A smashing time in Touring Car racing


54 SUBSCRIBE! Octane for less – plus FREE Felix Petrol mug 152 GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN Ian Fleming, the man who made old Astons pricey 154 ICON Kalakala car ferry; more streamliner than liner


156 WATCH Vacheron Constantin reissues a classic 158 AUTOMOBILIA Collectables so cool they could kill you 162 PRODUCTS, BOOKS, MODELS An easy way to become much poorer 168 OCTANE CARS Editor’s Citroën SM limps towards mobility 172 CHEQUERED FLAG Motor sport news and analysis 179 THE MARKET News on auction and dealer sales 266 DAY IN THE LIFE The rallying Whyte sisters 8 J U N E 2 013 O C T A N E


Patrocinato da



The world’s most desirable cars DOES IT MAKE SENSE to compare a 1960s Ferrari 250GTO with a 1990s McLaren F1? Probably not – at least not if it’s a direct comparison. But if you view the F1 as the modern-day GTO in terms of desirability, competition history, ethos and even dimensions, then suddenly there’s a fascinating case for comparison. Luckily for us all, renowned motor sport historian Doug Nye has long seen the link, and has driven both 250GTO and F1 on many occasions (as well as writing comprehensive books on both competition Ferraris and the development of the F1). His feature comparing the two cars makes for fascinating reading. To back up Doug’s piece, equally renowned racer-journalist Mark Hales, who has raced 250GTOs and tested F1s, explains how the two feel to drive on the limit. It would be hard to think of two writers better qualified to write this feature. While we’re on the subject of the most desirable machinery, we also have the full story on one of the most important racing cars to come onto the market for decades: the ex-Fangio Mercedes-Benz W196, expected to fetch £10 million at Bonhams’ Festival of Speed sale later this year. Octane was the only magazine granted full photographic access to the car. The feature starts on page 74. One last thing. We’re coming up for our tenth anniversary, and to celebrate, Octane columnists past and present Sir Stirling Moss, Rowan Atkinson and Nick Mason (plus Jay Leno on videolink) will be coming together for a readers’ evening at the Royal Automobile Club on 29 May. Want to come along? More details on page 48.


Octane, 5 Tower Court, Irchester Road, Wollaston, Northants NN29 7PJ, UK Tel +44 (0)20 7907 6585. Fax +44 (0)1933 667309 Email @octane_magazine Editorial director David Lillywhite @OctaneDavid International editor Robert Coucher @OctaneRobert Deputy editor Mark Dixon @OctaneMark Associate editor Glen Waddington @OctaneGlen Sub-editor Chris Bietzk Art director Mark Sommer @OctaneArtEd Designer Robert Hefferon Test drivers Tony Dron, Mark Hales, Richard Meaden Special projects David Barzilay Staff writer Matthew Hayward @OctaneMatthew Office administrator Jane Townsend-Emms


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Germany Christian Kallenberg Italy Gabriele Mutti The Netherlands Ton Roks

France Stéphane Schlesinger Sweden Patrick Ekelius Japan Shiro Horie

More from Octane

Don’t miss out on offers, products or the digital edition EVENING WITH THE STARS Sir Stirling Moss, Rowan Atkinson, Nick Mason and, by video, Jay Leno at the Royal Automobile Club, London, May 29. £115 with dinner. See www.octane-magazine. com. Book quickly!

10 J U N E 2 013 O C T A N E


Where can I find a... CARS FOR SALE

Octane has an improved Cars For Sale section online, featuring around 7000 cars for sale. Find your next classic car or advertise yours FREE at http://forsale.classicand

GOODWOOD TRACK DAY Join Octane at Goodwood Motor Circuit, Sussex, for our track day on 16 May. Numbers are strictly limited for maximum track time. £325, plus £60 for guests. www.octane-magazine. com and click on ‘shop’.

OCTANE DIGITAL REPLICA Octane’s iPad edition has been replaced by a digital replica of the print magazine, allowing all editorial and advertising to be reproduced. Search for ‘Octane magazine’ in your app store.


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Repro by Octane Repro Printed by Polestar Bicester Ltd, Oxfordshire Distribution Seymour, 2 East Poultry Avenue, London EC1A 9PT. Tel: +44 (0)20 7429 400 Airfreight and mailing in the USA by agent named Air Business Ltd, c/o Worldnet Shipping Inc, 156-15, 146th Avenue, 2nd Floor, Jamaica, NY11434, USA Octane ISSN 1740-0023 is published monthly by Octane Media Ltd USPS 024-187 This issue on sale 24 April July 2013 issue on sale 22 May The text paper used within this magazine is produced from sustainable forestation, from a chain of custody manufacturer. Dennis Publishing (UK) Ltd uses a layered Privacy Notice, giving you brief details about how we would like to use your personal information. For full details please visit or call us on 0844 844 0053. If you have any questions please ask as submitting your details indicates your consent, until you choose otherwise, that we and our partners may contact you about products and services that will be of relevance to you via direct mail, phone, email and SMS. You can opt-out at ANY time via or or 0844 844 0053.

j Ten years of Octane j Alfa Romeo 1900 Zagato j On track in Gerry Marshall’s Old Nail Firenza j ‘New’ Stratos j Mercedes 280SL vs 3.5 Cabriolet j Team manager Stuart Turner’s ten greatest drivers (Contents may be subject to change)

12 j u n e 2 013 O C T A N E

Octane is published under a licence from Octane Media Ltd, a subsidiary company of Dennis Publishing Limited, UK. All rights in the licensed material belong to Felix Dennis, Octane Media or Dennis Publishing and may not be reproduced, whether in whole or in part, without their prior written consent. Octane is a registered trademark. The publisher makes every effort to ensure the magazine’s contents are correct. All material published in Octane is copyright and unauthorised reproduction is forbidden. The editors and publishers of this magazine give no warranties, guarantees or assurances and make no representations regarding any goods or services advertised in this edition.


TONDA 1950 Rose gold Ultra-thin automatic movement Hermès alligator strap Made in Switzerland



IGNITION NEWS // EvENtS // NEW carS // DIary

OxfOrd CENTury

Mini Cowley factory hits its 100th p18

lA jOllA CONCOurs Pacific petrolhead gathering p26

hOT hATCh wArs pt2 Peugeot vs Renault vs Ford: again p32

Goodwood plans 20th Festival Lord March reveals his plans for the 2013 Festival of Speed and Revival Meeting Words and photography Steve Havelock

Goodwood has announced the details of this year’s Festival of Speed and Revival Meeting, with a preview event packed with star cars, bikes, collectors (including DJ Chris Evans and chef James Martin, drivers (note Jochen Mass photographing the cake, above) and glamorous girls. With the Festival of Speed celebrating its 20th anniversary, Lord March announced that this year’s event would be a reflection on the highlights and key moments from those last two decades. ‘When we were putting the 20th anniversary book together,’ he said, ‘I looked at all the cars, the drivers, the bikes and the riders that have been here over the last 20 years and I realised that this little piece of ground here, the 200 acres in front of the house, has played host to more of the greatest cars and drivers in the world than anywhere else. ‘All those cars I dreamt of as a child have been here and taken part in this event. In that first year we attracted something like 25,000 people. The event now attracts well over 185,000 people and

is the biggest car event of its type in the world.’ One of the many cars expected to return to the Festival in celebration of the 20th anniversary will be Bob Riggle’s ‘Hemi Under Glass’, the spectacular Plymouth Barracuda wheelie car that thrilled the crowds and set fire to the straw bales on its last appearance at Goodwood. The famous sculpture in front of the house will mark another big birthday: the 50th anniversary of the Porsche 911. Meanwhile a crop of other anniversaries that will be celebrated includes 90 years of Le Mans, 60 years of the World Sportscar

‘This little piece of ground here has played host to more of the greatest cars and drivers in the world than anywhere else’

Championship, 50 years of McLaren, Lamborghini, the Mini-Cooper S and the Ford Lotus Cortina, and 40 years of the World Rally Championship. Also expect to see the cream of the current Formula 1 teams, the best of the Cartier Style et Luxe, exciting rally cars in action at the top of the hill, World Land Speed Record cars, NASCARs, stunt riding, live bands, air displays and much, much more. It promises to exceed even past form. The Revival Meeting at the historic motor circuit will feature an all-Ford GT40 race and, in the RAC TT, a number of Ferrari 250LM prototypes, both models celebrating their half-century. There will be a tribute to Jim Clark on the 50th anniversary of his first World Championship and special activities to mark 100 years of the Tour de France cycle race. The Festival of Speed takes place on 12-14 July (with the Moving Motor Show starting on 11 July) and the Revival on 13-15 September. Meanwhile, for the surprise hit of the preview day, turn the page… // O C T A N E j u n e 2 01 3 15

IgnItIon // NEWS

Van power commissioned

Looks like any Transit but is, in fact, Jaguar XJ220-powered. And it’s done Goodwood… Words John Simister Photos John Colley & John Simister

The marshals were sceptical, and directed the ageing white Ford Transit behind Goodwood House where the maintenance vehicles are supposed to go. ‘No, no, we’re in the event,’ insisted the Transit’s occupants, despite the wording on the van’s sides. Really? How so? The wheels and the exhaust pipes give the clues. The tyres are unexpectedly low in profile and, especially at the back, rather wide. Owner Don Law invites me inside, to join him and racing driver Gareth Lloyd (right) for the press day run up the Goodwood hill. Don’s son Justin, multiple historic race-winner, is otherwise engaged driving the Law family’s Jaguar XJR8. Seeing Don makes me realise what this Transit actually is, because I saw it a few years ago at his establishment where several Jaguar XJ220s are usually being improved. Yes, it’s that unexpected variant, the Transit 220. ‘Years ago, Tom Walkinshaw told me he had a Transit with an XJ220 engine in the back,’ Don tells me. ‘He asked if I’d like to buy it. I thought he meant the engine was sitting in a crate or something, but it

‘Six hundred twin-turbo bhp pour into the rear tyres, which light up obligingly’ was fully installed complete with transmission and rear suspension. It was a development mule, the ultimate diguise. ‘Walkinshaw made me sign a document to say I’d scrap the van after I’d taken the engine out, but I couldn’t bear to do it. Then TWR went bankrupt so it didn’t matter. Now we use it on the road. Justin and I play in a band, and once we blew off an Impreza Turbo at the lights with all the band’s equipment inside.’ So here we are on the startline, behind Renault’s Alpine A442 Le Mans car. The bottom of the vista ahead is shaped by a collection of burger cartons, sweet packets, yesterday’s Sun and other van-travel detritus – all stuck in place. Just as well; Gareth selects first gear via the un-Transit-like gearlever (this and the extra dials are the only internal clues that this is not as Ford intended), meters in a lot of revs and drops the clutch. Six hundred V6-cylindered, twin-turbocharged bhp pour into the rear tyres, which light up obligingly. The smokescreen is magnificent, the revs stay level as grip builds up and we’re catapulted off the line in a gently fishtailing scream of menace. ‘I haven’t driven it in anger before so I’ll take it easy in the bends,’ says Gareth. ‘It’s a bit top-heavy and Justin got it on two wheels once.’ The Transit, receiving perhaps the biggest cheers of the day, feels tidy as we exit the first bends and howl past the house, but the combination of speed and altitude is an odd one. ‘It feels a bit flexible at the front,’ Gareth observes as he fine-tunes the line, ‘but it really steers well considering it’s all standard Transit there. Struts and a big space where the engine used to be. Must be the weight distribution.’ So it’s the ultimate White Van – and it once appeared on a well-known TV motoring programme disguised as an ice cream van. The ice cream would surely have whipped itself. ‘Reckon we’ve a chance of “Best Start of the Day” there,’ muses Gareth. 16 j u n e 2 0 1 3 O C T A N E

1968 Ford GT40 Gulf/Mirage Lightweight Racing Car sold for a world record of $11 million at monterey in 2012

now inviting consignments

monterey 16-17 august 2013

poRToLA hoTeL & spA And MonTeRey ConFeRenCe CenTeR

uk +44 (0) 20 7851 7070 Auction License # 34509

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IgnItIon // NEWS

Cowley celebrates 100 years A bullnose Morris was first off the Cowley line in 1913. These days it’s BMW’s ‘Plant Oxford’, churning out new Minis. Octane was there to mark the centenary Words John Simister

Today’s ‘PlanT oxford’, as the one-time Morris factory in Cowley is known under BMW’s ownership, is the oldest factory in the entire BMW Group. Today it produces as many new-shape Minis per year as it made all manner of BMC fare in the 1960s, yet occupies half the land area and employs well under half the people. And it celebrated its centenary on 28 March. Exactly 100 years earlier to the day, a ‘bullnose’ Oxford was the first car to leave the gates of William Morris’s new factory, built on the site of an old military academy. Thereafter Cowley also produced other vehicles within first the Nuffield Group and, from 1952, the British Motor Corporation. British Leyland, Rover Group and BMW eras followed, all marked by a public exhibition – complete with landmark cars – at the factory’s eastern end. A further array of historic machinery was at the exhibition’s opening, including an Austin-Healey Sprite built when demand exceeded the Abingdon factory’s supply, a US-spec, Sterling-badged Rover 800, and probably the two most significant Cowley 18 j u n e 2 01 3 O C T A N E

products in the form of a Morris Minor and an original Mini. The former was a limited-edition, lilac-coloured Minor 1000000, celebrating the model’s landmark as the first British car to be replicated a million times; the latter was a 1960 Mini-Minor in the same Cherry Red as your reporter’s 1959 edition, parked the other side of the former assembly hall’s wall. Speeches from plant managing director Frank Bachmann, BMW Mini board member Harald Krüger, and transport minister Patrick McLoughlin talked up the present and the future, with much new investment for the next-generation BMW Mini’s production, but it was the reminiscences of past and present employees that added the colour. Training manager Donna Green’s earliest memory is of her father, who worked in the building currently housing the exhibition, meeting her after a shift as he cycled out of the gate among a swarm of other bicycles. Ian Cummings, who worked at Cowley for 42 years, and whose mother and grandfather worked in the on-site Pressed Steel Fisher body

plant, remembers the noise and smell of oil and hot metal. Now he’s a tour guide in today’s squeakyclean factory; ‘It couldn’t be more different,’ he says. But the star of the show was Eric Lord, whose 93rd birthday coincided with the centenary day. He retired in 1979 after a 39-year career that began with assembling De Havilland Tiger Moths for use as wartime trainers. ‘The first car job I had was as a planning engineer, working out how to assemble the Morris Eight Series E. The production plan called for two minutes per task for each man, so there was quite a bit of leapfrogging and men falling over each other. ‘Putting the Mini into production threw up all sorts of problems we had to solve. Issigonis would come in – he loved playing dice – and you had to handle him properly to get him to help you. Not ‘There’s a problem with your car’, but ‘Can you help us solve our problem?’ For most of its 100 years, Cowley was one of Britain’s biggest car exporters. It’s pleasing to know that, today, Plant Oxford still is.

In the body finishing shop. Here craftsmen do the final rubbing down of paint before varnishing.

The ‘fettling bay’ in Cowley’s own foundry, where castings had their rough edges removed.

Bolting on the cover plates for back axles, with torque tubes attached, in the erecting shop.

The trim shop, pictured here in the early 1950s, with plenty of seat cover pleating going on.

A view of the sawmills in the 1920s, producing parts for wooden body frames and dashboards.

Early Morris Minor assembly, in this case the MM model, produced from 1948 to 1953.

In 1925, ‘Bullnoses’ were finished off in a less automated manner – and in cramped conditions.

O C T A N E j u n e 2 0 1 3 19

IgnItIon // NEWS

In brief

credit suisse sponsors goodwood race control Private bank Credit Suisse has announced that it is to extend its partnership with Goodwood Revival by sponsoring the historic Race Control building for seven years. Erected in World War Two, when Goodwood served as an airfield, the building later became the nerve centre of race-day operations and, although currently undergoing restoration, it will be used at the Revival this summer. //

Join stirling, rowan and nick Book now for An Evening With Sir Stirling Moss, Rowan Atkinson and Nick Mason at London’s fantastic Royal Automobile Club to celebrate ten years of Octane magazine

BraBus classic offers new two-year warranty The classic car division of the company better known for its tuning expertise is now offering a two-year warranty with unlimited miles to buyers of its meticulously restored Mercedes-Benz classics. Each car that passes through the Brabus workshop in Bottrop, Germany, receives a nut-and-bolt overhaul, with the body stripped and dipped before painting and all mechanical components replaced or reconditioned. Seems pretty unlikely that you’ll be needing that warranty, then. //

sir stirling moss, Rowan Atkinson and Nick Mason, all former Octane columnists, are to star in a special tenth anniversary ‘An Evening With...’ event at the Royal Automobile Club, London, on 29 May. Current Octane columnist Jay Leno will also record a special video message from his famous workshop, to mark ten years since Octane was launched. The evening will provide a unique opportunity to hear tales of racing and historic and supercar ownership from Stirling, Rowan and Nick. All three have been regular contributors to Octane since the magazine was first published in May

2003 and they continue to be active in the historic racing and classic car world. Sir Stirling is always great value recalling his racing days, and promises to be highly entertaining in company with renowned actor Rowan (McLaren F1 owner and a keen historic racer) and Pink Floyd drummer Nick (also a great

historic racer and owner of a huge collection of classic cars). The event will be held in the Royal Automobile Club’s elegant Mountbatten Room, the capacity of which is just 120 – so this will be an intimate event for those lucky enough to secure a place. Tickets cost £115 per person, which includes a three-course meal with wine. Tables of ten are also available to book. The evening starts at 7.30pm, with dress code as lounge suits/cocktail dresses. To book tickets, visit the online shop on (click on ‘Shop’) or call 0844 245 6971 or +44 1795 414866 from overseas. See you there!

new uK heritage centre planned

A centre for historic car and aviation businesses moves closer to reality

vauxhall 30-98 turns 100 The 30-98, Britain’s first 100mph car, turns 100 this year and Vauxhall has confirmed that it will be supporting a variety of classic car events this summer as part of the centenary celebrations. The manufacturer and its iconic speedster will be in attendance at the Brooklands Double Twelve festival as well as CarFest North and South, and a centenary run has also been organised for 5 July, with as many as 100 30-98s expected to take part. //

20 j u n e 2 013 O C T A N E

Plans for a motoring and aviation heritage centre near Bicester, Oxfordshire, have taken a step closer to reality as a former Ministry of Defence site has been sold to Bicester Heritage. The collective is headed by VSCC member Dan Geoghegan, who said facilities on the ‘time-capsule RAF station’ would be leased out to businesses and organisations working in the heritage and specialist engineering sectors. ‘We have 50 high-quality pre-war buildings, including four hangars on 47 acres. It’s a five-year development plan but we’re hoping to have the first units operational by autumn. It’s a large site and we need to be thoughtful and methodical about how it’s developed. With 200-300 trees it’s got glorious avenues and is far from a windswept airfield.’ Geoghegan said he envisaged the centre as ‘a platform for historic cars and aviation, a place where you can come and meet like-minded people, perhaps work on your own car on a very club-like campus and also where people can

come just to see cars and aircraft. Our hobby would benefit tremendously from having all the skills on one site. We’ll need meaningful catering, and perhaps accommodation too.’ The enterprise is potentially bigger than its closest equivalent, Meilenwerke in Germany, which has classic car garages, storage, a restaurant and a car-themed hotel.



RM Auctions’ dedicated team of car specialists is the best in the industry. They are located around the world and offer services in a number of different languages. All are fully immersed in the collector car hobby, meaning they have the passion, knowledge, and experience needed to successfully market your automobile to an international network of buyers. Contact Peter today to discuss consigning your important motor car.

+44 (0) 20 7851 7074


King’s Mercedes in the UK First UK appearance for the 500K commissioned by King Hussein of Jordan

WIN A VW CAMPER Octane is supporting the Rosie’s Rainbow Fund charity, which raises money to support sick and disabled children. Named a er Rosie Mayling, who died aged just 11 on the same day that Octane launched, the charity is offering the chance to win this classic restored VW camper, at £2 per entry. We ask all Octane readers to consider entering the competition. //

KING HUSSEIN OF JORDAN’S replica of a famed Erdmann & Rossi Mercedes-Benz 500K is to make its first ever appearance in the UK. The streamlined Mercedes-Benz is based on a 500K ordered by the Iraqi royal family at the 1935 Berlin Motor Show, which was delivered in 1936 with bodywork by the coachbuilders Erdmann & Rossi of Berlin-Halensee. Decades later it passed to Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein, who then lent it to King Hussein of Jordan. The King had the car shipped to a pre-war Mercedes-Benz specialist in Germany, where its body was painstakingly replicated. The original was shipped back to Iraq before the second Gulf War, but has since disappeared from view and is presumed to be hidden away in Baghdad.

The replica body was mated to an original Mercedes-Benz chassis, number 113640, with the aim of returning the completed car to King Hussein. However, due to the conflict in the Middle East and the King’s illness (and death in 1999), the car remained in Germany. It is now owned by the Schäfer family, and usually displayed in Germany’s Technik Museum Speyer and the neighbouring Auto & Technik Museum Sinsheim – the largest private transport museums in Europe. However, it has just been announced that the car will appear in the UK at the St James’s Concours of Elegance in the grounds of Marlborough House, London, on 5-7 September. For more details on the concours please visit

NEW HISTORIC RELAY RACE The 750 Motor Club has launched a new, historic version of its popular Birkett Relay Race. The new Historic Birkett will complement, not replace, the existing race, and will have a 1974 cut-off date, with classes set by engine capacity – plus a separate class for pre-war cars. It will be run at the Snetterton 300 circuit on 2 November over four hours, with teams of two to six cars welcome. // UK ROAD TAX EXEMPTION TO CHANGE TO PRE 1974 The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced that the cut-off for vehicle excise duty in the UK will be extended by one year from 1 January 1973 to 1 January 1974 as of April 2014. The decision would seem to pave the way for the re-introduction of the rolling tax exemption, although the Government currently denies that the rolling exemption will return.

VOISIN EXHIBITION The Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California, has extended its La Vision de Voisin exhibition due to overwhelming demand from visitors. It will now run until 25 June, highlighting a collection of Voisin automobiles, motorcycles and industrial designs, and honouring the life and work of Gabriel Voisin. Although only open on selected days, the exhibition has already attracted over 6500 visitors. //

22 J U N E 2 013 O C T A N E

Bugatti sets open-car speed record A new world production car speed record for the last generation of the Veyron BUGATTI HAS SET yet another world production car speed record a er an open-topped Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse WRC reached 254.04mph at VW’s high-speed test facility in Ehra-Lessien, Germany. This is the same venue that Bugatti used to set the outright production car speed record of 267.856mph in a Veyron Super Sports back in 2010, with regular Bugatti test driver Pierre-Henri Raphanel at the wheel. Chinese racing driver and supercar collector Anthony Liu took the controls for this latest record attempt, and Bugatti invited Octane along to witness him break 254mph, and to see the new world-best mark verified by officials from the German TUV institute. To celebrate its achievement, the marque will produce eight ‘WRC’ editions of the Veyron Gran Sport Vitesse, finished in the same orange and bare carbon bodywork as the record-setting car and priced at €1.99 million plus local taxes. Six had already been sold as Octane closed for press. During the record attempt, Bugatti

CEO Wolfgang Schreiber noted that all 300 Veyron Coupés are now sold and, of the 150 targa-topped Grand Sport models Bugatti intends to build, just 68 remain unsold. ‘The last Veyron Grand Sport will roll off the production line in Molsheim in 2015, a er which production of the Veyron will cease,’ said Schreiber. ‘I expect values of all Veyrons to increase at this point, as people come to realise just how amazing

this car really is.’ Bugatti is planning to replace the Veyron with a four-door supercar similar to the Galibier concept first shown in 2010, but Schreiber confirmed that the project has moved on massively since then. Like the Veyron, the new car will continue Bugatti’s tradition of being the ultimate in terms of performance and exclusivity when it goes into production in 2015.


In brief

SATUrDAy AUGUST 17 SUNDAy AUGUST 18 Pebble beach ca USa


Formerly the Property of Marion Chinetti Approximately 1,500 Miles from New

1972 FerrAri 365 GTB/4 NArT DAyToNA SPiDer

Coachwork by Michelotti

+1 310 899 1960




Image courtesy KlementasKI collectIon


Kidston s.A. 7 Avenue Pictet de Rochemont, 1207 GenevA, switzeRlAnd tel+41 22 740 1939, FAx+41 22 740 1945,





K I d S T o n




Illustrated 1955 Lister Jaguar (ex-Jim CLark) CLIENT PORTFOLIO 1932 MG C Type Montlhery Midget (Le Mans class winner) 1939 Lagonda V12 Drophead (ex-Briggs Cunningham) 1947 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Sport by Ghia 1957 Maserati 200Si (ex-Franco Cornacchia/Carroll Shelby) 1959 Maserati 3500 GT Vignale Spyder Prototype 1963 Porsche 356C Carrera GS 2000 1968 Lamborghini Miura P400 2006 Porsche Carrera GT Please note that to respect client confidentiality not all motor cars available may be shown


The Jolla club

5-7 april

Growth for Southern California’s springtime riposte to Pebble Beach

California, USA

Words Richard Truesdell

THE NINTH ANNUAL edition of the La Jolla Concours d’Elegance got the West Coast season into gear following the previous month’s East Coast event at Amelia Island. La Jolla presented more than 150 pre- and post-war classics from the US and the great European marques, with a rare Toyota Sports 800 roadster thrown in for good measure. Among the pre-war American classics, the crowd favourite was Tom M White’s 1937 Cord supercharged phaeton, a car once owned by cowboy movie star Tom Mix. It stood out even among cars such as Donnie Crevier and Larry Alderson’s 1931 Chrysler Imperial Waterhouse. British cars were well represented. In addition to the expected onslaught of Rolls-Royces, Bentleys and Jaguars, four cars rarely seen in the US caught our eyes. First was Malcolm Page’s 1928 Aston Martin T-Type convertible. Next were two Sunbeams, Ed Stewart’s 1953 SunbeamTalbot MkII A saloon along with Dannie and Craig McLaughlin’s 1953 Sunbeam Alpine Mk1, looking as if it had just driven off the set of To Catch A Thief. Triumphs included Eric Hoover and Deborah Gator’s 1968 TR5 PI (petrol injection) and the 1964

26 j u n e 2 013 O C T A N E

Spitfire owned by Harry Connally that was recognised by the judges with a class win. A strong representation of cars from Germany, Italy, France, and Spain included Beverly and Tom Gould’s 1970 Porsche 911E Targa. Among the Mercedes-Benz cars on display, long-timer owner Karl Heinz Keller’s 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K special roadster had an impressive presence. For French quirkiness, Pascal Giai’s stunning 1967 Citroën DS21 Pallas is a car rarely seen in the USA in such impressive condition. Of a strong field of Italian exotics, two cars were stand-outs. First was Peter McCoy’s 1958 Ferrari 250PF Cabriolet Series 1, while the judges were equally wowed by Perry and Judith Mansfield’s 1972 Lamborghini Jarama coupé. Octane’s favourite had to be the 1937 Hispano-Suiza K6 station wagon owned by Peter and Merle Mullin, which combines European flair with American-style woody coachwork. Making the transition from Europe to America was Carl Schneider’s one-off 1952 Packard coupe. With coachwork sketched by Pininfarina in 1949, this car bore more of a resemblance to its British contemporary, the Bentley Continental coupé.

Two Corvettes stood out among the dominating 1963-1967 Sting Rays. First was the absolutely perfect first-year 1953 Corvette roadster of Gary Hiltunen. Among the Sting Rays, Mike Vietro’s 1963 Corvette race car had a starring role with Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret in 1964’s Viva Las Vegas. Among the muscle cars, top-class honours went to Larry Boord’s 327-powered 1966 Chevrolet Nova L79 coupe. But the real treat for American-car lovers was Herm Rosenman’s 1965 Dodge Coronet 990 WO-51, a fully documented lightweight drag car first bought from the legendary Mopar dealership in Chicago, Illinois, Grand Spaulding Dodge. Best of Show among the pre-war entrants went to Paul Emple’s 1937 Bugatti Type 57 cabriolet with coachwork by Paul Nee. Best of Show, post-war, was Russell and Elena Hook’s 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing. The large crowd registered this award’s acceptance with sustained applause to end a perfect day on the shores of the Pacific. Below La Jolla provides a spectacular and beautiful location; the concours provides cars to match.

1986 Ferrari Testarossa with only 8,300 miles from new Estimate: (ÂŁ) 50,000 - 60,000

The International Trophy Sale 17th May 2013 The Wing Silverstone Circuit

View our full lot list at

01926 691 141

igniTion // EVENTS

10-14 April Essen, Germany

Techno-classica essen

End of an Essen era

The 25th Techno-Classica was as foot-achingly extensive as ever, but held in the current halls for the last time Words and photography Delwyn Mallett

This year’s Techno-Classica Essen was the 25th and rather neatly dovetailed with the 50th anniversary of the Porsche 911. However, given that this is the biggest classic car show of its kind, Porsche’s presence, at least to this enthusiast, seemed a little low-key, restricted to a Porsche Classic stand showing a handful of ‘cooking’ early 911s and promoting the range of restoration parts that Porsche can supply. Perhaps Porsche took this approach because elsewhere in the vast complex of halls that make up the exhibition centre there were more than enough 911s on dealers’ and restorers’ stands to satisfy the most ardent fan, and nearly all were for sale – Steve McQueen’s price record-breaking slate grey 911S among them. Nevertheless, it was a surprise that none of Porsche’s historic and iconic racing 911s made it to the show. As always the number of cars on display, from the major German manufacturers such as MercedesBenz, BMW, Audi and VW as well as the classic car 28 j u n e 2 013 O C T A N E

dealers and also the single-marque clubs, was quite overwhelming. Sadly for the Brits, one aspect of the Essen show that British visitors have to get used to is the sight of British motoring heritage being displayed as part of the German companies that now own them. There is something quite depressing about seeing a dozen original Minis as part of the BMW presentation. Perhaps even worse is to see the massive Volkswagen display featuring a whole gaggle of magnificent vintage Bentleys (as well as Bugattis and Lamborghinis, of course). Another sobering thought is that you just know that somewhere in the labyrinth of stalls packed with secondhand parts there lurks the elusive bit that you have spent years looking for – if only you could find it. Even if you do by some miracle stumble upon it you will almost certainly not be able to justify paying the simply outrageous prices that most of the dealers were asking. I watched one chap sort out

Above The 25th Techno-Classica celebrated many anniversaries, including 50 years of the Porsche 911. Highlights included this patinated recreation of a Fiat Streamliner (top right).

a handful of period 1960s press release photos of a not-particularly-rare Italian car and being told, on asking the price, that they were original photos and that they were an eye-watering €200 each! For some, gasping at the extraordinary prices fetched for yesterday’s ephemera is all part of the fun and, if you have the stamina to keep going through all 12 huge halls, fun it certainly is. Whatever your automotive poison, from Abarth to Zündapp, you will find it at Essen, and there is always the rare treat ready to take you by surprise. The car that I most wanted to take home this year was not a fully restored Mercedes SSK, all black and chrome, or one of more than a dozen immaculately restored 300SL Gullwings, but a little Fiat streamliner, with faded red paintwork and crazed Perspex. As tiny as a tadpole and as slippery as a salmon, it looked as if it had just finished a 1940s Mille Miglia – so imagine how disappointed I was to find that this was no carefully conserved barn find, but an artfully created replica. It did look fantastic, though. It seems that the Essen halls are to be demolished later this year to make way for a new complex. It will be interesting to see if the new building will be able to retain the magic of the current Techno-Classica.



This 1992 Ferrari 512 TR with full Maranello history (Est: £36,000 - £45,000) is one of 100 motorcars, 100 classic motorcycles and 100 lots of automobilia that will be offered at Historics’ major summer sale Preview: Friday, May 31st, from 10.00 - 20.00 Sale Times: Automobilia: 10.00 Motorcars: See website Motorcycles: See website Entry by catalogue. Includes complimentary access to Brooklands Museum

FINAL CALL FOR ENTRIES To consign and for further information Tel: 0800 988 3838 / 01753 639170 E-mail: FINE CLASSIC & COLLECTOR CAR AUCTIONEERS

ignition // EVENTS

22-24 March Avignon, France

Above and below Tours took in the region’s finest roads and scenery; displays were French orientated, including one to mark Alpine’s 50th anniversary (bottom, centre).

Av i g n o n M o t o r F e s t i vA l

French and fanciful

Gallic marque anniversaries are the highlight of this year’s Avignon show and tour Words Richard Dredge Photography

While Brits are busy celebrating Aston Martin’s centenary and McLaren’s 50th birthday, the French are marking their own centenary – that of Salmson, along with five decades of the Alpine A110. Which is why, at France’s second-largest annual classic motoring event (after Rétromobile), the Avignon Motor Festival featured superb displays of both Salmsons and Alpines, charting the racing history of the latter brand from its earliest days right up to the dramatic A110-50 concept unveiled last summer. The focus on Gallic marques comes as no surprise, as Avignon attracts an almost exclusively French audience. As a result, this Vaucluse-based fixture takes in just about every French marque from Panhard to Hotchkiss, Voisin, Amilcar and Bugatti. The Festival is made up of two key strands: a non-competitive invitation-only tour restricted to just 60 pre-war cars, and a 50,000m2 static show. Known as the Jacques Potherat Trophy, and named after the late driver and author, there was a different tour on each of the event’s three days, each taking in the region’s superb roads and scenery. A highlight of the tour was Jurgen Jenrich’s superb Wanderer W25K, while the Bodin family (Christian, Nicolas and Pénélope) brought a trio of Fiat Coppa d’Oros. Just two entries came from the UK: Trevor 3 0 j u n e 2 013 O C T A N E

Swete in his Invicta S-Type and Mark Palmer in his Frazer-Nash. Plenty of other British marques were represented in the tour though, including Bentley, Lagonda, Alvis, Morgan, Aston Martin and MG. Few enthusiasts ventured onto the tour routes, preferring instead to immerse themselves in the 2500 vehicles on show at the Parc des Expositions. ‘Although 1950s and 1960s cars are popular, newer classics are becoming increasingly common,’ explains event committee member Patrick Hornstein. ‘Models such as the Peugeot 205GTi, Matra Murena and Renault GTA are now guaranteed

to turn up, alongside rarities of all kinds – but over 90% of the cars here are at least 30 years old. Also on show are commercials, tractors, hot rods, military vehicles and modern sports cars. That’s what makes Avignon so great – the variety and unpredictability.’ Around half of the show was based inside, with art, scupltures, cars and automobilia all either up for grabs or on display. So if you needed fresh instruments for your 4CV or some wheeltrims for a Traction Avant, this was the place to be. Literature hunters could immerse themselves in dozens of stalls, while if you wanted a new project you could choose from a Vespa 400 and a Panhard PL17. While the autojumble, displays and tour took place on all three days, a Meguiars-sponsored concours d’elegance on the Saturday added a little extra to the weekend. But it’s not as though you’re scratching around for stuff to fill the time, which is why it’s worth blanking out 21-23 March 2014 in your diary now. //


MAY 2013

Principal Partner

Donington Park’s historic motor racing festival

Now extended to three days

With a packed programme of historic races from the 80s back to the 20s Group C sportscars HTCC for 1966-85Touring Cars with 70s Celebration HSCC Historic F2 ‘1000km’ for pre-72 sports-racing cars U2TC pre-66 under two-litre Touring Cars Masters pre-66 GT Gentlemen Drivers Masters pre-66 Touring Cars

E-type Challenge Pre-63 GT Formula Junior

Stirling Moss Trophy for pre-61 sportscars Royal Automobile Club Woodcote Trophy for pre-56 sportscars HGPCA Nuvolari Trophy pre-1940 GP Cars with Hall & Hall

Over 400 world-class historic racing cars. Special Ayrton Senna tribute. 1,000s of classic cars on display from classic car clubs. Live action from Group B and Historic Rally Car Register rally cars. Trade village featuring memorabilia, art, photos, books, clothing, models, toys and autojumble. Kids’ zone. Cafés, bars and food outlets. Access to all areas including spectator zones and paddocks. Free parking.

Tickets. Discounted advance tickets available now from only £12 a day for the Friday, £20 for the Saturday or Sunday and just £36 for a three-day weekend ticket. Plus children under 16 go FREE! Telephone the ticket hotline or visit our website to buy online.

24hr ticket hotline: 0844 873 7355 or OUR PARTNERS

For general enquiries please telephone +44 (0)1728 684 410 or email

Details correct at time of going to print. The organisers reserve the right to change plans and timing. Please check the website for the latest updates.

ignition // NEW CAR NEWS

Hot hatch wars: the remake

Can Peugeot regain the hot-hatch highground of yesteryear in the face of new Clio and Fiesta rivals?

Words John Simister

32 j u n e 2 013 O C T A N E

Ah, hAppy dAys of hot-hatchdom. It was a good quarter of a century ago that Renault’s 5 GT Turbo battled with Peugeot’s 205GTI and Ford’s Fiesta XR2. Quite a lot of Octane readers grew up with one of these, I’d guess. The battlefield has been quiet these last few years, with Renault alone making the running with a fine series of Renaultsport Clios. Meanwhile Peugeot’s star faded and Ford didn’t take the task seriously, concentrating instead on very fast versions of the bigger Focus. But now these three protagonists are back in the spotlight, their simultaneously launched

offspring vying with new vigour for the accolade of best hot hatch. Meet the contestants. Peugeot’s 208GTI uses a 197bhp turbo 1.6, a joint PSA/BMW engine found in lower-power guise in the overweight, hard-riding and unloved 207GTI that so signally failed to rekindle the old 205 flame. The fast 208 has three doors, three pedals and six manually selected gears. It’s lighter than its predecessor, and is the company’s most thoroughly thought-through attempt yet at regaining the top slot it once owned. Renault has re-thought the fastest

18 & 19 May 2013

Supported by

Opens 10am


MOTORMART Up to 200 cars for sale


Over 1000 stands of motoring parts, ac accessories and automobilia

Celebrating 100 years of Morris motoring. See a display of over 200 vehicles.

Entry includes National Motor Museum Palace House Beaulieu Abbey World of Top Gear BOND IN MOTION


VE R sSO RTOU T ND RO Y’ S LA OL D SO DBaUR husiast ent er Rov d Lan all must for WAL KA BO UT AU CT IO N AD INs G TR UN K teuTRr jum bler for ama

Advance Tickets £8.70 One Day £15.50 Two Day Call 01590 612888 (+£1 handling charge on non-online orders)

Stand Enquiries 01590 614614 Beaulieu, Hampshire SO42 7ZN Exit 2, M27 Peugeot’s latest hot hatch, inside and out, alongside the last good one it made: the legendary 205GTI.

ignition // NEW CAR NEWS

Five-door-only Clio trades high-revving 2.0-litre for equally powerful 1.6 turbo but is ruined by its gearbox; hot baby Ford thrills on track and in corners, though ultimately it’s hobbled by an unnecessarily firm ride.

Clio’s place in the world, moving away from a high-revving 2.0-litre engine and a three-door body to a turbo 1.6 (related to Nissan’s Juke unit) and five doors – the only door-count offered on the new Clio’s shell. The engine still has 197bhp (same as the 208) but with a much plumper torque curve and it’s now fed through an obligatory six-speed, double-clutch gearbox with paddleshift and an automatic mode. Ford’s current-shape Fiesta has long been the most enjoyable ‘supermini’ – not that any of these cars is properly small any more – to drive, so it’s a surprise that the rapid version has arrived only now, with the range-wide facelift. That facelift includes a bold new nose with a grille reminiscent of either an Aston Martin’s or a Mk1 Cortina’s, depending on your mindset. The Fiesta ST has been mooted for a while; it was nearly three years ago that a Ford engineer mentioned to me the problems they were having in keeping the under-bonnet temperatures low. The new grille saves the day, it seems. Power here is 179bhp, again from a direct-injection, 3 4 j u n e 2 013 O C T A N E

turbocharged 1.6. Body-plan and gearbox mirror the Peugeot’s, but the Fiesta is cheapest at £16,995 with the plusher ST2 at £17,995. The Peugeot costs £18,895, the Renault £18,995, with the Lux version an extra £1000. Early reports of the Fiesta on a track suggested it would be the favourite. Ford’s 1.6-litre Ecoboost engine is an almost ludicrously torquey unit with practically no turbo lag, and in this application it emits a

hard (helped by a torque-vectoring system that nibbles the inside front wheel’s brake as needed, well before the ESP safety net intervenes), tail happy to hang out to help point you into a bend. Sounds great – except the ride is firm and fidgety to the point of major annoyance on anything but a dead smooth road. The Focus ST isn’t like that, so why spoil the Fiesta? Now, the Clio. It doesn’t feel quite as quick as the Fiesta, although it is:

‘The one you’ll enjoy the most for longest is the 208GTI. Peugeot is back on top’ deep induction roar at low revs thanks to a bulkhead-directed diaphragm in the intake tract. The gearbox has a sweet, accurate shift, the steering is weighty enough to give confidence yet quick to respond crisply to subtle inputs. It’s one of the better electrically powered systems around. It gets better. Clamped in your enveloping Recaro seat you can flick the Fiesta through bends with hilarious vigour, front wheels gripping

blame the throttle mapping. And you could also blame the one thing that kills proper Clio enjoyment, which is that gearbox. Renault says it’s the future, it reflects motor sport practice and the target market wants it, but it’s not even a good double-clutcher. The shifts are too slow, even in the hardest-core mode, and the ratios are bizarre with huge gaps between second, third and fourth.

You feel frustrated and detached from the action in equal measure, so the fact that the Clio matches the Fiesta for handling fun (torquevectoring here, too) while riding much better fails to save it. Renault, sadly, appears to have killed the goose. And the Peugeot? It shouts its attributes less loudly, so at first it’s a touch underwhelming. But the more you drive it, the better it gets. It has no torque-vectoring but appears not to need it, simply tracking cleanly through corners once you trust the quick but initially numb steering controlled by a small wheel set almost in your lap. The engine fluffs and pops agreeably on each gearchange, the balance is enjoyably throttledependent and, crucially, the GTI rides with much of the suppleness of its famous ancestor. All three have similar pace, with 62mph arriving just under seven seconds from a standstill, and similar economy. But in the end the one you’ll enjoy the most for longest is the 208GTI. Peugeot is back on top, with the most complete and well-rounded car here. Surprised? Me too.






BOOK NOW to enjoy special advance booking discounts Plus, special rates for GRRC, VSCC, BTM, CSMA and IAM Members

Visit or telephone 01932 857381 Brooklands Museum, Brooklands Road, Weybridge, Surrey KT13 0QN Media partners

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Harry Metcalfe

WHEN THE economy first faltered in 2008, many European countries were quick to introduce innovative car-scrapping schemes specifically designed to bolster new car sales. They worked but were expensive to implement and, one by one, quietly withdrawn. By 2010, new car sales soon dri ed downwards. What no-one could have predicted was how low demand for new cars was going to get and, for many markets, 2013 is proving to be disastrous. Even Germany is starting to suffer from a glut of new cars becoming available, with sales in March down 17% on last year’s (which weren’t that great anyway) despite huge discounts being offered (14% off is the average), but it’s the Italian market that’s really bad, with new car sales dropping to their lowest level for 47 years and now expected to reach only 1.11million by the end of 2013 – 55% lower than they were in 2007. For the Fiat Group, the consequences of this dramatic drop are enormous because, historically, 56% of Fiat’s new car sales have been made in its home market. But that’s all changed and dealers are closing throughout Italy, with 20% lost over the past five years, and this trend is expected to accelerate as a result of the crash in car sales. It’s not just the bread-andbutter end of the market that’s suffering badly. As Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann recently remarked, while the market for high-end supercars in Italy was stable at around 2000 units a year in 2007/8, it shrunk to just 400 in 2012 and this downward spiral is continuing, with sales at Porsche tumbling by 36% in the first three months of 2013 (compared with 2012); Ferrari sales are down similarly. The big surprise, though, is the UK, where new car sales have been climbing. Experts are putting that down to the long-established company car culture in the UK, with ‘business and fleet’ sales accounting for 48% of purchases. Companies have continued to buy because today’s deals are better than ever and having a company car scheme remains a popular and effective way to retain key staff. Given the turmoil elsewhere, it’s remarkable to think that the 5.9% rise in new-car registrations in March is the 13th consecutive month of growth in the UK. Long may it continue.

36 J U N E 2 013 O C T A N E

Worth a bit of pain

Sure, it’s cramped, but Caterham’s £28,000 Supersport R entertains like few other cars Words David Vivian Photography Dean Smith

IT MAY BE one of the most impractical cars on the planet, but the stats are compelling: four cylinders, 2.0 litres, no turbos, 180bhp, 535kg, 336bhp per ton. As you scissor yourself into the Supersport R’s bare, cramped cabin, hang on to that power-to-weight figure. It’s virtually identical to that of a Porsche 997 Turbo S. Fun and games? You bet. The regular 140bhp 1.6-litre Sigma-engined Supersport may be a junior member of the family but it’s pretty quick by any conventional yardstick. Put Ford’s thicker-wristed 180bhp 2.0-litre Duratec lump in a car so light you suspect it could be propelled by a stiff breeze and the accelerative thump in the kidneys becomes very palpable indeed, even from modest revs in a high gear. Not that this will stop you nudging the stubby, aluminium-orbed gearlever around its close-coupled gate for the sheer joy of it. As with any Caterham, the intensity of the driving experience revolves around inputs and feedback. Caterham’s quoted 0-60mph time of 4.8sec isn’t quite as heart-stopping as the power-to-weight figure would suggest, but don’t be deceived. The R’s small-diameter rear wheels shod with 175mm-wide Avons limit take-off, but roll-on pace is as addictively brutal as you might hope. It’s more than thrilling enough to send your adrenal glands into overboost on the road, and

Above and right

Colin Chapman got the 7 so right back in 1957, it’s merely had to evolve since. Now with 180bhp from a Ford 1.6; still only weighs 535kg.

there’s the delightful prospect of being able to shoot down vastly more powerful machinery on track. In evolutionary terms, the Supersport R is an effective replacement for the R300. As such, you get a few cherry-picked components, including the dampers from Caterham’s still racier offerings teamed with the regular Supersport’s adjustable double-wishbone suspension up front and de Dion arrangement at the rear, a pretty aggressive limited-slip diff, a full harness, uncompromisingly snug composite sports seats, and shi

lights that illuminate at 7500rpm. On a sunny day and twisty tarmac that isn’t too bumpy, few cars will keep your behind as forensically informed about the road surface, and the steering, as ever, is so quick and direct you can almost think the Supersport R around bends. So if you feel like indulging in a bit of tail-out action, you’d better think ahead and be fast and accurate with the correction. What sets the Supersport R apart is a punchy, flexible engine that makes the stupendous performance feel more progressive and accessible. And that has to be good.

Cape Horn November 2013

Unique, month long, timed event, taking in the best of Argentina and Chile... get off the beatentrack to one of the four corners of the earth.

5th Classic Safari May 2014







A relaxed event, blending top-notch comforts with the remote driving roads of Africa. Overnighting at luxury-lodges and specially designed with couples in mind, it includes flights into the Okavango Delta. A highly memorable, breathtaking route.

6th Flying Scotsman April 2014

Britain’s longest (and largest entry) timed rally for pre-war Vintageants, organised with the massive support of over 500 marshals driving remote roads from London to Edinburgh.

The Road to Mandalay February 2015

Starting in Raffles, Singapore we drive through Malaysia into Thailand, then cross the border into Burma to finish in Mandalay. Opening this frontier is a true first. We are just back from our first route recce, check out the website for our report.

2nd Trans-Am June 2015

An all-new route to suit Vintage and Classics, from Halifax, Nova Scotia, across the wildest parts of Canada and America - through the woods where they filmed the Last of the Mohicans - to finish in Seattle... Sea to Shining Sea.

Peking to Taj Mahal June 2016

In the style of our Peking to Paris, a totally new route. Venturing into the wilds of Mongolia then turning south to cross Tibet, to camp at the foot of Mount Everest. Driving into Nepal and on to the fabled Himalayan roads of Northern India to finish with a prize giving at the Taj Mahal.


If you’re one of the few who can’t stand life stuck in a rut and just long to get out more, give the most experienced team in classic rallying a call...

T: 01235 831221 E:

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iGnition // DIARY Best events

In brief

Le Jog ‘A PLEASAnT nIGHTMARE.’ ‘Brilliant!’ ‘Tough.’ These are just some crew reactions to HERO’s Land’s End to John o’Groats Reliability and Touring Trial, which is cited by even the most experienced campaigners as one of Europe’s most relentlessly demanding timed events.

Open to cars built before 1984, the 19th running of this December ordeal promises to test participants with a 1500-mile route along some of Britain’s toughest roads, and, no doubt, some foul and unpredictable weather. Said route is mainly comprised of minor roads from the extreme

where, when, how much WHERE? Land’s End, England, to John o’Groats, Scotland WHEn? 7-10 December (but book now) HOW MUCH? From £2777 for a crew of two. That covers all accommodation, meals and coffee stops, as well as the black-tie welcome and awards dinners HOW TO GET THERE? From London, head south-west until you fall off our little island WHERE TO STAy? See above MORE InFO?

south-west of England to the north of Scotland. It takes in long regularities and navigation sections, driving tests on private land and occasional smooth forest tracks. While crews will be allowed some shut-eye on the Saturday and the Sunday, they’ll find themselves driving through the night on the Monday. As you’ll appreciate, it takes a little luck and quite considerable skill just to make it to John o’Groats in one piece, and all who cross the finish line quite rightly receive an award, but there is also an assortment of special – and highly coveted – prizes for the quickest and most heroic crews. It is testament to the challenge posed by Le Jog that in 2012 just one gold medal was earned. You’ll need a well-prepared car to tackle the various tests the organisers will throw at you. If you don’t have one, or if you don’t fancy sploshing your own classic through a river, check out the HERO Arrive and Drive scheme. The one thing you don’t necessarily need is experience – in fact, HERO positively encourages novices to enter, and recognises their achievements with the Absolute Beginners award. If you feel that a little tuition might be in order before blasting around the Highlands, however, HERO offers a training day covering topics such as car prep, map reading and dealing with regularities. This year it will take place on 11 October at RAF Throckmorton, Worcs, and those filled with confidence after a few hours of instruction can put the theory into practice the following day on the HERO Throckmorton Challenge. Sarah Bradley

new route for coppa d’oro deLLe doLomiti Under its new organisers the Coppa d’Oro delle Dolomiti will take a new route through the mountains of northern Italy: participants in pre-62 and exceptional pre-65 cars will be flagged away from and finish in Cortina d’Ampezzo, covering 500km of winding roads in-between. A concours-type competition will take place on 28 August before the cars roll out of Cortina on 30 August for two days of spectacular driving. // cLassic cars weLcome at de haviLLand moth raLLy The de Havilland Moth Club International Rally is set to return to Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire after a five-year absence – and classic car owners are welcome to join aviation fans for a weekend of flying displays, competitions and heritage fun. Tickets for the event, which takes place on 17-18 August, will cost £10 each on the Saturday and £15 on the Sunday. // uk hosts citroËn sm meet Usually held across the Channel, the annual meeting of the SM section of the Citroën Car Club will this year take place in the UK. Enthusiasts will gather at Hatherley Manor Hotel in Gloucestershire on Friday 17 May and spend the weekend exploring the area before enjoying a tour of the Morgan factory on the Monday. //

listinGs 26 April – 12 MAy Tuscany & Umbria Tour Italy. Classic Travelling Tour open to all Jaguars. 27-28 April MSA Spring Classic South Wales, UK. New two-day non-competitive tour around beautiful South Wales. 27 April – 5 MAy London-Lisbon Trial & Tour London, UK – Lisbon, Portugal. HERO Cup qualifying event. 28 April MG Owners’ Club Rally Arundel Castle, West Sussex, UK. Over 150 classic MGs gather at the medieval castle. 3-5 MAy Donington Historic Festival Donington Park, Derby, UK. Now extended to three days. 3-5 MAy Concours d’Elegance of Texas Montgomery, Texas, USA. Now in its second year.

4 MAy Warren Classic and Concours Woodham Walter, Essex, UK. New international concours. 4 MAy Auto Italia Italian Car Day Brooklands, Surrey, UK. The UK’s biggest Italian car show. 4-5 MAy Classic Days Magny Cours, France. Weekend of classic racing at the iconic circuit. 5 MAy Goodwood Breakfast Club West Sussex, UK. Soft-top Sunday. 6-9 MAy St Mawes Classic Car Festival Cornwall, UK. Open-air classic car show and concours. 10-11 MAy Tour Britannia Warwickshire, UK. Unique tour with regularity stages. 11-12 MAy Grand Prix de Pau Historique Pau, France. Held on city circuit.

38 j u n e 2 013 O C T A N E

12 MAy Wallingford Classic Rally Oxfordshire, UK. Includes a parade through the historic town. 12 MAy Simply French Beaulieu, Hampshire, UK. French cars of all sorts gather in Beaulieu. 12-21 MAy Mille Miglia Tour Brescia, Italy. Scenic Car Tours ten-day tour to the Mille Miglia. 16-19 MAy Mille Miglia Brescia, Italy. Legendary historic road racing event. 17-20 MAy International Citroën SM meeting Gloucester, UK. Annual SM meeting comes to the Cotswolds. 18-19 MAy Spring Autojumble Beaulieu, Hampshire, UK. A warm-up for the international autojumble later in the year.

24-26 MAy Spa Classic Spa Francorchamps, Belgium. Now in its third year. 24-26 MAy Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este Lake Como, Italy. Stylish, worldclass concours. By invitation only, public admission on the Sunday. 26-27 MAy Motorsport at the Palace Crystal Palace, London, UK. Sprint and time trial event. 28 MAy – 29 June Peking to Paris Motor Challenge 2013 China to France, via Mongolia, Russia and Eastern Europe. Amazing endurance rally returns. 1 June Cultra Hillclimb Northern Ireland. World’s oldest active hillclimb, celebrating 100 years of Aston Martin and 50 years of Porsche 911.

1-2 June La Vie en Bleu Prescott, Gloucestershire, UK. French car celebration at the famous hillclimb. 1-2 June Greenwich Concours d’Elegance Greenwich, Connecticut, USA. Rapidly growing concours. 2 June Goodwood Breakfast Club West Sussex, UK. Supercar Sunday. 4-9 June Modena Cento Ore Classic Apennine mountains, Italy. Classic car regularity rally. 5-8 June Three Castles Welsh Trial North Wales. Classic car rally for novices and experts. 7-9 June Kent Country Rally Kent, UK. Scenic Car Tours trip ending at Bromley Pageant.

7-9 June Jersey International Festival Jersey, UK. Touring, motorcycle and competition event. 7-9 June Wings Wheels and Goggles Teuge airfield, Netherlands. Aeroplanes and vintage cars compete in pre-war rally. 7-21 June Trans-Alpine Tour France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland. Two weeks of spectacular mountain driving with Classic Travelling. 8-9 June Autodrome Heritage Festival Montlhéry circuit, France. Extended to two days for 2013. 8-9 June XK 65 Celebrations Luxembourg. Jaguar XK celebration in heart of Europe. 9 June Bromley Pageant of Motoring Kent, UK. Huge outdoor meeting.

Octane recommends

Make sure you put these dates in your diary

motorSport At the pAlACe

26-27 May, London, UK The sprint and time trial event returns for the fourth year running to the parkland grounds of the old Crystal Palace in south London. Historic and hi-tech cars alike will tackle the narrow, twisting course, while the open paddock will allow visitors the opportunity to chat to drivers and mechanics. There’s sure to be plenty of additional entertainment for all the family, including Kit Car Village, a large display from the Classic Racing Motorcycle Club, and Diggerland. //

ennStAl ClASSiC

17-20 July, Gröbming, Austria Open to historically significant pre-1973 sports and racing cars, the Ennstal

14-16 June Cholmondeley Pageant Cheshire, UK. Festival with fast cars, boats and aeroplanes, and a concert with fireworks. 15-16 June Brooklands Double Twelve Weybridge, Surrey, UK. Tests, speed trials and concours at the historic Brooklands circuit. 16 June Custom & Hot Rod Festival Beaulieu, Hampshire, UK. Rapidly growing hot rod show. 20 June – 6 July The Arctic Highway Challenge Norway. Traverse the epic Arctic Highway with Scenic Car Tours. 22-23 June Mugello Classico Firenzuola, Italy. Non-competitive sprint on closed roads. 22-23 June 24 Hours of Le Mans Le Mans, France. The ultimate endurance race.

Classic will, as ever, feature an array of amazing machinery, with some 50 marques likely to be represented. First staged in 1993, the Classic attracts some of the biggest names in motor sport and sees participants drive through nearly 600 miles of picturesque Alpine scenery before a regularity challenge. Old-fashioned sportsmanship is the order of the day, as electronic timing and navigation devices are banned.

This is not red.



24-26 May, Spa, Belgium Touring Cars are to make a welcome return to Spa-Francorchamps this year, with the introduction of two Endurance Touring grids at the third Spa Classic. Eligible cars, which include models that competed in the Spa 24 Hours in period, will line up in two categories (pre-1966 sub-2.0 litres, and cars of all capacities built between 1966 and 1984 all capacities) for one daytime and one night race. They join grids for Classic Endurance Racing, Group C, 1960s Endurance, Trofeo Nastro Rosso, 911s and Historic Formula 2. Other highlights include a Bonhams sale, soap-box and slot racers and club displays. //

23 June Brooklands Ton-Up Day Brooklands, Surrey, UK. Celebration of the first 100mph motorbikes, in association with the Ace Cafe. 27-30 June Cuervo y Sobrinos Cup Vintage regularity rally through the heart of the Italian, Swiss and Austrian Alps. 28-30 June Vernasca Silver Flag Vernasca, Italy. Prestige hillclimb on Piacenza’s closed roads. 29-30 September Bressuire GP Historique Bressuire, France. Historic racing event held on public roads of the rural French town. 7 July Gaydon Mini Festival Motor Heritage Centre, Gaydon, UK. All Minis welcome. 12-14 July Goodwood Festival of Speed

Goodwood, West Sussex, UK. Celebration of motor sport in the grounds of Lord March’s home. 12-14 July New Forest Weekend Hampshire, UK. Weekend away for Jaguar owners with Classic Travelling. 21 July Classics at the Castle Sherborne Castle, UK. Over 1000 cars, from veterans to supercars. 3-4 AuguSt Castle Hill Car Festival Barnstaple, Devon, UK. New classic car festival, held in the parkland grounds of the Castle Hill estate near South Molton.

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Octane makes every effort to ensure accuracy on these pages, but recommends that you contact event organisers before setting out. Visit the Octane website for contact details.

O C T A N E j u n e 2 013 39

Letters Write to: Octane letters, Octane Media Ltd, 5 Tower Court, Irchester Road, Wollaston, Northants NN29 7PJ, UK. Email:, fax: +44 (0)1933 667309. Please include your name, address and a daytime telephone number. Octane reserves the right to edit letters for clarity. Views expressed are not necessarily those of Octane magazine.

french lesson

L e TT eR O F T he M ONTh

majorly amusing hOW GOOd tO read dave selby’s piece on the best car that nobody cares for, the daimler Majestic Major [Octane 118]. In 1979 I was 17 and wore black suits and black nail varnish; scarcely surprising, then, that the only motor I wanted was a daimler Landslide-Majority. Its appeal went beyond the pure Gothic: here was a car that you’d never heard of, had 250-odd horsepower and was the size of a rolls, but could be had for plausible money. alas, they were not easy to come by and many wistful afternoons spent thumbing through exchange & Mart in Wh smith’s finally landed a humber Pullman hearse instead, in a Cheltenham scrapyard; a fine car but the 4.0-litre six fell short of the craved daimler ‘Pursuit’ v8; besides, I had no driving licence. ten years later a really ratty Major, a saloon, slipped through my fingers when a film producer outbid me, the car smoking off through a haze of blue into the movie the Krays. But eventually I got one, a complete basketcase. Fortunately I was by then the proprietor of a shabby yet prestigious garage in the heart of London’s heathman’s road, so restoration was no problem. so did it live up to anticipation? Yes, but for surprising reasons. the performance was there, of course; the baritone exhaust faultless. Parts of the car were really lovely. But gradually the styling began to sink in and at last I saw the car as so many others did – a black cab. Gawd, how these cars need rodding. But it’s the gearbox I recall with most affection. the dMM has a torque converter lock-out; so, having paddled about in the lesser ratios, the transmission gives a sort of mechanical hiccup and locks the drivetrain solid in top, giving all the drivability, response and economy of a manual ’box. schplendid! and you can bump-start it! the handbook says something like: ‘run the car down a steep hill. When a speed of at least 20mph is reached, engage d. the car should start immediately.’ Mine did. But it’s not a procedure for the faint-hearted.

I have just read, with the usual anticipated enjoyment, issue 113 of Octane. the reason for the delay in making the comments hereunder is not due to the time taken in transporting said magazine to the antipodes via the next convict ship. sadly it is a consequence of my having to wait for my son to read several issues and then post them up to his penurious parent. I greatly enjoyed reading about the Windsor Concours of elegance – but why did they choose to call it that? Why not the correct ‘Concours d’elegance’? Was it because the event was held at Windsor Castle and hence some stuffy Francophobe decided that it just ‘wasn’t on’ to have a Frog name at Windsor? to the best of my knowledge, ‘concours’ is not one of the many words that have become commonly used in both english and French (‘elegance’ itself is a prime example). I venture to say, without any disrespect meant, that the great majority of Octane readers would not know that ‘concours’ means ‘contest’. Concours of elegance is a horrible mixture that is neither one thing nor the other. I know that Octane has but a small involvement, but please use whatever influence you might have to change the name. Next thing I’ll be reading that someone competed in ‘two Grand Prixes’! howard westmoreland queensland, australia

jo burge suffolk

the letter of the month

W IN s a s t Y L I s h L e at h e r Wa L L e t F r O M G t O L O N d O N

GTO London’s 250GTO Nero wallet is part of its Ferrari-inspired gents’ accessories collection. Inspired by the iconic Ferrari 250GTO, each wallet is handmade in soft leather, with monogrammed satin lining and sterling silver steering wheel emblem, and is worth £255. GTO London accessories are all handcrafted and include cufflinks, tie pins, key fobs and money clips. Designs reflect signature Ferrari components – classic steering wheels, spinners, ignition, carb trumpet, shift gate, tyre tread, connecting rods – and each is approved by Ferrari experts, to ensure accuracy.

4 0 j u n e 2 013


open lamborghinis

ON PaGe 27 of your wonderful issue 118 is a short piece about older open-top Lamborghinis and, as historian of the marque, I’d like to offer a correction (or two). the Miura roadster was not the first open Lamborghini ever built. this honour must go to the 350Gts, a very pretty touring design first shown at the 1965 salone dell’automobile di torino and then exhibited also at the Brussels motor show; this 1965 photo

shows the first Gts (of only two reportedly built) in front of the old sant’agata office block on a foggy day. the turin motor show was held in November and fog is a norm in sant’agata in autumn… the beautiful Miura roadster, on the other hand, does not even have a roof; if you look at the side elevation of the car you will appreciate why. For purely aesthetic reasons, the engine hood ‘buttresses’ of the roadster were kept lower than in the coupé version, and this difference in height between the top of the windscreen and the rear section may explain why no roof was ever fitted to the Miura roadster. as the car was designed stricly as a prototype (the factory had its hands full at the time building ‘normal’ Miuras, espadas and Isleros), the lack of a roof was not a problem. dr stefano pasini bologna, italy

dron on dolomites

tONY drON’s artICLe in Octane 119 about Broadspeed’s development of the triumph dolomite sprint for racing gives interesting insight into the team’s refinement of triumph’s slant-four engine, and I was impressed by the final output of 210bhp for the 1978 season. the development of the engine didn’t stop with the sprint, however: saab produced an improved 2.0-litre version for its 99 from 1972, and boosted output to 143bhp with turbocharging from 1978. the swedish version proved very reliable and remained in production until 2009, delivering a final output of 225bhp for that year’s 9-5 aero. My 1973 99L has done 150,000 miles with its 1.85-litre triumph engine. It now needs replacement of the single camshaft drive – one of the weaknesses that were eliminated in the swedish-built versions. tor ingebrigtsen tromsø, norway

tONY’s Feature took me straight back to the early ’80s when, as an engineering apprentice at London transport, I bought a sprint, uBh 458N, white with a black vinyl roof. Of course, I tinkered with the car. I had the pistons and con-rods beautifully balanced by an eccentric local engineer in Finchley Central who got them down to within 0.5 of a gramme of each other – the starting

imbalance was 12 grammes – and this resulted in a much smoother, free-revving engine. I lapped the 16 valves by hand, with the blisters to show for it. I then fitted a competition head gasket, a 12-vane water pump and a Kenlowe electric fan and had no overheating problems whatsoever. An SAH straight-through exhaust from Dunham & Haines added a wonderful exhaust note, and Spax adjustable shocks helped tame the wayward handling a bit, but it was still very tail-happy. I was such a regular visitor to my local British Leyland dealer, Broadfields, in Cockfosters, that they gave me trade prices! A pair of ubiquitous Cibié Oscars were mounted on the front bumper and a Sharp radio/casette with a graphic equaliser hidden beneath the glovebox. Those were the days: cheap insurance and petrol, which gave us the freedom to drive for pleasure, even on meagre apprentice’s wages. stavros marangos north london

poor man’s ferrarI

I reAD wITH InTereST Mark Dixon’s mention of his Fiat 2300S Coupé in Octane 119. Having acquired this 1966 model from a French collector, I am so pleased I did. while it has been nothing but trouble since arriving here on a trailer last May, and I have only managed to drive it once – without brakes – from Surrey to Goodwood House last August, I am nevertheless smitten! what I thought was a perfect example of the beautiful ’60s Italian GT has proven not to be; however, this three-owner, 66,000-mile example is going to end up as it should be, not concours but preserved and used like Mark’s. According to the DvLA, there are only eight in the UK and that is quite something as far as I am concerned: an exclusive club of ‘poor man’s Ferraris’.

This is not green.

peter jerram london

red-letter day

paul stafford

yOUr COver FeATUre on the Alfa romeo GTA (Octane 119) immediately brought to mind a memorable day in September 1966 when, accompanying my good friend and our respective ladies in his brand new 1500 Beetle, we were stopping and starting our way through the Cheshire backlanes in the queue for the annual Oulton Park Gold Cup race meeting. Suddenly our conversation was drowned out by the ‘woofling and snorting’ of a car behind us ducking, diving, and hurrying its way through the long line of slowly moving spectators’ cars. ‘I’m going to let this one through,’ announced my normally unyielding friend, to my surprise. what followed was a spectacle guaranteed to warm the hearts of us red-blooded young racing fans. none other than Brian redman himself, our very own Lancashire hero, at the wheel of the red rose racing Alfa romeo GTA, complete with Italian registration plates and racing numbers. Later, at trackside, we really rooted for Brian and the Alfa GTA and he didn’t disappoint, taking second in his class and fourth overall in the Touring Car race. I’ve had a very soft spot in my heart for racing GTAs ever since.


davId alderson northants

frazer nash-bmw found

I wAS very InTereSTeD in the details and photo of Charles wells’s father’s Frazer nash-BMw 327/80 in Octane 119, because I now have the car and am nearing completion of a major restoration. It was previously owned by Sam Hunting, the proprietor of the westgate Motor Co, Peterborough. He had the BMw for many years and used it extensively, and I well remember admiring this very unusual vehicle as a schoolboy. By the time Sam died in 1983, KMT 774 was in very poor condition but was sold at auction along with his house and effects. After that it passed through the hands of two half-hearted owners who came to realise that these cars are complex, expensive and quite difficult to restore. I am plodding away methodically and look forward to using the car’s capabilities as Charles wells describes in his letter. The photograph shows it in 1965, when it was featured in an article in the Peterborough evening Telegraph – the accessories on the car are very ’60s and will not be put back on!

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O C T A N E J U N E 2 013 41

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’M TRYING TO understand why I enjoy driving certain cars that, to many, might not seem remarkable. I have a 1971 Mercedes-Benz SEL 6.3 and I also have a modern AMG E55, as well as an SLR. So why is the 6.3 my favourite of the three to drive? It’s certainly more primitive than the other two. When it was introduced it was the fastest four-door in America, with its 6.3-litre engine and 250 horsepower. It felt like a real 250, not like an American 250. When I was a teenager I worked at a place called Foreign Motors. We were importers of Mercedes-Benz as well as other ‘fine foreign cars’. It was my job to detail them and deliver them to their new owners. I remember at the time Mercedes ran an ad asking why anyone would pay $10,000 for a four-door sedan, which seemed like an outrageous price at the time, and they had the whole list of reasons. When I delivered a 6.3 to a customer it always seemed like the richest, most luxurious car in the world. When I drive mine now I notice the leather seems richer than new cars’ but the electric window switches don’t integrate the way they do in a modern Mercedes, the doors are way thinner and the steering wheel rim is extremely slim. But there’s something about driving it that’s fulfilling. I was driving mine spiritedly and noticed, as I put my foot in while going around a corner, the right rear tyre li up and spin. I laughed to myself. It has air suspension, quite sophisticated back in the day, but that spinning wheel made me smile because it seemed so primitive. It seems much easier to place on the road because there’s not so much space between me and the outside, and there’s a lot of fuss and noise - like when you turn on the air-conditioner – that you don’t get in a modern Mercedes. There’s a rawness about it that I like. This one has 326,000 miles on it. It’s got a few dings and dents and I picked it up quite cheaply. It’s my favourite style, with the two headlights stacked on top of each other. It looks like a prestigious car. But perhaps the reason I like it now is because it was so unobtainable in my youth, just so far out of my reach. When the 6.3 came out I was washing cars for $1.50 an hour. I would have had to work for ten years to have one. It’s also about the time in which you grew up. When I was young anything with less than four doors might as well have been a Ferrari, because I grew up in a rural area in New England and people drove big four-door sedans or Galaxies or pick-up trucks.

It was the type of place where you’d go uptown and you’d go home at 10:30 and someone would call up and say ‘Hey, a Corvette drove by!’ And you’d say ‘Nooooooooo! I missed it! I should have been hanging out with you guys!’ There was a guy a couple of towns over who owned a Vincent Black Shadow motorbike and he would ride through town. He never stopped, just went on through. And people would say, ‘Oh, that guy came by the other night. Where does he live?’ When I moved to California 25 years later my friend called me and said ‘Hey, that Vincent that used to go through town is for sale.’ Well, I bought it! I didn’t know what it looked like, I’d only seen it go by, but I had to have it. It was such a legend! I get a huge kick out of riding it now, and there are maybe five guys in the whole world who are impressed that I have that one. As soon as I got it I called a friend from high school I hadn’t seen in 15 years and said ‘Remember that Black Shadow? I got it!’ He said ‘You did?!?’ He was so excited. My wife thinks I’m crazy. She sort of understands most of the cars but there are some she just doesn’t get at all. One is a 1966 green Hemi Coronet, blackwall tyres, dog-dish hubcaps, no power brakes, no power steering, but a big 426 dual-quad Hemi. It was the biggest, baddest Hemi and came with a 90-day warranty. My wife thinks it looks like a taxi. Most Dodge Coronets were taxis, but down in the front quarter panel of mine is a little insignia that says ‘426 Hemi’. It might as well say Ferrari or Lamborghini because that was the car of legend when I was a kid. It doesn’t stop, it doesn’t go around corners, but you put your foot in it and it’s really fast. That was the one you had to have, but it was just a dream back then. I think with these cars it all has to do with that sense of the unobtainable. The prettiest girl in high school still seems attractive to me because you go back to how she looked in high school. I guess it’s why we love classic cars; they hark back to another era.



Comedian and talk show host Jay Leno is one of the most famous entertainers in the USA. He is also a true petrolhead, with a massive collection of cars and bikes (see Jay was speaking with Jeremy Hart.

O C T A N E J U N E 2 013 43

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Derek Bell T H E


L E G E N d

f late, there has been much harrumphing among F1 fans about the number of Grands Prix being hosted outside Europe. By way of an example, France, which has been involved in top-flight motor sport for more than 100 years, no longer has a round of the World Championship. And therein lies the rub: in recent years, races have been played out in countries with no motor sport back story or, judging from the empty grandstands, much in the way of local interest. For well-articulated reasons, this doesn’t sit well with those who have followed the sport for decades. I understand their viewpoint completely, but a recent trip to China opened my eyes to the possibilities for motor racing in emerging markets. I was on duty representing Bentley, which was launching the Continental GT Speed over there. Just getting into China was in itself quite a feat, not least because of the paper trail I had to hike arranging visas and suchlike. Then there were the flights: I flew from LA to London and then had a 13-hour flight to Shanghai to look forward to, but on arrival I was amazed at how straightforward it was passing through immigration: it’s harder getting into the UK as a Brit! It really is a remarkable country and in many ways a contradictory one. It is obviously boom time in many areas, with skyscrapers sprouting out of the ground like sunflowers, and with such growth comes wealth. Hosting a round of the F1 World Championship brings with it a certain international cachet, hence the number of races currently being held in places many of us struggle to pronounce, let alone spell. China has hosted a Grand Prix nine times, and the Shanghai International Circuit – which is where we held the Bentley launch – was in period the most expensive track ever built and is a fantastic facility. It reputedly cost a whopping $240m ten years ago which, truth be told, is a drop in the ocean compared with some of the Middle Eastern venues that have come along since. The thing is, car ownership is a relatively new phenomenon in China, which is patently obvious when you venture onto the roads. It was a 90-minute drive from the hotel to the track, but our minibus driver attempted to do it inside an hour. I’m not normally a nervous passenger but I was terrified! What is strange is that I didn’t see a single damaged car during the trip. Somehow everyone stays shiny side up. Chinese drivers have no fear.

Because car culture has been around for only a few decades, motor sport is still considered something of a novelty yet interest is growing exponentially. Last year, Ma Qing Hua made history by becoming the first Chinese-born driver ever to participate in a Grand Prix weekend when he drove for the nowdefunct HRT team. The former Chinese Touring Car Champion took part in the opening practice session for the Italian GP at Monza and is now Caterham’s reserve driver. He is every inch the local hero; one employed by a leading Chinese TV channel to explain all things F1 over the course of a race weekend. You may not have heard of him, but his name is every bit as big as Alonso’s or Räikkönen’s over there. He is competing in GP2 this season to gain experience and I wouldn’t bet against him blazing a trail for Chinese drivers in F1 within the next few years. He certainly has the backing to make the leap, but question marks still surround his ability at this level. Needless to say, established squads are tripping over themselves to court the yen. Motor racing is an egregiously expensive business and, as I have mentioned before in this column, even the biggest teams are hurting in the current economic climate. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see the Chinese acquire an established ‘name’ once interest really begins to take hold. Entrepreneurs from other emerging financial powerhouses have done it – not least Force India (née Midland/Jordan) and Russian-owned Marussia F1 Team (née Virgin Racing) – so there is a precedent. Ultimately, China, India, Russia and the like will benefit in the long term from having a proper grassroots involvement in motor sport. Which is where British firms come in. Right now there is a real opportunity for them to export their knowhow and this can only be a good thing. Motor sport will always have some degree of support in Europe and North America, but we shouldn’t be complacent. Our continued enjoyment of racing in the West could one day be contingent on support from the East.

‘France has been involved in motor sport For more than 100 years, yet no longer has a World championship round’

Derek Bell

Derek took up racing in 1964 in a Lotus 7, won two World Sportscar Championship titles in 1985 and 1986, the 24 Hours of Daytona three times in 1986, 1987 and 1989, and Le Mans five times in 1975, 1981, 1982, 1986 and 1987. He was speaking with Richard Heseltine.

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Y SUBJECT THIS MONTH is orifices. A car’s principal air intake and its close relations, the louvre and the duct, have o en been the defining features of a design. But as smoking legislation threatens the minor art form of the commercial ashtray with extinction, so automotive power systems and aerodynamics are diminishing the role of the hole. Still, I have a fanciful idea that you could write a history of car design by studying the shape of air intakes alone. If you want examples of the extraordinary aesthetic subtleties, games of proportion and nuanced semantics that designers so artfully deal with, you could do no better than immerse yourself in the automobile orifice as it evolved from the mid-1950s. Put it this way, I think most readers would be able to identify ‘1957 Vanwall’ from the shape of the Frank Costin-designed air intake alone. In terms of visual language, the stuff that preoccupies aesthetes, that’s an extraordinary testament to the power of design. I like the orotund magnificence, with echoes of the language of Dante, that Pininfarina uses to define the presa d’aria in the valuable little Lessico della Carrozzeria : ‘Imboccatura attraverso la quale il flusso d’aria viene canalizzato nei punti richiesti per il raffreddamento di parti meccaniche o per raffrescare l’abitaclo.’ Like the most moving parts of Dante, this is best le unmolested by translation, but if you take anything as seriously as Pininfarina takes the air intake, you will be bound to pay close attention to its design. Ferrari 275GTB? Could a hole be more beautiful? Basically, hot engines and brakes need cooling and so do the passengers. Thus the need for holes to capture and channel air. Because they have some of the characteristics of a mouth and nostrils, the front elevation of a car can resemble a human face, a little bit of theatricality in which the lights play the part of eyes. As Charles Darwin showed in his 1872 study The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, the mouth is peculiarly articulate. A little flexure of the lips can change the meaning of a facial expression from ecstasy to revulsion via doubt. This human parallel gives the air intake such gestural power. To understand how science must defer to art in making a car beautiful, consider the revolting air intake of the 1952 Cunningham

C-4RK. This was the work of the pioneer aerodynamicist Wunibald Kamm and it looks, if we are honest, like a puckered orifice where the sun is not known to shine. Compare with the 1958 Scarab, once routinely cited as ‘the most beautiful racing car ever made’, and I see no reason to argue with this assessment. This was the work of Lance Reventlow, not a scientist, but a playboy heir to the old Woolworth’s fortune. The Scarab’s major air intake is a delicious slit, a beautiful, crushed ellipse taken to exquisite points at its extremities. Sublime. The E-type comes rushing to mind. The original had a gorgeous aperture with sexual suggestions there for all to drool over, a major psychological factor, surely, in the car’s popular success. The later V12 needed more cooling, thus a bigger intake, which compromised the art as much as the heavy engine ruined the handling. A few extra horsepower bought at a terrible aesthetic cost. And now there is the F-type. I know they have agonised about this, finessed the radii, studied the data, sent the car to clinics, but, I am sorry: no. If you want to see how a rectangular intake works artistically, consider the ’64 Mustang or the ’66 GT40. Minor intakes important too. As aerodynamics shi ed from guesswork to technology, cars appeared with NACA ducts. The acronym belongs to NASA’s predecessor, the National Advisory Council for Aeronautics, whose wonderfully expressive intakes were depressed flush into the bodywork so as not to cause drag. Shaped in plan like an architect’s ogee arch, they created vortices that caused suction which multiplied the volume of air taken in. The history of the NACA duct begins with the North American YF93 interceptor of 1950 and ends 37 years later with Ferrari’s F40. In between, gloriously kitsch fake ducts appeared on Mustangs and Corvettes, evidence of Detroit’s depravity. And the 1989 Ferrari 348 had a front intake that is entirely bogus. Imagine the Pope in a wig! I like vulgar fakery in America, but not in Italy. That was the moment Ferrari began its aesthetic decline. As I say, you could write a history of car design by looking at holes alone.



Author, critic, consultant, broadcaster, debater and curator Stephen co-created the Boilerhouse Project at London’s V&A, was chief executive of The Design Museum, and fell out with Peter Mandelson when he told him the Millennium Dome ‘could turn out to be crap’.

O C T A N E J U N E 2 013 47

Commemorate ten years of Octane in An Evening With our most celebrated columnists at the Royal Automobile Club, London

Past and present Octane columnists Sir Stirling Moss, Rowan Atkinson and Nick Mason (with a special video message from Jay Leno) will host our spectacular night, sharing their favourite motoring experiences. The price of £115 per person includes a three-course meal with wine. Buy online at (click on ‘Shop’) or call 0844 245 6971 (from overseas, call +44 1795 414866). Book early as tickets are strictly limited. When 29 May 2013, 7.30pm Where Royal Automobile Club, Pall Mall, London Price £115 per person (tables of ten are also available) Dress Lounge suits/cocktail dresses

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UST BACK FROM the Octane ‘offices’ in Cape Town, where I spent my time driving a range of interesting vehicles and pondering the continuing and growing appeal of what are loosely termed classic cars. As you might have read in this magazine, my old father keeps a 1937 Derby Bentley in the Cape and, in the name of research, I spend a good deal of time behind its large and flexible steering wheel. One sunny morning a friend joined me for a drive through the vineyards of Constantia and he was quite bemused by the whole exercise. ‘Oh, the door opens the wrong way,’ he said, climbing into the Sportsman saloon. ‘And where’s the gearshi ?’ he asked, before discovering that it is on the right-hand side of the driver, perfectly positioned for the full up-the-trouser-leg routine. The start-up procedure amused him: flick on the ignition lever on the dash, pull on the (admittedly a ermarket) fuel pump switch and allow the carbs to prime. Then retard the ignition by sliding the steeringboss-mounted chrome knob down a tad, open the similarly mounted throttle override knob a snitch, and thumb the chrome starter button. Once the 4¼-litre six fires, you then need to adjust the controls to full advance and drop the revs down to a comfortable idle. For someone who has grown up driving a car that opens with a ‘blipper’, getting the Bentley running is quite a procedure, but one he did seem pleased to observe. The Derby has no synchro between first and second, so the change needs to be exacted with a double-declutch and the drive is very… involving. Bowling through the lanes, we enjoyed the easy nature of the Bentley – a true ‘silent sports car’. But let’s not kid ourselves: the experience of driving a classic car is increasingly far removed from that of sitting at the wheel of a modern vehicle. Modern motor cars continue to morph into electronic entertainment centres, propelled by alternative energy power plants, making classic cars seem ever more anachronistic – and, in my view, all the more enjoyable for it. Most would argue that the enormous technological advances of recent years have been welcome, and it is certainly true that cars are now safer and easier to drive than ever. The widespread adoption of electronic stability controls and computer-controlled braking has no doubt prevented a great many accidents, and on our traffic-snared motorways an automatic gearbox is infinitely

more sensible than a manual. In fact, it seems likely that manual transmission will be regarded by the average motorist as a positively prehistoric bother in ten years’ time. Already Ferrari and McLaren, manufacturers of the finest supercars on the road today, no longer offer manual transmission and Porsche has followed suit with its latest hardcore 911. Some modern test drivers lament this, but the market apparently does not: virtually all supercars bought now are fitted with some sort of auto ’box. While it would simply be untrue to suggest that a 458 Italia, with all its little circuit boards, is no fun to drive, it is indisputable that the electronic gadgetry packed into modern vehicles deprives drivers of many of the dynamic sensations experienced by classic car enthusiasts. But back to my recent trip to South Africa. The country has long suffered appalling road accident death rates. Over a single Easter weekend, more people die gruesomely on the roads in South Africa than are killed in an entire year in Britain. The authorities have introduced hard-hitting measures to reduce the incidence of drinking and driving, and widespread roadblocks and frequent arrests seem to be having the desired effect. Quite rightly, almost nobody gets behind the wheel a er a drink anymore, and on the radio and television there is the most frightful advertising campaign which puts out a pointed message: if you get caught drinking and driving you will be thrown into jail with a bunch of uncivilised animals, and in all likelihood be gang raped and contract AIDS. Honestly! This ad campaign would immediately be banned over here because it is violent and racist, but boy, does it work. So, roll on the future motoring module – one that is comfortable and near-silent on the motorway and will drive you home if you are a little over-refreshed. Meanwhile, for proper driving pleasure, old motors like the Bentley can be taken out and enjoyed, with skilled inputs being rewarded with exciting dynamic responses, with no nannying computer in sight.



Robert grew up with classic cars, and has owned a Lancia Aurelia B20GT, Alfa Romeo Giulietta and a Porsche 356C. He currently uses his properly sorted 1955 Jaguar XK140 as his daily driver, and is a founding editor of this magazine.

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Tony Merrick

Vice-president and ex-chairman of the HGPCA, world-class restorer and historic GP racer TONY, 73, was raised and worked at his parents’ filling station and garage in Leicester. In 1960 he started racing his MG J3 750cc with the VSCC and met Sandy Murray, owner of ERA R1A, which Tony raced for the next 23 years. Embarking on a career with historic racing cars, he worked for Tom Wheatcro restoring 15 of his cars before joining Neil Corner’s stable, and in 1974 Tony set up on his own near Reading. Largely self-taught, he has restored and race-prepared countless historic Maseratis, Ferraris and Alfa Romeos, and a BRM V16. He has worked with the BMW Museum and with Mercedes-Benz on projects including the restoration of their two priceless 300SLR coupés, and raced a variety of GP cars (including his own Ferrari Dino) for 16 years before retiring in 2000. ‘I have managed to make a lot of dreams come true, both for myself and for others.’ Steve Havelock

1 // ERA MODEL AND BOOK I raced Sandy Murray’s ERA R1A for 23 years, and the first of those served as my introduction to top level historic racing. This History of ERA book, published by David Weguelin in 1980, is copy 1 of 100 and is signed by Prince Bira. It includes a lovely photo of Sandy and me. 2 // BRM V16 STEERING JOINT This reminds me of what British and BRM engineering was like in 1951. It’s a beautifully made universal joint from a steering column. They could have bought one off the shelf for five pence but they chose to make their own, which cost five hundred quid and was probably heavier. 3 // 300SLR COUPÉ MODEL I restored both of the only two 300SLR coupés that Mercedes made. They are considered the most valuable things in the Mercedes museum, and are quite amazing to drive. 4 // 1954 PETROL PRICE LIST This reminds me of when I used to pump petrol at my parents’ garage. Petrol was just four shillings a gallon. When I was eight I was caught driving a customer’s Morris Eight across the forecourt. My dad died when I was 12 and my mum carried on running the place.

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5 // GERMAN GP WINNER’S WREATH This oak-leaf wreath was won by Tony Brooks at the Nürburgring in the Vanwall in ’58, and it was in the Vanwall transporter when I bought it from Vandervell. 6 // HORNBY LOCOMOTIVE As a small boy I had loads of Dinky Toys and model railway engines. This is one of them – it’s a clockwork Hornby O-gauge model of the Bramham Moor. 7 // MERCEDES 300SLR VALVE This is a desmodromic valve from the straight-eight engine. It’s hollow for lightness and filled with sodium for cooling. It’s also tapered, unlike modern valves, which are parallel.

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8 // 1890 MAGAZINES I’m fascinated by the Forth Railway Bridge, which took seven years to build. A paper on it was written for the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, and I’d always wanted to see it but could never find a copy. At a car auction in Hendon I bought 16 bound copies of Engineering from 1890, one of which included the complete Forth Bridge paper – a real bonus.

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9 // SILVER TROPHY I bought a very rare 1932 Maserati 4CS 1500 with Brianza bodywork from Eric Stewart of the band 10cc. It was in a poor state and took 22 years to restore as it was a spare-time sort of project. In 2001 it won Best of Show at Techno-Classica Essen and I was really chuffed. 10 // FERRARI DINO GP PICTURE I raced my Dino for 16 years up until 2000. At Imola, the engine stopped on the grid and a guy from the 12th row whacked into the back of me. I then had some health issues so decided to retire from racing and my business. This is a computer-enhanced photograph of me in the Dino, printed onto canvas.

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OURING CAR RACING is still, I reckon, misunderstood. It has always been a serious business, even though it was first promoted as a bit of fun in which dad could race the family car. But it never was like that. The best manufacturers have always been involved, seeing it as extremely important. The 2013 British Touring Car Championship has just got off to an impressive start at Brands Hatch but the old joke is already doing the rounds: the Touring Cars are back with a bang. There’s some truth there but it’s a gross overstatement, because the fact is that today’s BTCC features top-class drivers in ten different makes of car. All right, there was some ‘nudging and nerfing’, as it used to be called – come to think of it, how did the verb ‘to nerf’ ever get into the motor racing lexicon? We all know that this isn’t a contact sport, yet there usually is some bumping these days, even in F1. Perhaps it’s inevitable in Touring Car racing, with such hot competition. Vitally, I did note, there didn’t seem to be anything casual or nasty about the driving in this year’s BTCC opening meeting, in which veteran ace Jason Plato took the spoils with his works MG. This is fast racing, top cars lapping Brands’ Indy circuit in the 48-second bracket. Plato got bumped going into the last corner of race two, taking him and his assailant off, but they both recovered and Plato retained the lead to notch up his 76th career win. When they hit each other like that, some saloon car racing old-timers raise their hands in disgust and insist that it wasn’t like that in their day. That’s rubbish, and I can prove it. The types who complain the loudest about contact in modern motor sport are even older than I am and – whatever the editor likes to believe – there are still such people around. My time in Saloon/Touring car racing was in the 1970s, when it was fairly clean, but I remember one exception when a well-known competitor deliberately drove into me off the startline at Silverstone in a 1978 British Championship race. He’s dead now, meaning he can’t answer back, but his name isn’t important anyway. He tried very hard to push me into the concrete pit-wall all the way along that first straight and I was quite relieved when he braked first for Copse. There was no point in complaining about it as official observers never seemed to see anything. I reckoned they had to be registered blind to be considered for the job. That driver’s criminal behaviour was an isolated incident and I never saw anything else of that kind in top-level saloon car racing back then. However, plenty of people will tell you that it was all good clean fun in the 1950s and 1960s. They will tell you, and I’m sure they believe it, that the very idea of contact with a rival’s car was utterly unacceptable.

Brands Hatch, 1967. An innocent Graham Hill in Team Lotus Cortina Mk2 ploughs into Frank Gardner’s spinning Ford Falcon. Collecting Hill like that must have been embarrassing… and so much for 1960s saloon racing’s air of ‘good clean fun’.

‘WHITMORE’S HOPES OF WINNING ENDED WHEN ONE OF HIS TYRES WAS PUNCTURED BY THE WHEEL NUTS OF ANOTHER CAR’ That probably was true of open-wheelers in those days, when the slightest touch was likely to end in death or serious injury. In saloon car racing, things were rather different. Let’s look at how it really was 50 years ago, which was well before my time. Unlike today, back in 1963 the British Saloon Car Championship was run in classes, based on engine size. Going into the penultimate round at the Oulton Park Gold Cup meeting in September, the battle for the title was between Jack Sears, in the 2000cc class, and John Whitmore, in the 1300cc class. Driving one of the newly homologated Lotus Cortinas, Jack finished third overall behind the Ford Galaxies of none other than Dan Gurney and Graham Hill – those were the days! Obviously, Jack won his class, took maximum points and deservedly won his second British Saloon Car Championship. In the 1300cc class, further down the field, there was a lot of body bashing on the first lap. Whitmore’s hopes of winning the title ended in

less than two miles when one of his tyres was punctured by the wheel nuts of another car. The 1963 BSCC was decided by that unfortunate if relatively minor incident but two years later, in 1965, the premier British saloon car racing series was blighted all season by bashed bodywork. The first corner in the BSCC round at September’s Oulton Park Gold Cup looked like a demolition derby. This mad moment has been mentioned before but it’s well worth reminding ourselves that six of the leading cars went off in one accident. The apparent racewinner extricated himself from the mess but his car was disqualified later because the engine was illegal. A er this season’s great start, I shall be watching the BTCC more closely through the remaining rounds. The drivers have my respect, my only complaint being that they seem to be paid much better than I was 35 years ago. Keep it clean, chaps – the world is watching.


Having started his racing career in Formula Ford, Tony made a name for himself in 1970s Touring Cars and since then has raced an astonishing variety of sports and historic machinery. He is also a hugely respected journalist.

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M c L a r e n F1 & F e r r a r i 25 0 G T O


They’re two of the most desirable cars in the world – and they have more in common than you might think. But can McLaren’s first hypercar ever aspire to the mantle of the ultimate Ferrari? PhotograPhy Charlie Magee ON THE FACE OF IT, the comparison seems an unlikely one. Pitch an early-1960s Ferrari against a McLaren that appeared more than half-a-century later? Yet there’s no dispute about their desirability, that’s for sure: the going rate for a 250GTO is north of £20 million and, while the F1 is worth only a fraction of that, as fractions go it’s still a substantial amount – say £2.5-3 million. But the suggestion for this unique back-to-back came from no less an authority than the motor sport historian Doug Nye, who provocatively claims that the two cars have more in common

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than you might think. Over the page, you can read his entertaining explanation of what links the GTO and the F1. And, to continue the theme, Mark Hales explores the way the two cars drive; while international classic car broker (and F1 owner) Simon Kidston speculates on how they may both fare on the market in years to come. We’ve also included some comments from the two individuals lucky enough to own our feature cars. You certainly need to be very well-heeled to buy one, these days – but do they cost a fortune to run? The answers may surprise you…

S qua r E u p

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M c L a r e n F1 & F e r r a r i 25 0 G T O

Doug nye on The Big Question Provenance, race history, ultimate design and engineering credibility: both have it. So does the McLaren F1 stand a chance of matching the 250GTO in the eyes of seasoned enthusiasts?


was a bit fazed when Ron Dennis phoned me. Ooh-err. We hadn’t spoken in years, ever since I’d completed the owner’s special edition of our McLaren F1 book Driving Ambition and Ron had decreed that, although I could have a copy, I would have to pay full price for it. I have seldom been more deeply unimpressed. Never before had I been refused a discount on one of my own books. On principle I suggested an alternative destination for the volume in question. I think I’d already blotted my copybook when he’d suggested that I’d make an ideal manager for a McLaren F1 Bonneville record attempt. I’d honestly confessed that while I’d love to do it, his confidence was wildly misplaced, I actually knew my limitations, and by his standards I’d just prove I couldn’t even run a bath. Another – unspoken – reason was that I couldn’t see myself willingly wearing some team uniform, plastered in sponsor logos from people and 58 j u n e 2 013 O C T A N E

products I might detest. Hmm – but now he again wanted something from me. I opened the conversation by remarking ‘Oh gawd – what have I done wrong?’ Chuckling, Ron assured me that he simply wanted to check some ancient history and we had an enjoyable half-hour or so exploring the field. But my notions of old McLarens’ monetary value were laughably out-of-date, as he made clear. I then readily explained in detail what my long-time associates at auctioneers Bonhams totally understand. I’m a history man, not a money man, and to me no old banger can itself be worth more than five to ten grand. It’s then that genuine stature, proven record, superstar association and – above all – market perception add the zillions. In contrast, a long-overdue lunch with Gordon Murray – creator of the McLaren F1 – went rather better. We giggled a lot, recalling when he had invited me to tag along with the inaugural McLaren Cars project – as a kind

of semi-resident Boswell to his Dr Johnson – very early in the piece. He and McLaren’s late, wonderful, Creighton Brown had first asked me to sign a confidentiality agreement which, in puzzlement, I did. Then they took me down into the workshop at their spanking new Albert Drive factory in Woking, and there sat a rough-cut MDF cockpit mockup. It was at the time all that existed of the McLaren F1. Its windscreen was defined merely by strings stretched between tacks in the timber header rail and scuttle top. Creighton’s confidentiality agreement was explained by the arrow-head seat layout and centreline driving position. Despite my prejudice against ‘ordinary’ roadgoing supercars, I recognised that Gordon had brought me in on the birth of something truly wonderful – and in later years it proved a real privilege to tell the full story. This March, part of that story came full circle. The great Nick Mason and I found ourselves co-presenting a group

of our favourite cars to a select – but frankly dauntingly highly qualified – audience at the 7th Connoisseurship Symposium in Miles Collier’s fantastic Collection at Naples, Florida. We had only an hour, more or less, for that module, but spent 25 minutes of it on the very first car selected: the McLaren F1. Within that select audience there were several owners of F1s and, significantly, of 50-year-old Ferrari 250GTOs. Nick himself, as a discerning connoisseur of truly great cars, has one of each. Back in the late ’80s when he ‘only’ had a £70,000 GTO he had lent it to mutual friend Murray. And this is where, though my sense of attached monetary numbers is demonstrably inadequate, I can claim some insight. Nobody would claim that a GTO offers 21st-century refinement, quiet, comfort and mod cons. But by happy circumstance the Ferrari design team that developed the model in 1961-62 provided one of the best-balanced, most driveable and forgiving private-

Above More than 30 years apart, the new car with an engine more than twice the size and power of the older one’s, but the older car worth ten times as much as the newer one. Will time alter that ratio?

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M c L a r e n F1 t a k e s o n F e r r a r i 25 0 G t o

‘Only a minority of life-sentence “car guys” will ever possess the funds to indulge their enthusiasm’ owner quasi-competition cars of all time. Nick tells me that today he’s perfectly happy to have his GTO circuitraced on a Sunday by professional drivers (with a realistic prospect of a decent result), while remaining confident that the car will emerge fit enough for his wife to take it on a comfortable, enjoyable – and QUICK! – week-long Rallye Feminin next day. What’s true today was just as true 50 years ago when the first of the 39 Ferrari 250GTOs built first rolled out of Maranello’s factory gates. It was Nick who loaned his Ferrari F40 to Gordon back in 1989 for the engineer to experience what a standardsetting contemporary ‘supercar’ did well, and what it did poorly. The old 250GTO went along so Gordon could also study the essence, the soul, the character of a truly iconic connoisseur’s car… and to absorb the experience that cannot be defined by factory drawings, data recordings, nor numbers on graph paper. Nick assured Gordon: ‘I don’t know how you do it, but that’s what you need to capture!’ Today, $35 million is regarded as the benchmark price for a 1962-63 Ferrari 250GTO. Yet $40 million has been offered for one or two, and rejected by long-term owners who know darned well that, if they sell, they’ll probably never own another. Once sold it’s lost forever. For many (of the favoured few), a GTO is for life. But let’s now address another aspect of car connoisseurship. Only a minority of life-sentence ‘car guys’ will ever possess the funds to indulge their enthusiasm. What’s common between us all – both those who can buy, and those who can’t – is that we are all conditioned to a great extent by the whizzbang wonders of our youth. I grew up made absolutely starry-eyed by Carrera PanAmericana Lancia D24s, Le Mans D-type Jaguars and, of course, Mille Miglia Mercedes-Benz 300SLRs. Then we were smitten by Aston Martin DBRs, the 250GTOs… and the affordable E-type Jaguar. Slip five years or so and the Ford GT40 plucks the heartstrings. For fans of ’70s vintage, the Porsche 917s and Ferrari 512s surely float their boat. From the 1980s it might be Porsche 956s and 962s, the Walkinshaw Jaguar XJRs or Lancia’s startling LC2s – and more recently the Le Mans Audis or Peugeots? But for decades now, purebred racing cars – even sports-racing cars – have become track-day propositions. As with zoo animals, freedom could kill them. Attempt to run one on the open road and it’s a toss-up what will happen first: expensive breakage, or arrest and prosecution. I have driven both a number of 250GTOs and a Ferrari 275LM on the open road and the high-tide of usability is plainly exceeded by the latter. Hair-trigger clutch, hopeless O C T A N E j u n e 2 0 1 3 61

M c L a r e n F1 & F e r r a r i 25 0 G T O

‘if a modern-era successor can achieve recognition as the future 250GTO, it has to be the McLaren F1’ three-quarter visibility, the LM proved as uncongenial for road use as the 250GTO is a delight. And for perennial teenagers deeply imprinted in youth by GTOs, the wealth to acquire one provides entry to the coolest of private clubs. This remarkable usability – the GTO being equally at home on road or track, in Historic motor race, club rally, concours, shopping trip or (if you’re rash enough) pub crawl – will remain the GTO’s prime asset as long as governments permit private motoring. But if there’s a modern-era successor rapidly achieving recognition as the future 250GTO, I think it has to be the McLaren F1. This carbon-composite V12-byBMW-engined wonder offers (albeit in a more variantdependent manner) as much of the 250GTO’s usability as 21st-century traffic law can concede. And if we compare it, inch by inch, by record and charisma, with the 50-year-old Ferrari, the parallels become quite fascinating – save for one critical factor. That critical factor is initial design philosophy. When Giotto Bizzarini’s little design team began work on what became the 250GTO they were consciously producing a racing car. Then, 30 years later, Gordon Murray’s little design team specifically produced an uncompromised road car… in no way a road racer, but a purebred road car. So before we go further, just park that essential 180-degree difference and let’s proceed with that in mind. I’m going to present a worst case, contrasting the broadly useable yet racebred Ferrari 250GTO Berlinetta family with the reluctantly race-developed McLaren F1 GTR Coupés. McLaren’s more numerous standard F1 road cars, of course, have accrued no competition record to challenge the Italian’s. At not too great a pinch, an enthusiastic owner could still drive his F1 GTR to the race meeting and back, without too intense grief to follow. After all, the F1 GTRs were basically road cars fitted with rollcage, fixed wing and nose spoiler. Even the 1997 ‘Longtail’ versions shared the same mid-section structures. While 39 Ferrari GTOs were made – including the platypus-nosed GTO/64s – McLaren Cars delivered 28 F1 GTRs, so the British cars are rarer. A comparison of the two designs is intriguing, considering that both are V12engined. The mainly 3.0-litre two-cam Ferraris, of course, have the power unit mounted ahead of the two-seat cabin and a tiny boot pre-packed by fuel tank and spare wheels. In contrast, the 6.1-litre four-cam McLaren has its BMWdeveloped engine amidships, behind a cabin that in road trim offers three seats, centre-drive, and further practical baggage space in the helicopter-style side lockers. Yet despite the McLaren’s better packaging, overall dimensions are within a gnat’s of one another. Ferrari 62 j u n e 2 013 O C T A N E

M c L a r e n F1 & F e r r a r i 25 0 G T O

250GTO: length 4300mm, width 1760mm, height 1235mm and weight 950kg. McLaren F1 GTR: length 4287mm, width 1820mm, height 1140mm and weight 1050kg. That weight disadvantage of even the racing F1 GTR still gnaws at Gordon Murray. He’d aimed at a metric tonne, no more, but that remains a rare miss. In period the Ferrari 250GTOs contested nine FIA World Championship-qualifying events in 1962, 14 in 1963 and 13 in 1964, including such races as the Sebring 12 Hours, Nürburgring 1000Kms, Spa 500Kms and the Le Mans 24 Hours (two seconds and a third there). In these events the GTO derivatives finished in the top three places as follows: 1962: three first places, six seconds and three thirds (from seven of the nine races). 1963: four first places, seven seconds and two thirds (from eight of the 14 races). 1964: three first places, five seconds and three thirds (from six of the 13 races). This record for the Ferrari 250GTO in period is noble, without really fulfilling the praise since heaped upon it. In period, while I for one adored the look, sound and success of these magnificent motor cars, much more enthusiast attention was paid to their Ferrari sports-prototype sisters, which were normally storming around much faster in overall contention. One question must be asked, however, involving proper historic perspective. It’s quite simple. Who did the GTOs beat? In 1962-63 the answer was most often the 250GT Short-Wheelbase Berlinettas they had superseded. Anybody else? In category, no. Come 1964, the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupes began to out-muscle them at top level, so the fine finishes mainly of the GTO/64 cars as listed above demand credit. OK, now spool forward 30-odd years to the McLaren F1 GTRs’ era, 1995-97. Here we saw a broadly GTO-like pattern of mainly private owner/drivers campaigning their cars in rather more races; 13 in 1995, 20 in 1996 and a final dozen in 1997 before, with FIA connivance, Formula 1 swallowed virtually all top-level motor race funding – and worthwhile sports/GT racing died. The 45 individual races are too many to list here, but let’s summarise the F1 GTRs’ record in those three seasons, 1995-97 inclusive. 1995: ten first places (from 13 races), seven seconds and six thirds. 1996: 16 first places (from 20 races), seven seconds and five thirds. 1997: six first places (from 12 races), one second and three thirds. In essence, during 1962 the now so legendary, so revered Ferrari 250GTOs won one in three of their races. In the parallel race season of 1995 the McLaren F1 GTRs won once per 1.3 races contested. During 1963 the Ferrari 250GTOs won once in every 3.5 race outings. In the parallel race season of 1996 the McLaren F1 GTRs won once in every 1.25 race outings. During 1964 the Ferrari 250GTOs won once in every 6.5 race outings. And in the parallel race season of 1997 the McLaren F1 GTRs won every second race contested. Taken overall, through 1962-64 the Ferraris won one in four of their races, and during that period they also achieved a hat-trick of three consecutive outright victories in the FIA GT World Championship. In contrast, while racing – it must be said – in a devalued era of endurance competition through 1995-97, but latterly against strengthening (and some claim rule-bending) opposition initially from Porsche, then Mercedes-Benz, the McLaren F1 GTRs won once in every 1.3 race outings, far outperforming the illustrious 250GTOs’ record.

Far left and above There can be few sights more evocative than that of the 12 intake trumpets topping a 250GTO V12’s Weber carburettors; tacked-on speedometer is evidence of the GTO’s race-only heritage: the revcounter is dead ahead of the driver.

1962 ferrari 250GTO ENGINE 2953cc V12, SOHC per bank, six Weber 38 DCN carburettors POWER 300bhp @ 7500rpm tORquE 254lb ft @ 5400rpm tRANSMISSION Five-speed manual, rear-wheel drive StEERING ZF worm and peg SuSPENSION Front: double wishbones, coil springs, telescopic dampers, anti-roll bar. Rear: live axle, locating rods, Watt’s linkage, semi-elliptic leaf springs, telescopic dampers BRAKES Discs WEIGHt 1050kg approx PERFORMANCE Top speed c170mph. 0-60mph c6.5sec (dependent on gearing)

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Right and far right Central driving position means right-hand gearshift for all, though only GTR drivers get to see this extra bank of controls; mid-mounted 6.1-litre BMW V12 is a genuine Le Mans-winning powerhouse, and a bespoke design by M-Sport’s Paul Roche.

1995 McLaren F1 GTr ENGINE 6064cc V12, DOHC per bank, 48-valve, electronic fuel injection POWER 600bhp @ 7000rpm (standard road car 627bhp @ 7400rpm) tORquE 480lb ft @ 4000-7000rpm tRANSMISSION Six-speed manual, rear-wheel drive StEERING Rack and pinion SuSPENSION Front and rear: double wishbones, coil springs, telescopic dampers. Front anti-roll bar BRAKES Vented discs WEIGHt 1021kg dry PERFORMANCE Top speed 240mph. 0-60mph 3.2sec

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The McLarens also won Le Mans outright, in 1995, which is a feat the GTOs – facing sports-prototypes – never managed. As Gordon recalls: ‘The McLarens could have just tooled round for 24 hours and still dominated their class, but instead they went for an outright win. If anyone had told me one of our road-car-based GTRs would would lap 16 seconds slower than the prototypes in the wet, at night, I wouldn’t have disagreed. But when JJ Lehto was 16 seconds a lap faster, I was blown away! They went balls-out! And won…’ And the F1 GTRs also won the GT Championships of 1995-96, then added the All-Japan Championship of ’96, and even the 1998 British GT Championship. So it is with eminently good reason that the carboncomposite McLarens of the 1990s are now increasingly highly valued by an emergent new generation of knowledgeable car connoisseurs. I vividly recall the day, early in the F1’s test programme, when Creighton Brown let me drive the works prototype homeward from its proving ground, and in Millbrook village – as we took a sharp right at a junction – we saw a dog-walker coming towards us on the footway. And the instant he saw that new grey McLaren snuffling into the corner, he threw up his hands, dropped to his knees and salaamed energetically in our honour. And then equally vividly (how could I forget) I recall the day on the Classic Adelaide Rally in Australia when the generous Paul Vestey let me drive his Ferrari 250GTO on the Gorge Road special stage past the Kangaroo Creek reservoir. With thin Perspex door windows slid ajar, we ripped down that gloriously rhythmic road in mainly third and fourth gear, the wailing Italian V12’s exhaust note, up around 7000rpm, reverberating back at us from the sheer roadside rock faces. That was pure aural sex. And while the McLaren record absolutely shines against that of the fabulous Ferrari GTOs’, I must confess I remain more grateful for the latter. Aah nostalgia, the real thing. Thanks To both owners and to Kentvale Transport (see page 164).

M c L a r e n F1 & F e r r a r i 25 0 G T O

Owning a Ferrari 250GTO ‘IT’S BEEN INCREDIBLY EASY to own!’ claims Sir Paul Vestey, who bought chassis 4115GT over 30 years ago from noted car collector Neil Corner. ‘I think we replaced the rings in the engine once when it was smoking a bit, and changed the synchros in the gearbox, stuff like that, but that’s all. ‘I’d always wanted a GTO since seeing them race in the 1962 TT, and when the chance came up to buy this one I moved

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heaven and earth to do so, selling a D-type and a DB3S to raise the money; the whole process frightened me so much I lost my voice and my wife had to do the deal! The car has an honourable rather than a distinguished competition history: it went to Germany when new, and did quite well in local flugplatzrennen and the like. ‘It sounds boring to say it, but the ownership experience has been totally

painless. We’ve done dozens of rallies, including several Tour Autos, and took it to Australia for the Classic Adelaide – thrashing it around closed roads in the Adelaide hills was great fun. Really, it’s quite a simple car mechanically, and you’d struggle to wear it out just using it for road-rallies. ‘It’s the favourite of all my cars and despite its value, I’ve never been tempted to sell – it would be like selling the family’s pet dog!’

Owning a McLaren F1 ‘It’s not partIcularly comfortable as a road car – no air-con, fixed side windows – so I haven’t put a lot of miles on it; you wouldn’t want to take it down the pub…’ says the owner of chassis 07R, the F1 GTR that came fifth at Le Mans in 1995. ‘But when you’re on the move, it’s terrific. One of the best drivers’ cars ever. To sit in traffic I’ll take another car! ‘I bought the GTR more than ten years ago.

I wanted something that had race history, and this one was subsequently converted for road use, which suited me. We recently took the rollcage out to make room for a passenger, but that’s all I’m going to change. It’s undeniably expensive to own, but a privilege at the same time.’ While acknowledging that F1 parts prices are expensive, McLaren’s Marcus Korbach, of the company’s Special Operations

department, says: ‘For a car of this type, servicing costs compare very favourably. We’re committed to remanufacturing parts for the future, and we also offer a brokerage service – buy an F1 through McLaren and you will receive a mini-library of information about that particular example. ‘The F1 for us is a very important car, and we try to look after its owners, with either myself or one of my team available 24:7.’

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M c L a r e n F1 & F e r r a r i 25 0 G T O

Mark Hales on driving GTO and F1 No power-assistance, no driver aids, no safety nets: both the Ferrari 250GTO and McLaren F1 hark from the analogue age. How do they compare?


oth of these cars are powered by engines with 12 cylinders arranged in a vee. One is mounted in the front, the other lies behind the occupants, is twice the size and produces twice the power. One has a ladder chassis, like most things made in the previous 50 years. The other has a moulded carbonfibre chassis tub, race technology from the missile era. The newer car boasts fully independent suspension all round; the earlier model, a beam axle at the back like an old Cortina, while the tyres on the later car – those four underappreciated pieces of distress purchase – are twice as big. And yet the pair have a few things in common. In 1961, Ferrari allowed young maverick Giotto Bizzarrini to develop the GTO from the 250GT SWB (stands for ‘short wheelbase’), allegedly so he could make a few quid from wealthy customers who didn’t have a Ferrari GT for Le Mans. Some 30 years later, Ron Dennis, then CEO of McLaren, would doubtless cite promotion and branding as the reason for developing a GTR version from the F1 road car, but I suspect he charged well for a conversion that Gordon Murray – McLaren’s design guru – was very reluctant to build. Murray is on record saying that if he’d wanted to build a race car, that’s what he would have done and he definitely wouldn’t have started from there. The F1 you see here was converted from race spec to road legality by McLaren but retains its race gearbox, wing and splitter. What, then, of the drive? Neither car has any power assistance for anything so the steering in each needs firm effort, but any messages coming back to the rim are purer, something that’s hard to find these days. Whichever one I drive though, I always find myself wishing for more grip from the tyres... The vintage Dunlops on the GTO are about the width of those on a modern hatch – indestructible certainly, but old-technology crossplies nonetheless. Aim the car toward the turn and ease the rim towards the apex. Wind up all the joints and linkages and take up the slack. Feel it load up. Just a touch too fast in and the front will nose wide; 70 J u n e 2 013 O C T A N E

not enough and the car will feel vague and imprecise. Get it about right, add-in the weight shifted forward by the brakes, and the energy will rotate the car almost before the corner, make it take a set as I get further into the turn. Now I’ll feel the weight on the steering changing as the geometry moves with the body’s attitude, but I’ll try not to let the tail slide wide and call for opposite lock. Instead, sense the point in the process, the exact time to tread on the power to squat the back properly, stop the rotation and hold the attitude. If I do it right the car will drift nicely and I can hold the yaw with steering almost straight and barely a nudge at the wheel to keep it all going. If I don’t, either the front noses wide and I have to wait, tease it back, then start again; or the back slithers wide and I have to reverse the lock, wait, let the car come straight, and... start again. It’s all adjustable and intimate in a way you absolutely don’t find these days, but it won’t do the work for you. No doubt you’ll arrive at the same turn much more quickly in the F1. The 6.1-litre BMW engine is massively, endlessly powerful and it seems to sweep you forward with a gruff, growly insistence that barely diminishes with the next gear. Feel the brakes grumble and judder as I shed the extra speed, then aim into the corner. Now, despite the lack of assist, I’m searching for messages that mean something. There are kicks and twitches but no absolute confidence that the front will go where I want, and it’s a feeling that changes with speed. The faster you go, the more vague the front becomes while the rear gains stick because air is flowing over the wing. You definitely aim rather than steer and only when you can see the exit and the car is more or less straight, squeeze on the power. But I’ll still do it carefully... The rubberwear was the best Bridgestone could make and still call road tyres, but if the fronts struggle with the effort of turning the car, the rears have even less defence in the face of 480lb ft of torque. And it’s when they spin up that the position of the engine asserts itself: you can be well out of shape in an instant without asking for it, and in fourth gear.

‘Two magnificent engineering statements: each deserves its iconic status’ None of this makes either car any the less impressive. Each is still a magnificent engineering statement and each deserves its iconic status but you still have to see them for what they are. Certainly in the case of the McLaren, the halfway house between race and road is not an entirely comfortable one, and it’s fairly safe to say that Gordon would have approved still less; fit a set of slicks to the F1 and lower the front end to keep out the air that would lift it – turn it back into a race car in other words – and it gains precision and imparts more confidence. The GTO wouldn’t respond in quite the same way because it has the engine in the front and a chassis that isn’t anything like as rigid, but it doesn’t really need to. There wasn’t the enormous difference between road and race models in those days and indulging the slipping and sliding until you find out how to get the front and back ends in harmony is part of the appeal. Besides, the research is nothing like as scary. It wouldn’t be right to end without a mention of engine and transmission. It’s a signature we see so rarely these days but the feel, and in particular the sound, are essential parts of each car, as is the challenge of negotiating clunky synchros and the gear-gate to produce a swift, smooth gearshift. Take that away, fit something turbocharged and controlled by paddles, and the performance might be similar, but the cars would no longer be icons.

M c L a r e n F1 & F e r r a r i 25 0 G T O

Simon Kidston on the market The going rate for a 250GTO is £20 million or more – but will the F1 ever catch it up? International classic car broker Kidston adds his two-penn’orth


can’t believe the run-up in McLaren F1 prices’ is a comment I hear frequently. I can’t claim to be clever enough to have predicted this trend myself, much less to know where values are headed from here. A generation ago the same refrain frequently applied to Ferrari 250GTO sales, when the first one openly touched the million-pound mark at auction in May ’87 and the press thought the world had gone crazy. Many will remember well what came next: the same car was worth ten times that amount just three years later, before dropping to a fifth of its peak by 1992, and climbing steadily for the next two decades until today, when GTO values are generally regarded among insiders as ranging from $30+ million to more than $40 million depending on which car and, perhaps more importantly, which owner. The two most frequent reasons car collectors sell are to help finance something else, or to trade up, and it’s hard to see either applying to a GTO owner. Does the market view the McLaren F1 as the next Ferrari GTO? I took part in both anniversary tours last year (the second as an impostor when a generous owner lent me his 72 j u n e 2 013 O C T A N E

car) and it’s surprising how many serious collectors own both, despite scoffing at most supercars. The exclusivity is a big part of the F1’s growing status, which is almost selffulfilling. Its integrity of purpose – conceived by a world-beating Formula 1 racing team led by a legendary designer, not a marketing department, and with no concession to cost or corporate rules other than excellence – again sets it apart. As Doug clearly shows, its racing history speaks for itself. And last but not least (rival pretenders take note), usability is the F1 road car’s trump card, as anyone who has driven theirs to the pub can attest. Like Doug Nye, I also spoke at the recent Collier Symposium and, again, the F1 was very much a hot topic among the heavyweights present. I remember auctioning one with almost delivery mileage back in 1998 for barely £400,000. A Latin 250GTO owner came to see it during the viewing and decided not to bid, decreeing that we had clearly overpriced it. To suggest that classic-car values will only go upwards is self-serving, and history shows otherwise, but I’d expect the mid-term price graph for both models to mirror each other, albeit at different levels. Longer-term, the

‘i’d expect the mid-term price graph for both to mirror each other, albeit at different levels’ current price ratio of six F1 road cars to one GTO might close as a new generation of buyers takes the lead and, equally, the discount for an F1 GTR (two seats and no luggage space) compared with an F1 road car may reduce as values climb and they get driven less. I just wish I’d started saving before 1998. End Thanks To Kidston SA, Geneva, who have discreetly handled Ferrari 250GTO and McLaren F1 sales over many years; +41 227 401939 or

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hero worship

This is the only Mercedes-Benz W196 that survives outside captivity – yet the most successful. Doug Nye uncovers the car in which Fangio won his second F1 Championship PhotograPhy Tim Andrew

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US! AUS! AUS! Das spiel ist aus! Deutschland ist Weltmeister!’ Extrovert soccer radio commentator Herbert Zimmermann’s barely coherent shriek of ‘Over! Over! Over! The game is over! Germany is World Champion!’ remains familiar in Germany today. On 4 July 1954, at Berne in Switzerland, the underdog West German team had just beaten favourites Hungary 3-2 to win the FIFA World Cup. Some claim that this memorably redemptive moment became the first time post-war that the German National anthem had been played at such a major sporting event… Yet that same day, at the Reims-Gueux circuit in France, Juan Manuel Fangio had led home team-mate Karl Kling in a brand-new sister Formula 1 Mercedes-Benz W196, to finish first and second in the French Grand Prix. That shattering GP success was Mercedes-Benz’s first since 1939. So 4 July 1954 became a doubly great day for Germany. It might be recalled by most as ‘The Miracle of Berne’ – but within the motor racing world, Reims witnessed something far more inevitable. The Italian axis of Maserati and Ferrari had been trembling at the prospect of a comeback by what Mr Ferrari called the ‘TransAlpini’ – and their worst nightmares were fulfilled. Those silver cars bearing the three-pointed star were back. Perhaps it was doubly significant that, seven weeks later, after a second comeback victory in the German GP at the Nürburgring, Fangio

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and Mercedes-Benz added a third great win, this time in the Swiss GP, which also clinched a second Formula 1 Drivers’ World Championship title for the brilliant Argentinian. He raised his trophy at Berne’s Bremgarten forest circuit, only a couple of miles from the Swiss city’s picturesquely named Wankdorf Stadium, where elated German soccer captain Fritz Walter had so recently brandished the World Cup. Denis Jenkinson of Motor Sport magazine set the scene for it all when he wrote: ‘The name of Mercedes-Benz was one of the most powerful in Grand Prix racing between 1934 and 1939, and during those years they brought a science into motor racing that was revolutionary; at the same time they speeded up the process of racing car design to a pace that forced many of their competitors to abandon Grand Prix racing… With the approach of the new Formula 1 that was due to begin with the 1954 season, Daimler-Benz announced that they would be represented… by an entirely new team of Mercedes-Benz racing cars.’ When these entirely new, futuristically alien, streamlined W196s with their wheel-enclosing bodyshells emerged at Reims, fans recoiled in astonishment. Drivers Juan Fangio and Karl Kling immediately qualified first and second, then finished 1-2 in their debut race there. Over the fleeting 14 months that followed – completing the 1954 season then on through 1955 – the Mercedes-Benz W196 single-seater

cars contested 12 World Championship-qualifying Grands Prix. They won nine of them, confirmed Juan Manuel Fangio’s 1954 Drivers’ World Championship, then carried him to a second consecutive Drivers’ title in 1955. With perhaps tacit generosity on Fangio’s part his regular teammates Karl Kling and Stirling Moss won the non-Championship 1954 Berlin GP and the Championship 1955 British GP. Earlier in ’55 Fangio had also won the Formule Libre Buenos Aires City GP. Through that second season of the W196s’ meteoric yet brief career, the Daimler-Benz factory team had also campaigned its related 300SLR sports-racing cars. They proved totally unbeatable, winning every Sports Car World Championship race entered except Le Mans, from which the team was withdrawn when running 1-2. Finally, on 16 October 1955, Stirling Moss and Peter Collins won the Targa Florio in Sicily to add the Sports Car title to Fangio’s Formula 1 Drivers’ crown. That night, roly-poly team manager Alfred Neubauer received a letter from Fritz Nallinger, Daimler-Benz AG’s director of research and design. Neubauer read: ‘After mature deliberation the management committee has decided… to absent itself… irrevocably from motor racing for several years.’ With both World Championships won and total road racing domination re-established, Mercedes-Benz had nothing left to prove.

Some 32 years later, in September 1987, I interviewed Daimler-Benz’s revered former chief engineer, 81-year-old Rudi Uhlenhaut, for BBC TV in his old office at Untertürkheim. We talked of cars and stars, design and development, racing and record-breaking; Rudi – a fine driver and a brilliant development engineer – was then a small yet still imposing and charismatic figure. He apologised for his English, which was actually perfect (his mother was American), explaining that in retirement he was out of practice speaking it. But about his company’s post-war return to serious motor racing in 1954-55, his words were crystal clear. He said: ‘Believe me… I do not speak propaganda. But when we returned to racing in the mid-1950s, our directive was to be the best, and to win both the Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship and the Sports Car Championship. We did that, and – while we could have done better – when our board took the decision to withdraw, we were the best.’ That was no idle boast. Uhlenhaut’s words were simply a statement of fact, embodied within W196 chassis 00006/54 – which Bonhams will be selling at its Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale on 12 July. This is the only W196 out of captivity; the only survivor not preserved within either Daimler-Benz or an international museum. Yet it is the most successful. It is the only surviving Mercedes-Benz W196 to have won not just one World Championship-qualifying Grand Prix race, but two. It is the first O C T A N E j u n e 2 013 77

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1954-55 MERCEDES-BENZ W196R ENGINE 2496cc roller-bearing slant-eight with central power take-off, twin-spark, desmodromic valves, Bosch mechanical fuel injection POWER From 257bhp @ 8250rpm (French GP 1954) to 280bhp @ 8700rpm (mid-season 1955) TRANSMISSION Five-speed manual rear transaxle STEERING Worm and roller SUSPENSION Front: double wishbones, torsion bars, telescopic dampers. Rear: low-pivot swing axles, torsion bars, telescopic dampers BRAKES Shrouded inboard drums, servo-assisted WEIGHT 650kg (dry) PERFORMANCE Top speed c170mph, dependent on gearing

m cne d ww 19i6n t e r n a t i o n a l a setro measr- b te i nn zn e

‘For those who understand its history, Fangio’s german and swiss gP-winning “triPle-oh-oh-six” is absolutely iconic’

A piece of history – from behind the wheel

Octane’s own Tony Dron on driving the Mercedes-Benz W196 Studying the cockpit of the MercedesBenz W196, I thought it might feel a bit odd. The driver sits astride a wide transmission tunnel, with the clutch pedal on the left and the brake and throttle pedals on the right. Oddly enough, once inside I never noticed it. Getting aboard involves removing the steering wheel before settling on the upright, armchair-like seat. Despite the transmission tunnel, the driving position is surprisingly comfortable. Serious concentration is demanded by the gearlever, tucked out of sight under one’s right leg. The gear pattern seems counter-intuitive: to select first, you press a button on the top of the lever, allowing access to the left side of the gate – the action is left, then forward; second is ‘back-right-back’, then it’s straight forward for third, ‘back-right-back’ again for fourth, and straight forward once more for top. The mental process required is like performing a familiar action, back to front while looking in a mirror. It feels very odd, mainly because of those forward movements of the lever when changing up. With so much to compute when driving a GP car, it’s essential to discipline the brain in advance for this gearbox. In his superb book The Mercedes-Benz Racing Cars, Karl Ludvigsen states that every W196 driver found the shift pattern puzzling, adding that even the great thinking driver Piero Taruffi confessed to grabbing second instead of fourth on his first practice lap in a W196, sending the revs ‘sky-high’. Taruffi reckoned it was only the desmodromic valvegear that prevented the valves from touching the pistons and blowing the complex straight-eight to pieces. These thoughts were on my mind for my first drive in a W196 and it was a relief that I made no mistakes. That was back in 1983 at Hockenheim, when I was fortunate enough to attend an exclusive test of several historic Mercedes-Benz racing cars. The invitation came from DaimlerBenz’s press director Günther Molter, who had been with the company in 1954-55 when Mercedes-Benz returned to dominate Grand Prix racing. Juan Manuel Fangio took the drivers’ title with Mercedes-Benz in 1954 and 1955, usually with young Stirling Moss following inches behind. When the management suggested that Moss should hang back a bit, in case Fangio made a mistake, Moss famously replied: ‘Fangio does not make mistakes.’ Believing that no W196 was ever allowed to be used for magazine track tests, I was amazed when Mr Molter gave me three separate sessions at a sunny Hockenheim circuit in this car. One of the short-wheelbase lightweight models, with outboard front brakes, it was built for Monaco in 1955. Fangio was leading the Grand Prix there in this car when it suffered a rare mechanical failure but he went on to win the Dutch Grand Prix, again in this same car, a month later. Part of the reason for the outstanding success of Mercedes-Benz in F1 at that time lay in the attention to detail – if a part failed,

effective modifications were made immediately. Another factor was the speed with which major changes could be made. For the return to F1 racing, the team had calculated that superiority in straight-line speed was the number one goal and the original W196, with its long wheelbase and streamlined body, was easily the best F1 car of its time in that respect. When Fangio said he would prefer an open-wheeled body, to improve his precision in placing the car, new bodies were finalised in days. Then, unexpectedly, the nature of F1 racing changed for 1955 as slower, more twisty circuits took over from the traditional fast tracks with their long straights. Mercedes-Benz quickly designed a new W196 with a wheelbase of 87.0in, about six inches shorter than before. These came to be known as ‘medium-length cars’ when this car, with its 84.7in wheelbase, appeared a few weeks later. One thing about the short-wheelbase W196 that appealed to Moss was that the outboard brakes didn’t send brake dust up through the cockpit. In tests at the Nordschleife, Fangio and Moss found the short W196 rather hard work but they were both 5.5 seconds a lap quicker than they were in the medium-length car that day. Other drivers that day, Karl Kling and the engineer Rudi Uhlenhaut, were unable to exploit the comparatively nervous short car’s potential in the way that Fangio and Moss could. At Hockenheim, a much easier, smoother circuit than the Nürburgring, I found this short W196 very effective, with good brakes and roadholding. It turned in well and the steering felt sharp and responsive. Its hint of nervous behaviour, understeer to twitchy oversteer, was nothing to worry about on Hockenheim’s geometrically excellent turns. I can’t remember the rev limit I was given but it was well below the 1955 maximum of around 8700rpm. It sounded magnificent and pulled strongly from low revs without coming violently ‘on song’ as the revs rose. Driving it in such conditions was pure, addictive pleasure. When I stopped after my last run, the first person to speak to me was Jenks, none other than the famous Denis Jenkinson, who wanted to know all about it. ‘Mind you,’ he said after a while, ‘it’s been detuned to run on normal fuel so you haven’t experienced the full power it had in 1955.’ He had a point there. In 1955, between Monaco and the Dutch GP, Fangio wisely chose a long-wheelbase open-wheeler W196 for the Belgian GP, which he duly won on the ultra-fast old circuit at Spa. Some 20 years after my amazing experience at Hockenheim, I was lucky enough to drive Fangio’s Spa winner in the Festival of Speed at Goodwood, thanks to another invitation from Mercedes-Benz. Again, the weather was fine and the car ran faultlessly. I was surprised by how fast the much longer W196 seemed in the relatively confined space of the narrow hillclimb. It felt quite big too but it handled benignly in an understeering to neutral attitude. Most of my concentration, however, was fixed on getting that mind-boggling gearshift right.

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open-wheel version of the landmark W196 to have won a race, and it is the actual car in which Fangio clinched the second of his five Formula 1 Drivers’ World Championship titles. It is to be offered in remarkably unspoiled, almost ‘barn-find’ condition – its sophisticated mechanicals believed to be complete, and runnable after proper preparation – and it is a Grand Prix car in whose presence enthusiasts simply stand and stare. For those who understand its stature, and its history, Fangio’s German and Swiss GP-winning ‘Triple-Oh-Oh-Six’ is absolutely iconic. But there’s more. As a work of supreme mechanical artistry it surely transcends mere motor racing. It is emblematic of German industry’s post-war re-emergence from obliteration. Daimler-Benz escaped from the cataclysm in 1945-47 making bicycles and servicing US Army Jeeps. Historian Karl Ludvigsen has described how, in the late 1940s, anyone who enquired about a return to racing would be told: ‘Please, we are fighting for our very lives. We have no time to think of such things…’ From July 1948 the ‘European Recovery Program’ – better known as the Marshall Plan – pumped $13 billion into Western-aligned economies. Germany received a share from 1949. Mercedes-Benz car production gathered pace and the board considered racing to promote the brand’s resurgence. A foray to the Argentine Temporada series in February 1951, using pre-war-designed W154 Grand Prix cars, then disappointed. That April, Mercedes-Benz’s new 300 production car was launched. Its six-cylinder cast-iron engine was adopted to power a new sportsracing car to publicise the marque’s rebound in 1952. The result was the spaceframe-chassised ultra-light W194 300SL ‘Gullwing’ Coupé. These handsome cars showed formidable form that year, finishing 2-4 in the Mille Miglia, 1-2-3 at Berne, 1-2 at Le Mans, 1-2-3-4 (in Spyder form) at the Nürburgring, and first and second in the Carrera PanAmericana. For that Mexican trip competitions manager Neubauer shipped-in the two successful W194 Coupés, two Spyders, two 3½-ton trucks and nearly 40 personnel. To study just one of his team movement sheets is 82 j u n e 2 013 O C T A N E

Above, from left to right Patinated bodywork and flaking paint are testament to 00006’s originality; air is directed through crossmember, which sits above huge inboard drum brake. Wide seat necessary because pedals are separated by wide transmission. Gearshift pattern is mind-boggling.

to gaze at a work of art. Every border, every customs post, even individual customs officers, were named, telephone numbers provided, hotels and meal stops booked, rendezvous venues pinpointed, individual journey-stages all given target times. Not only European but also American competitors looked on, and blinked. Mercedes-Benz really had returned. Through 1953 the factory’s racing efforts concentrated upon development of the all-new 2½-litre naturally aspirated Formula 1 cars for 1954. These roller-bearing-engined W196s broke new ground, successfully introducing to Formula 1 lightweight spaceframe chassis construction, fuel-injected straight-eight ‘laydown’ engines with desmodromic valve actuation, all-round inboard-mounted brakes, and all-independent suspension with low-pivot swing axles at the rear. These definingly complex cars emerged late, missing the first two World Championship rounds in Argentina and Belgium. Charged with providing his team with every advantage, Neubauer had schmoozed 1951 World Champion Fangio into signing-on for ’54. Neubauer offered him two options: either a full race fee to miss early-season GP races for which the new Mercedes would be unready, or to forgo that fee and be free to drive for another team. Fangio chose freedom, stayed with Maserati and immediately won both early GPs in a 250F. Then at Reims that first weekend of July he switched to the three-pointed star. Decades later Fangio recalled: ‘The best team was Mercedes… I never had any worries when I was driving for them, because the team was so strong technically. If I asked them to make a change of any kind, they got down to work, and in no time at all I was back at the wheel with things as I wanted them to be. That’s why I won eight of the 12 races

I drove in with them. In another three I was second, third and fourth, and only retired in one at Monaco 1955. In my estimation, 75% of the credit for a win went to the car and the group whose work backed it up, and the remaining 25% went to the driver, and to luck.’ While the original enveloping-bodied Stromlinienwagen W196s had shone at superfast sun-soaked Reims, they proved a handful around Silverstone in the British GP. It was cold, and the circuit was slick with drizzle. Mercedes’ tyre supplier, Continental, had been out of majorleague racing for 15 years and the slithering streamliners’ skittishness was due more to inadequate grip than any deficiency in driver view. An alternative open-wheeler slipper-bodied W196 had been planned for the tighter courses, especially for the following German & European GP at the Nürburgring, but the programme was still running late. As Fangio recalled after he’d clouted marker tubs during practice at Silverstone, both he and Kling vigorously lobbied Neubauer and engineer Uhlenhaut that night in The Five Arrows Hotel at Waddesdon, near Aylesbury, emphasising that the promised open-wheeler was not merely preferable for the Nürburgring, but absolutely vital. In response, three open-wheeler W196s were hastily finalised for Mercedes-Benz’s home race; the Reims-winning Stromlinienwagen chassis 00003/54 stripped and rebodied, plus two sister cars – chassis 00005 and 00006 – built new as open-wheelers. In the Nürburgring race, Fangio would drive car ’6, Kling ’3 and pre-war Champion Hermann Lang (aged 45) car ’5. Herrmann drove a Stromlinienwagen, car ’2. Fangio qualified his brand-new ‘Triple-Oh-Oh-Six’ on pole position, while Kling lost a wheel on the Tiergarten Straight and had to start way down the grid. But Fangio and his protégé González, driving for Ferrari, ended practice utterly distraught because their dear friend and compatriot Onofre ‘Pinocho’ Marimón – promoted by Fangio’s defection to lead the Maserati opposition – had crashed fatally at Wehrseifen. There is a hugely affecting photograph of González sobbing

inconsolably into Fangio’s shoulder. That night both searched their souls. Should they race? Could they race? It speaks volumes that they promptly ran 1-2 as the Grand Prix began. ‘Triple-Oh-Oh-Six’ outpaced the Ferrari, but was itself caught and passed by team-mate Kling’s W196, charging up from the back of the grid. While Fangio sat back in second place, confident he could handle the German driver/engineer in the closing stages, Kling was a man on a mission before his home crowd. Then he began to taste and smell a fuel haze blowing past him in the cockpit. His car’s tail-tank was leaking; his apparently crazy pace was to build time to refuel. Neubauer became frantic. Fangio: ‘This was not how the race was supposed to run… but I was not responsible, so every time I passed the pits I pointed at Kling as if he had no right to be there.’ Neubauer angrily signalled to Kling: ‘FANG-LANG-KLING’. But the veteran Lang could not maintain the pace, spinning off when his W196 seized. With six laps to run the 300,000 crowd eagerly anticipated a home win for Mercedes-Benz and Karl Kling, but the commentator at the Karussel suddenly announced that Fangio had retaken the lead, and Kling was slowing. He stopped at the pits with a broken transmission mounting. It was wired in place and he rejoined to finish fourth. Having conserved his brand-new car, and ever confident he could have disposed of Kling had he kept running, Fangio hurtled home in ‘Triple-Oh-Oh-Six’ to cement Mercedes-Benz’s comeback with this home-race victory. Three weeks later, Fangio won the Swiss GP at Berne from his compatriot González’s Ferrari and fresh-faced Hans Herrmann, third in his sister W196. Again Fangio’s mount had been ‘Triple-Oh-Oh-Six’ and as he took the flag in this car so he clinched his second Drivers’ World Championship title. Thereafter, Hans Herrmann was assigned ‘Triple-Oh-Oh-Six’ as his car for the Italian GP at Monza, in which he finished fourth behind Fangio’s winning Stromlinienwagen, chassis 00004. And in the season-ending Spanish GP at Barcelona, Herrmann O C T A N E j u n e 2 013 8 3

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‘As A work of supreme mechAnicAl Artistry it surely trAnscends mere motor rAcing’

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retired with spark plug trouble and engine failure, caused largely by over-rich mixture selected as a precaution in hot weather. Old ‘Triple-Oh-Oh-Six’ was then confined to test duties through 1955 when Stirling Moss joined Fangio and Kling in the full-time factory team. The car was finally recalled to the colours for the season-ending Italian GP at Monza, in which Kling drove her with typical intensity. He ran a strong second behind Fangio’s leading (and eventually winning) Stromlinienwagen chassis ’2 until 00006’s propeller shaft parted, due to the rare omission in assembly of a locating dowel. Kling was bitterly disappointed, yet Mercedes dominated: Fangio first and guest driver Piero Taruffi second in open-wheeler chassis ’15, the last W196 built. In fact there had been no chassis ’11 and, of the 14 Mercedes-Benz W196 cars built, nine would survive intact until 1991-92 when writtenoff chassis 00005 was revived for display in the Daimler-Benz Museum, making ten today. In fact the factory preserves six W196s – cars ’2-5-810-13 and ’14 – while ’3 as an open-wheeler and two Stromlinienwagens, ’9 and ’12, are in customer-country museums. So how did ‘Triple-Oh-Oh-Six’ escape into private hands? After its final race, driven by Kling at Monza, it had been prepared to full race standard and was then consigned to the Daimler-Benz Exhibitions Department on 22 December 1955. In June 1965 it was exhibited in Munich and during 1966 it starred at both Le Mans and Hockenheim. It then appeared at the 1967 British Grand Prix before being used for tyre testing at the Untertürkheim factory test-track, and displayed in Berlin and at Stuttgart University. Display duties followed in 1969 in Luxembourg, Berlin and Hamburg. A Daimler-Benz Museum archive document records that, as of 5 November 1969, the ‘car should be available at any time for R Uhlenhaut for testing purposes’. On 24 June 1972 the car ran in engine tests at Untertürkheim before, on 22 May 1973, Mercedes-Benz officially presented it as a smarter replacement for the deteriorating car ’14 to the freshly reconstituted National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, Hampshire, England. Some years later the NMM authorities decided to offer the car for sale, to help finance construction of a library and lecture-hall complex. This decision was controversial but agreement was reached, Mercedes-Benz earned credit for supporting Beaulieu’s new John Montagu Building and ‘Triple-Oh-Oh-Six’ was sold to Anthony – now 8 6 j u n e 2 013 O C T A N E

Grand Prix liBrary

‘Its stature Is Immense, not only as the “FangIo car” oF the 1950s but also as a shInIng star oF groundbreakIng engIneerIng’

Top and above Fangio giving ‘Triple-Oh-Oh-Six’ its winning debut in the 1954 German GP, then clinching his second World Championship next time out in the 1954 Swiss GP. The subsequent 1955 bodywork (which remains fitted today) is simpler and lighter.

Sir Anthony – Bamford of JCB Excavators. He soon sold it on to French collector Jacques Setton who wanted ‘simply the world’s most rarefied, most exclusive, Grand Prix car’. It passed to German businessman Friedhelm Loh who, in 1999-2000, ran it at the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique and the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The car was then resold and today, after many years out of public view, ‘Triple-Oh-Oh-Six’ is to find another owner in the Bonhams Festival of Speed sale. Its stature is immense, not only as the iconic ‘Fangio car’ of the 1950s but also as a shining star of groundbreaking Mercedes-Benz engineering. Perhaps above all it is emblematic of worldwide post-war recovery. It’s a monument to modern Germany’s resurgence in making friends, not enemies – and to human endeavour’s ability to rebound from cataclysm. As such it celebrates not only World Champion innovation, performance and pace, but also the return of peace. Thanks To Bonhams,

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The hero himself

Juan Manuel Fangio won five World Championships yet managed to charm all the drivers he so frequently beat Words Doug nye Juan Manuel Fangio was simply one of the greatest racing drivers of all time. And he was also one of the nicest and finest of human beings. Stirling Moss says it all when he recalls: ‘Fangio was a man with so many attractive character traits – that one would like to regard as one’s own, but knows that one lacks – it hurt.’ To almost matchless speed, balance, fantastic vision, anticipation, technical knowledge and mechanical sympathy, he added amazing anticipation, maturity, humility, and simple common sense. A World Championship-qualifying Grand Prix win in his era was a rare achievement. Few GPs were run each year. During his entire glittering career he started only 51. Yet of those he won a record 24. What’s more he started all but two from the front row of the grid – and 29 of those from pole position. Some say that while Fangio was the standard-setter in a GP car, he wasn’t so good in sports cars. Fangio himself believed in fate, and always said that was just his luck. He told me once: ‘All my bad luck struck in sports cars, in Grand Prix races my luck was good…’ But it surely took more than luck in sports cars to win for Lancia in the five-day Carrera PanAmericana road race through Mexico, and for Ferrari and then Maserati in two Sebring 12-Hour races, and twice to finish second in the 1000-mile Mille Miglia, for Alfa Romeo, then Mercedes-Benz. Fangio could dominate in almost any racing car he drove – and his rivals in 1950-57 looked to him as the benchmark, the man by whom they measured their own ability. He came into top-class European Grand Prix racing not as a boy, still learning the ropes, but as a full-grown man. He had built his reputation in his native Argentina, driving progressively modified production saloons from 1936, then single-seaters. His first major victory had come in 1940 – in the incredible 8 8 j u n e 2 013 O C T A N E

Gran Premio Internacional del Norte – from Buenos Aires to Lima, Peru, and back – a mere open-road matter of 5800 miles. He won in a Chevrolet V8 Coupe and became not only Carretera Champion for 1940 and ’41, but also an Argentine national hero. When racing resumed post-war in 1947, Fangio resumed winning. He was an experienced and trained mechanic, with his own workshop business. When his national Automovil Club Argentino went to race in Europe, he was selected as lead driver. Yet when he made his European racing debut – at Reims, France, in 1948 – he was already 37 years old. He returned for another European tour in 1949 when he won repeatedly in Maserati 4CLT, Gordini and Ferrari cars entered by the ACA. His exploits earned him an Alfa Romeo works drive for 1950. In that inaugural season of the FIA Drivers’ World Championship he ran team-mate Nino Farina to the wire, but the Italian just edged the title. But in 1951 none could match Fangio’s works Alfetta, and he won his first World Championship, beating Alberto Ascari and

Ferrari. In June 1952 he broke his neck in a Maserati crash at Monza, and was out of racing for six months. When he bounced back in 1953 he drove for Maserati in Grand Prix events and for Alfa Romeo and Lancia in sports cars. He won that year’s Italian Grand Prix for Maserati – finishing second in the Mille Miglia sports car classic despite broken steering in his Alfa Romeo – and won the Mexican Carrera PanAmericana road race for Lancia. He signed for Mercedes-Benz in 1954, but the Germans’ super-sophisticated new W196 cars would not be ready until mid-summer. So Fangio first won the Argentine and Belgian Grand Prix races in the brand-new Maserati 250F before swapping to the streamline-bodied Mercedes-Benz W196 at the French Grand Prix. He instantly won again, and in Mercedes cars then charged on to win the German, Swiss and Italian GPs and his second World Championship title. Through 1955, with Mercedes all season, he became the sport’s first-ever three-time World Champion. When Mercedes withdrew from

racing at the end of 1955, and governmental regime change had occurred in Argentina, Fangio was vulnerable not just in racing, but also under financial investigation back home. Enzo Ferrari offered him take-it-or-leave-it terms to drive his Lancia V8-based cars in 1956, and in a late-season surge Fangio clinched his fourth World Championship title… for them both. Fangio and Ferrari never bonded, so after that mixed experience and at the age of 46 he returned to one of his first loves – Maserati – for the season of 1957. And it was in Maserati’s works Lightweight 250F cars that he won his last Argentine Grand Prix – and the Monaco GP, and the French GP, and, most spectacularly, yet another German Grand Prix. With five World Championship titles to his credit Fangio called a halt to fulltime racing in 1958. Early that year he won the nonChampionship Buenos Aires City GP in a Maserati 250F, then made one final Formula 1 appearance in the 1958 French GP at Reims, where he had made his European debut ten years before. In the ‘Piccolo’ Maserati, despite

Above and left In the W196 at the Nürburgring for the 1954 German Grand Prix, which he won; after victory in the 1955 Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort, and another win by him for Mercedes-Benz.

a broken clutch, he finished fourth. As Fangio accelerated out of the last corner there, towards the finish line, Mike Hawthorn rushed up behind in his race-leading Ferrari. And seeing Fangio, he backed off, to let the driver his rivals knew as ‘The Old Boy’ complete his final race unlapped. Here was a

measure of the respect in which Fangio was held by his peers and rivals alike. For decades after his retirement, Fangio – the Latin-American superstar blessed with an almost Nordic coolness and calm – remained that rarest thing within the sporting world: motor racing royalty. End O C T A N E j u n e 2 013 89



kings Jaguar has just launched the F-type, latest in a long and distinguished line of sports cars. We drive it – and talk with veteran Jaguar tester Norman Dewis and his modern counterpart, Mike Cross Words Mark Dixon

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e’ve been waiting for this car for nearly 40 years. Ever since the E-type Series 3 went out of production in 1974, enthusiasts have been anticipating the arrival of an F-type. And now, after numerous false dawns and dashed hopes, it’s here. The car was launched to the world’s press just a week before this copy of Octane was printed, and these words are being typed out in a hotel room somewhere near Pamplona, Spain, at the end of the first day of the official launch. But a few weeks earlier, Jaguar invited a very small number of magazines – including Octane – to participate on an F-type road run to the Geneva motor show. There was no chance of a drive then, but to whet our appetite Jaguar laid on ‘a bit of a do’ along the way. 2 March 2013. Jabbeke, belgiuM ThE SmAll TOwn of Jabbeke, pleasant though it is, would have remained in global obscurity had it not been chosen by Jaguar back in the early 1950s for a series of recordbreaking attempts using their latest sports car, the XK120. The man behind the wheel then was a young vehicle tester called norman Dewis. And, on a freezing cold day in march 2013, he’s back at Jabbeke, now aged 92 but sharp as a tack and as cheerful as ever, to witness le mans winner and top chap Andy

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wallace do some high-speed runs in an F-type in ‘homage’ to norman’s valiant drives of six decades earlier. The car Andy’s driving is the V8S, a real monster of a sports car with 488bhp on tap. It’s the top of a three-car line-up that also includes V6 and V6S models – all of them roadsters, because Jaguar won’t officially confirm yet that it intends to build a coupé (although it will, don’t worry). Unfortunately, the actual piece of road that norman used for his test runs all those years ago is now a busy motorway, and even Jaguar doesn’t have the clout to shut it down for several hours. So the local authorities have found an authentically 1950s-looking piece of dual-carriageway nearby, and a small group of cold-looking journalists and Jaguar personnel are huddled in a farm entrance as we wait for Andy to do his stuff in front of the cameras. From our vantage point, the road looks straight until it vanishes into the distance, but just out of sight is a savage curve; it’s also bumpy, due to upheaval by tree roots, and far too short. Andy is really going to have his work cut out to achieve anywhere near the V8S’s artificially limited top speed of 186mph before slamming on the brakes to avoid running into the crash barriers – and the curious Belgians who have gathered to watch – at the other end. As a helicopter throbs overhead, carrying a photographer who’s doing his best ‘I was there

at the fall of Saigon’ impression, Andy floors the accelerator and lights up the tyres of the F-type. It sounds incredible as he spears into the distance, the V8 howling, and the helicopter in hot pursuit. we’ll learn later that the pilot’s truly impressive flying skills gave Andy an unexpected thrill on one of his run-pasts; as she – yes, the pilot was female – hovered above the road but several metres below the treeline, the downdraught from the rotor blades caused the speeding F-type to lift momentarily from the tarmac. which is not what you really want when travelling at 170mph-plus. Andy’s maximum speed is recorded as 179mph – which is less than 7mph faster than the 172.41mph that norman Dewis set in a bubble-canopied XK120 (below left) in 1953, albeit achieved in barely half the distance. But, of course – as norman is quick to point out – Andy’s speed is not an ‘official’ one; it’s the highest figure measured during several runs rather than the average of just two, and it has not been independently verified. Norman’s record at Jabbeke is safe, and is likely to remain so for all time. It all took place six decades ago, but the memory of Tuesday 20 October 1953 is as vivid in norman’s mind as if it were yesterday. It was his third visit to Jabbeke since he’d joined Jaguar as its chief test engineer in January 1952, and the reason for the trip was to claim back a record that norman had set in April 1953, driving an XK120 fitted with a C-type engine – but which had been broken by a Pegaso V8 coupé the following September. ‘The weather was absolutely perfect,’ he recalls. ‘We had five miles of closed road to do each run – two miles in, then the measured mile, and two miles out. So I’m doing the runs, and long before I get to the chequered timing board I’m pulling 5800rpm, which was what I’d been told was the safe maximum. my foot’s flat to the board and the revs are still rising – five-eight, five-nine, six – and I’m thinking “ooooh!” and that a rod’s going to come out of the side and spoil the whole day, but it’s smooth as silk and we make it. we were pulling six-two in one direction and six-three in the other. ‘I was more concerned about the tyres, however, because the tread had been buffed right off so there was only 2.5mm of rubber left, which had been calculated as being what we needed to do one pair of runs. Dunlop’s tyre man, “Dunlop mac”, was there at the end of the first run to make sure the canvas wasn’t showing through…


‘The V6’s response is instant and satisfying, and the quick-action steering makes precision overtaking a doddle’

‘When I’d finished my runs, I went back to where team manager Lofty England and all the others were gathered, and they were all just standing there quietly, and Lofty says to me: “Is there a problem with the car, Norman?” I say, “I don’t think so, it’s running perfectly.” He replies, “There must be, you’re slower now than you were in April – there must be a fault with the revcounter.” Then he walks across, gives me a big hug, and says: “Norman, you bugger, you know what you’ve done? One hundred and seventy-two point four!” ‘Lofty says, “We must ring Sir William [Lyons] and let him know” and he gets hold of him on the phone, and Sir William says, “Well, that’s not very quick” because he’s thinking the speed is in km/h rather than mph! ‘Once that’s sorted out, Sir William says to me, “Well done, Dewis! I’ve told England to take you to Brussels, and you can have a little party tonight – but don’t forget: Champagne’s very expensive…’ 9 4 j u n e 2 013 O C T A N E

Norman would spend 33 years working for Jaguar, retiring in 1985, shortly before the launch of the XJ40. On his watch he oversaw the development of every new Jaguar model from the XK140 onwards; one of his first jobs was to test the Dunlop disc brake. The stories along the way are legion – not least his infamous high-speed crash in the XJ13 prototype (Norman’s stated ambition is to reach 100mph in the now-restored XJ13 when he’s 100 years old) – and well detailed in Paul Skilleter’s superb biography Norman Dewis of Jaguar – Developing the Legend. At Norman’s retirement party, the track manager at MIRA proving ground revealed that, from 1953 to 1976, Norman had covered 1.25 million miles at over 100mph on the banked circuit. After his retirement, Norman intended to forget about work and spend some much needed quality-time with his wife Nan. But, tragically, Nan suffered a stroke early in 1986, and her death in 1993 meant that Norman

subsequently found himself drawn back into the enthusiastic Jaguar community. Since then he’s had what’s effectively a second career giving talks to Jaguar clubs and acting as an ambassador for the company, which has realised what an asset it has in this lively, funny, endlessly cheerful man. Needless to say, Norman was keen to get behind the wheel of the new F-type, which he tried at MIRA shortly before the official launch. ‘Very impressive!’ is his verdict. ‘The ride and handling I think are superb – I can’t really fault it in that respect [Norman was driving the V6S]. I got it sliding about, and controlling it was so effortless – as near a neutral steer as you could want. Just beautiful.’ But, never afraid to speak his mind, Norman does have one reservation. ‘The price tag. The reputation of Jaguar was founded on its cars’ value for money. I’d like to see Jaguar get back to that position, when people ask in amazement – how can they do it for the price?’

Anti-clockwise from top Norman Dewis at Jabbeke in April 1953, at the wheel of the aeroscreen-equipped XK120 in which he achieved nearly 141mph; back at Jabbeke, and back in an XK120, in March 2013; Mike Cross with his ‘baby’, the new F-type.

8 April 2013. NAvArre regioN, SpAiN TODAY’S THE BIG DAY. We’re finally going to get behind the wheel of what Jaguar is calling ‘arguably its most important car of the last 50 years’. We’ll decamp straight from the plane at Pamplona airport into waiting V6 F-types and drive for an hour or so to Navarre race circuit, where we’ll be allowed to thrash the hotter version of the V6, the ‘S’, around this challenging track. Then we’ll put some serious road miles under the V6S, as an appetiser to tomorrow’s main course: the V8S. Studying the press material on the flight over reveals that, while the F-type looks a substantial car, it’s actually shorter than any other current Jaguar. But it’s also wider, something that it’s impossible to forget on the twistier sections of our test route. I’m paired up for the launch with Octane contributor and Car of the Year jury member Andrew English, and neither of us will ever come to be totally at ease with the F-type’s girth.

But the upside of the F-type’s considerable mass is that you feel as though you’re getting a lot of car for your money – which will be £58,500 for the V6, £67,500 for the V6S and £79,950 for the V8S. As Norman Dewis has perceptively commented, 80 grand is a lot for a Jaguar, well into Porsche 911 Carrera territory and knocking on the door of the Aston Martin V8. Is Jaguar being a touch over-ambitious? It certainly looks impressive. Opinions may be mixed about the new-shape grille – see Stephen Bayley’s column on page 47 – but it lends the F-type an appropriately muscular look, and is a massive improvement on the now-horribly dated appearance of the current XKR-S. No-one has a bad word to say about the rear three-quarter view, however, which (to this writer) with its slimline rear lights and swelling haunches is strongly reminiscent of BMW’s pretty Z8. Hardly a bad thing. Inside the car it’s very much old-school roadster, with two large analogue dials in front

of the driver and a cluster of clearly labelled switches below the central touchscreen display (OK, so that’s not quite so old-school). A prominent grab rail sweeps down over the passenger’s side of the centre console to separate the two occupants: ‘The brief was to make this interior unashamedly driver focused… a little bit selfish,’ admits chief designer Alister Whelan. Next impression: the V6 may be the ‘basic’ F-type, but it’s plenty fast enough. The stated figures are 0-60mph in 5.1sec and a top speed of 161mph, which should leave no-one feeling dissatisfied. Whether driving with the eightspeed transmission in full auto mode or shifting manually via the steering wheel paddles or joystick-style ‘gearlever’, response is instant and satisfying, and the quick-action steering – a good old-fashioned hydraulic rack, Jaguar’s fastest-reacting ever – makes precision overtaking a doddle. It sounds pretty good, too, with a crisp V6 howl. O C T A N E j u n e 2 013 95


‘The brief was to make the interior unashamedly driver focused – a little bit selfish’

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Not, however, as good as the V6S. There had been much speculation before today about whether the V6S would actually prove the pick of the bunch, the most satisfying car to own and drive. The V8S is much more powerful – but there were suggestions that maybe it just has too much power. Chief test engineer Mike Cross – Jaguar’s closest equivalent to a Norman Dewis of the 21st century – had already gone on record as saying that the V6S was his personal favourite. ‘It depends on where you’re driving, but in the UK I’d personally prefer the V6S. The V8S is very fast and you need quite a lot of space to stretch its legs. But that’s just my opinion. Within Jaguar Land Rover, the preference is probably split 50:50.’ By the end of the first day of this two-day launch, we were ready to side with Mike. Yes, the V6S is faster than the V6 – 4.8sec to 60mph, a top speed of 171mph; it has more power (355bhp in the ‘S’ compared with the V6’s 335) and slightly more torque (339 vs 332lb ft). And it sounds noticeably different, more threedimensional than the V6, thanks to its ‘active’ exhaust system that opens valves to provide extra resonance when you step on the gas. The result is a hint of warble that makes a surprising difference to your aural pleasure. But the biggest division between V6 and V6S is the suspension. Don’t get us wrong, the V6 strikes a fine balance between ride comfort and taut handling. But you are stuck with that

particular set-up and it is inevitably a compromise, albeit a good one: there’s a certain amount of jiggle at lower speeds, while the car doesn’t always feel as completely tied down as it might, corner to corner, when you’re pressing on. However, on the V6S (and the V8S) you can additionally choose a setting that firms up the dampers for when you want to drive harder. And these two models, unlike the V6, are also fitted with active suspension that monitors vehicle inputs 500 times a second and constantly adjusts itself to suit. The biggest compliment we can pay the V6S is that, in its normal ‘comfort’ setting, it is genuinely reminiscent of the original E-type (but without the E’s roll oversteer). Hacking along at serious speed, it rides beautifully and handles superbly. The firmer mode, in contrast, is just a little hardcore for anything less than a billiard-table surface. A surface of the kind you’ll find at the Navarre circuit, opened as recently as 2010 and a perfect mix of fast straights, sweeping bends and a number of much tighter corners. Jaguar decided that the V6S would be ideally matched to this circuit – and they were right. On any of the F-type range, you can pull back a little toggle switch to put the car into Dynamic mode. This weights up the steering, sharpens the throttle response, makes gearchanges happen faster and further up the rev range, and permits a greater degree of slip

Clockwise from above Norman Dewis’s first visit to Jabbeke was in September 1952, to make a maximum-speed run for The Motor ’s test of a production C-type, when he recorded 143.7mph in appallingly wet weather; at speed in the 172mph bubble-canopied XK120 in October 1953; Jaguar line-up of MkVII, C-type and XK120 the previous April, with (left to right) mechanics Joe Sutton and Len Hayden, team manager FRW ‘Lofty’ England, and Norman; the official timekeepers’ card from Norman’s October ’53 record-breaking run, showing that it was all done-and-dusted by 8.39am, with an average maximum of 172.412mph.

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Left 1988 Le Mans winner Andy Wallace pays tribute to Norman Dewis in an F-type V8S at Jabbeke, March 2013; despite having a rather-too-short piece of closed road, he ran it up to 179mph.

vehicle integrity’, and he works across the Jaguar Land Rover group, not just on the products bearing the leaping cat. He started his career with British Leyland in 1976, and like Norman Dewis he was involved with competition driving at a relatively low level but had no formal circuit driving instruction. ‘When you’re developing cars, what’s more important than outright speed is consistency, and the ability to interpret what a car’s doing from an engineer’s viewpoint. What’s different from my job compared with Norman’s is that I don’t do the kind of marathon journeys that he used to undertake. Instead, there’s a lot of simulation in the virtual world, which allows us to accelerate the process. But on the other hand cars are now more complex – adaptive suspension, electronic diffs, different driving modes, and so on – and all these systems have to be optimised, which takes time. ‘I do a lot of short drives – we’re fortunate in having some lovely, challenging roads in Warwickshire – and then once a month or so we’ll go off to Wales, or the Nürburgring. It’s also really important to include city driving and traffic; the fast stuff is actually quite a small part of the process. You can tell a lot about a car from how it performs at low speed.’

at the rear before the stability control takes over. It turns the V6S into a track-day warrior; and if you partially switch out the stability control, you can have enormous fun steering the car on the throttle out of corners. Naturally, you’d want the suspension set to Dynamic for track use, too. But the clever thing is that you can mix ’n’ match any of the attributes in the Dynamic package by opening up the touchscreen and ticking the appropriate boxes. So, for example, if you’re driving a particular road and you decide that you’d like the extra-snappy gearchanges but would rather have the lighter steering and softer damping, you can ‘check’ or ‘uncheck’ the boxes on the display. It’s a great solution to the problem of driving a car engineered for one particular set of circumstances – the manicured B-roads of Germany, for example – in a place 9 8 j u n e 2 013 O C T A N E

less suited to it (the Third World road surfaces of post-winter Britain). Mike Cross confirms that those two locations make effective parameters for determining a chassis set-up. ‘Our experience has shown that if a sports car works in the UK and it works in Germany, it’s probably going to be pretty good everywhere.’ Mike has been involved with the F-type ever since it was a gleam in the eyes of design chief Ian Callum and his team, and has nursed it through every stage of its development since the initial ‘Statement of Intent’ was drawn up, long before any prototypes turned a wheel. ‘The overarching requirement was that it had to be a sports car, but a sports car in a Jaguar way: the way it steers, handles, stops and goes, how it sounds.’ Mike’s official job title is ‘chief engineer,

9 April 2013. pAmplonA, SpAin MR ENGLISH IS NOT a morning person, and he’s more than happy to let me have first stint in the V8S on this drizzly, grey, Spanish morning. But as we clear Pamplona, and I move out to overtake a lorry on the first long straight of country road, he soon wakes up. ‘Jeez! That’s seriously quick!’ he exclaims. And I wasn’t even trying. It soon becomes evident that the phrase ‘with power comes responsibility’ is an apt one when applied to the V8S. This thing is monstrously fast, and injudicious use of the loud pedal will have the back end stepping out in the blink of an eye, however much the electronic stability aids may protest. That supercharged 5.0-litre V8 is trying to send nearly 490bhp through the rear wheels only, and Mike Cross’s comment about needing to be in the right place to exercise the V8S properly now seems like an epic piece of understatement. The Bonneville salt flats would be a good starting point. But, of course, having access to such excess is completely addictive, and the soundtrack is pure muscle-car, a meaty V8 beat that swells

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and swells as you open the taps – so much so, you may even (heresy!) consider switching out the ‘active’ exhaust. You can’t let your guard down for a second in the V8S, or it could bite you in the backside. By the time we stop for coffee, Andrew and I have independently reached the same conclusion: yesterday, we were convinced that the V6S was the F-type of choice, but now we’re not so sure… The V8S is a fabulous machine, and suddenly that hefty price tag doesn’t seem so outrageous. Has Jaguar finally – finally! – produced a

worthy successor to the E-type? Yes. It won’t have the same historical impact as the ‘E’ did in 1961, but then no car ever will again. It’s not without its flaws: the front-end styling is an acquired taste, the interior doesn’t feel particularly special (surprising, this, when you compare it with an XJ saloon’s), and the luggage compartment is dismally shallow. But the F-type is a good car, and possibly a great one. As one insider commented during the launch: ‘Land Rover is on the crest of its wave right now. Jaguar is just starting to ascend.’ The F-type will help it get there. End

2013 JAGUAR F-TYPE ENGINE 2995cc V6 or 5000cc V8, Roots-type twin-vortex supercharger, four valves per cylinder POWER 335 / 355 / 488bhp @ 6500rpm (V6/V6S/V8S) TORQUE 332 / 339lb ft @ 3500-5000rpm (V6/V6S), 460lb ft @ 2500-5500rpm (V8S) TRANSMISSION Eight-speed ‘Quickshift’ auto/manual, rear-wheel drive, mechanical LSD in V6S, electronic LSD in V8S STEERING Hydraulic rack and pinion SUSPENSION Independent coil-and-wishbone; active ride on V6S and V8S BRAKES Discs WEIGHT 1597 / 1614 / 1665kg (V6/V6S/V8S) PERFORMANCE 0-60mph 5.1 / 4.8 / 4.2sec. Top speed 161 / 171 / 186mph (V6/V6S/V8S)

Above There’s a nod to the E-type in the shape of those rear lights; the V6 has a central pair of exhaust pipes, the V8 two pairs, positioned outboard.

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a st on m a rti n n ew i n t er n ation a l

100 years of



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The early 1930s were a tough time for Aston Martin, and the New International of 1932 was cheaper to produce than the car it replaced. But, as Mark Dixon found out, it was also better

PhotograPhy Matthew Howell

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OU HAVE TO ADMIRE his honesty. About three-quarters of the way through his report and road test of the Aston Martin New International fourseater, Motor Sport ’s scribe declared: ‘After testing it at Brooklands, we set off along devious routes with the firm intention of seeing if it was possible to blow it up. 4000 to 4500 in all gears, cornering as fast as the road allowed, up and down the box… the car seemed willing to stand this indefinitely.’ The writer isn’t credited, but the dry humour has all the hallmarks of founding editor Bill Boddy. He didn’t blow it up, and concluded that ‘one is safe in calling the New International a genuine 70mph car’. From which you may conclude that it wasn’t the fastest thing to leave Aston’s Feltham works, even by the standards of the 1930s. But then, outright speed isn’t everything, and there are some pre-war cars that may not seem to be terribly fast on paper but which turn out to be remarkably good at eating up the miles cross-country. Riley’s Kestrel saloon springs to mind: fitted with the Wilson preselect gearbox, which lets you choose the next gear before you need to engage it (very handy when getting set-up for a corner), it’s a brilliant little road car. And having just driven the actual car that Bill Boddy (perhaps) tested in 1932, 10 4 j u n e 2 013 O C T A N E

I reckon the Aston Martin New International could be another. Aston’s output wasn’t exactly huge in the early ’30s. It offered two kinds of car: a sports tourer – which, for 1932, would be the New International – and the Le Mans sports racer, a copy of the team cars it fielded for the 24 Hours. The latter proved much more popular than the former, with over a hundred built, whereas just a dozen New Internationals found buyers. This New International was the works development hack, and had a hard early life. It was used as a team tender for Le Mans in 1932, where, according to Motor Sport, ‘it arrived carrying more luggage, tools and spares than one would have believed possible for a car of its dimensions’. In ten months it racked up about 20,000 miles in the hands of Aston Martin’s then-owner, the London motor dealer Lance Prideaux-Brune. When the car was sold at the end of the year, the works build sheet stated with surprising frankness: ‘Speedo put back (9000m)’! The speedo read 37,801 by 1936, when the build sheet records that the Aston needed body repairs after an accident. There’s a bit of a gap in its history then until the 1950s, when two brothers owned it briefly in succession. Tony and Colin MacEke are both still hale and hearty – and both crashed it at different times, too. Speaking from his home in Devon, Tony

recalls: ‘I bought the International in 1957 for £175 to replace the Austin Seven special that I’d built the previous year. Although I didn’t have the Aston long, I did like it. I remember going on holiday in it to Cornwall. On the way back it was absolutely tipping down with rain, and I pulled out to overtake a van. The driver stuck his hand out, which made me wonder if he knew something I didn’t… Just in front of him the road curved sharp right, with no warning, and I skidded into a bridge parapet. Fortunately we weren’t going very fast by then!’ Tony had the car repaired, but soon afterwards his head was turned by a Le Mans model and he sold the International to his brother. Colin, who now lives in Gloucestershire, had an equally adventurous rite of passage with it: ‘The wing nuts on the [cable-operated] brakes were vulnerable to vandals, as I found out when I went into a ditch to avoid an accident. From then on I fitted lock nuts. But my constant worry was the oil filter, for its [securing] threads were almost gone and I could never get a decent seal. When asked at garages if I needed any oil, I’d say “Yes, let’s start with a gallon and see how we go!”’ Colin had to sell the Aston after a couple of years, when a young family meant it was no longer practical. An Army officer who was being posted to Germany bought it: ‘I pointed

Clockwise from far left Originally a hardworking Le Mans support car, MV 2543 is these days only required to carry its current owners and their labradors; the 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine needs a little work yet, but is full of promise; the Laycock gearbox is an unexpected delight.

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1932 ASTON MARTIN NEW INTERNATIONAL ENGINE 1493cc four-cylinder, OHC, iron block with alloy head, dry sump lubrication, two SU carburettors, magneto ignition POWER 55bhp @ 4500rpm TRANSMISSION Laycock four-speed manual, rear-wheel drive STEERING Worm and sector SUSPENSION Beam axles, semi-elliptic leaf springs, friction dampers BRAKES 14in drums, cable operated WEIGHT 965kg approx PERFORMANCE Top speed 72mph. 0-60mph 22sec approx

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out the oil problem but it didn’t deter him and I watched him drive off with oil pouring out with a mixture of relief and nostalgia.’ The buff logbook that’s still with the car shows that the Army man last taxed it in 1966. And yes, he crashed it too, according to Aston specialist Jim Young – who bought his first Aston in 1952, also a New International. Jim knows the car well. ‘It has some interesting features: the back axle is an experimental ENV unit, and the body is different from subsequent production cars, with deeper side valances over the chassis members. Pre-war Astons are incredibly well made and durable, and two of the most used pre-war cars in the AMOC are New Internationals. Their biggest disadvantage is that they’re relatively heavy.’ MV 2543 hasn’t been on the road for nearly 50 years, due to engine problems that weren’t resolved until it came into the hands of vintage car fettler and enthusiast Nick Benwell, proprietor of the famous old Phoenix Green Garage, which is located next door to the even older Phoenix pub, birthplace of the VSCC. Octane’s photoshoot will be the first time in several decades that it has covered any proper mileage on a public road. Painted red with black wings in 1963, the car was blue when the MacEke brothers owned it, but dark green before that, and the works build sheet says that it left the factory in

black… In 1932, Aston was going through a particularly tough period. Its cars had a good reputation for quality but they were expensive, and the main reason for that was because everything was produced in-house, including the gearbox and back axle. So for the New International, intended to replace the International that had debuted in 1929, these major components were bought in: the gearbox came from Laycock, and the spiral-bevel back axle from ENV. And for the first time in an Aston, the gearbox was bolted direct to the back of the engine, rather than mounted separately in the chassis and connected via a short propshaft, in vintage car tradition. Accepting these ‘compromises’ meant that Aston could cut a hefty £120 from the retail price, which was now £475. That was a big improvement but it was still an awful lot of money for a 1500cc tourer in 1932. The sporting motorist of the early ’30s could choose from a wide range of marques (Singer, Riley and British Salmson to name just a few) that offered similar or better performance for under £400, which helps explain why only a dozen New Internationals would be built. So was the New International a duffer? It wasn’t an especially quick car, nor a particularly rakish looker, despite having an underslung chassis and cycle wings. The engine was overhead-cam but it was a 1.5-litre four-cylinder rather than a straight-six, which

‘When asked at garages if I needed any oil, I’d answer “Yes, let’s start with a gallon and see how we go!”’

Clockwise from far left For a car that has barely been driven for the last 50 years, the New International inspires a surprising amount of confidence when barrelling down narrow country lanes; MV 2543 is a characterful surivivor, not a gleaming concours queen, and it’s all the better for it.

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Above At rest in the Phoenix Green Garage, spiritual home of the VSCC – and literal home, for a time, of Denis Jenkinson. The Aston’s patinated appearance fits perfectly here.

you might have expected in this price bracket. But get behind the wheel and you’ll find that, just as Aston claimed in its advert at the time, the New International is a ‘most satisfying car’. That big, sprung four-spoke wheel is the nerve-centre of the Aston’s cockpit, its boss housing a hand throttle and advance/retard lever for ignition timing. The gearchange is ‘back to front’ – in other words, first is up and to the right, fourth down and to the left – and there’s a chunky, stubby little lever protruding from the end of a long alloy remote-shift casing, which is mounted on top of the gearbox and projects back into the cockpit. The fullwidth dashboard is a simple piece of varnished wood, and not original to the car; a 1958 snapshot shows that it had Aston’s centraldash arrangement back then. Remember that this car has a central throttle (with the brake to the right of it) and press the electric start, and the Bertelli-designed inline four instantly thrums into life. It’s one of the all-time classic engines, a dry-sump unit with valves arranged to give combustion chamber turbulence for optimum performance, and it sounds smooth and refined. Nick has kindly made the car available for our photoshoot with barely 24 hours’ notice, and he warns me that the ignition timing may not be set quite right. So it proves. The little 110 j u n e 2 01 3 O C T A N E

1500 is clearly down on performance, but you can sense that it’s just itching to wake up and show what it’s capable of. It feels like a peppy little thing, sweet-revving and willing, but just a bit under the weather at this moment. Once wound up to speed, the International is a pleasure to hustle along a typical English backroad. The steering is beautifully light and direct and, guided by those cycle wings that turn with the front wheels, you can position it to the inch in a corner. But more surprising is the quality of the gearchange. Motor Sport complained that ‘two or three seconds is lost on each change if one waits the correct time’ – and perhaps that’s the case if you’re absolutely caning it, but in normal motoring the lever slips between ratios as clean as you like, with a lovely solid precision, almost like a much bigger version of those tiny levers fitted to Cotal electric gearchanges. It’s one of the nicest features of the car, and no Aston customer should have felt shortchanged because they were buying something not made at Feltham. Driving with the caution appropriate to something that’s not been exercised in half a century, the cable-operated brakes aren’t a problem, and a bigger danger would be locking those skinny 21-inch tyres on a greasy road. But because you can position the car so accurately and can see all the extremities, you

‘The sweet-revving 1500 is just itching to show what it’s capable of’ feel confident in hustling the Aston past oncoming traffic in narrow country lanes. You don’t actually need to slow down very often. Yes, this is a well-used and, er, extremely patinated vintage car, but it has huge character and I suspect it’s going to give the new owners a lot of pleasure. They plan to use it as a general runabout, labradors in the back, and they’re adamant that it won’t be tarted up. It’s the right decision: once you started, you’d really have to go the whole hog and rebuild it from the ground up. Better that this small piece of Aston Martin history wears its scars with pride, rather than become just another shiny toy. End ThAnkS To Nick Benwell at The Phoenix Green Garage, Hartley Wintney, Hampshire, +44 (0)7762 116129.

ENGI N E musIc

The music that moves us

The sound of a thoroughbred engine is music to any petrolhead’s ears – but why? And how? Here’s Octane’s guide to pulses, pitches, firings and frequencies, and our reaction to them Words Rob Scorah // M ain photograph Mark Dixon

It’s a ‘bloke’ thIng, Isn’t It? A big engine in the Goodwood paddock coughs, splutters and snarls into life, quickly winding itself up to a full howling bellow. Ladies might frown and decide it’s time for another glass of Veuve Clicquot, but the gentlemen will stand entranced around the open clamshell lid, mesmerised by the chattering, singing, multi-cylinder monster. The more cylinders the better. It’s like it’s alive; it has a voice, an innate musicality – a soul. But why is its sound a symphony rather than a cacophony to the devoted, and why do otherwise sane men respond to its call so strongly? Maybe it’s because both we and engines produce sound in a fundamentally similar way, or maybe it’s because some of the principles that drive a good deal of the world’s music also govern the way our motors sing to us like mechanical orchestras. So before we go any further, let’s look at a few basic principles – as well as some exercises you can do. Sound waves are basically air pressure: one single wave consists of a rise to a peak of high pressure followed by a corresponding drop to low pressure. That wave repeats rapidly and we perceive it as a pitch, measuring those repetitions per second in Hertz (Hz). For example, at a concert the A the oboe plays for the orchestra to tune up to is 440 Hz. Now that orchestra, or a band for that matter, has strings you can scrape or pluck, various tubes you can blow down or things you simply hit. Although people and engines 112 J u n e 2 01 3 O C T A N E

also have quite an array of inner tubes, their central sound-producing apparatus is none of the above. We and the V12s use what’s called a pulse-train generator. Your vocal cords produce sound as a series of discrete glottal blips (they’re your pulses), which, when strung together fast enough, form a single tone. Try it yourself; make a low, frog-like croak in the back of your throat and steadily increase the rate. If you don’t run out of breath, it gradually turns into a pitch – you are forced to sing a low ‘uurrr’. It’s similar to running your nail along the teeth of a comb. Now, in a four-stroke engine, for every two revolutions of the crankshaft, a piston goes up and down twice, but fires only once – that being its glottal blip/pulse. In a four-cylinder, for every turn of the crank two cylinders fire; in a V8, four, and so forth. So the more cylinders, the higher the pitch (potentially). Okay, here’s something else for you to try. Grab a V8, preferably an evenly balanced one with a flat-plane crank like the 3.2-litre Ferrari used in the 1980s Mondial. Now, stick it on a test bench, drag it into your front parlour and set it down next to the piano. Start it up and let it idle – it should settle around 968rpm. That’s 968 revs with four ignition pulses on each, making 3872 bangs a minute; 64.5 pulses a second. That’s our frequency; 64.5 Hz. Go over to the piano and, playing around near the bottom of the keyboard, you should find that a low C (actually 65 Hz) sounds pretty near. Of course, there’s lots of other racket going

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Left Rob Scorah trained in classical guitar and composition before turning to studio production in the 1990s. He also lectured in sound design and digital recording, but the lure of writing about cars ultimately proved stronger than a PhD in the computer-aided writing of music.

on (and not just the neighbours banging on the door); the motor could also be said to have its own percussion in the valve train. Again, at this rate, their rapid snapping will be perceived as a pitch – most notably of the induction valves faintly singing in the intake manifolds at perhaps twice the engine’s pitch. Still, Ferrari’s 3.2-litre is fairly uniform; if we really want to strike up the band, let’s listen to something altogether more irregular – such as Chevrolet’s famous 5.7-litre small-block. Crankshaft design and the evenness of the cylinder firing order can have a big effect. The Ferrari’s flat-plane crank engine, with its 180-degree-spaced journals, gave us very even firing (optimising power delivery and fluid flow, of course) and therefore a very regular frequency and relatively homogenous, uniform sound. But the small-block’s 90-degree crank produces asymmetrical firings that will have an acoustic signature. Instead of a steady bangbang-bang, we’ll get b-bang, b-bang, b-bang. Spinning that up into running frequencies, it might ring out as a whole different note (even assuming the same revs) or more likely, with the ���b-bang’ constituting a single pulse, a different ‘timbre’ or tone to our engine. Back in the days when I was a university music lecturer, one of my areas of study was granular synthesis. It proved quite a convincing way of replicating human voice sounds, again by using those small pulse building blocks. Irregularities in the basic pulse rhythm or changes to its attack and decay were (like the b-bang) subsumed in any given pitch. But as with the Chevy, they gave rise to added ‘overtones’ in the sound, so, as well as that basic pitch (the fundamental), you hear ‘harmonics’. These overtones/harmonics are multiples of the fundamental, most likely having the ratios 2:1, 3:2, 4:3, 5:4. That all sounds a bit dry and abstract, but we don’t hear the numbers. It’s the overtones that give a 1 14 J u n e 2 0 1 3 O C T A N E

‘The enthralling soprano banshee wail of a big V12 engine can carry a ghostly human quality’ sound its signature, make it interesting or make us feel it’s alive. We hear the music generated by the numbers. Time for another exercise and a bit of music theory – with Julie Andrews. Bring out your copy of The Sound of Music from behind your copies of Octane and stick it in the DVD player; you’re going to sing along to Doe, a Deer. Why? Because it will teach you to recognise those ratios as basic major scale intervals. (Don’t worry, you don’t have to dress up as a nun…) Okay; doh-re-mi-fa-so-etc and on up to ‘doh’. Doh to doh is an octave; ratio 2:1. ‘So’, the fifth, is 3:2. They’re the ones that probably emerge first, followed by some higher dohs and ‘fa’, the fourth, 4:3. The harmonics resonate more strongly if you blow harder down any given tube or drive the resonant system harder. Doh-so-doh is a commanding harmonic relationship that underpins a good deal of Western music. It is also much favoured in rock guitar power chords. Think of the opening chord to Thin Lizzy’s The Boys Are Back in Town – a sound also rich in Marshall Stackinduced harmonics. Now, if you were to chop and loop that chord, wouldn’t you have something akin to an engine drone?

But our motors have even more ways of playing chords. Firing order and exhaust routing also have a musically dramatic effect. For example, the small-block’s cylinders are numbered, left: 1, 3, 5, 7 and right: 2, 4, 6, 8. But it fires 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2. Going down a single exhaust system that might still sound fairly even, but each side pipe gets only half the pulses with yet more pauses and syncopations. This drops the pitch a sort of inexact octave and gives our V8 its distinctive burble. Also, now we’ve connected exhausts to our engine, we’re effectively letting it play a wind instrument, so we could do with reviewing some very basic acoustic theory. A given length of tube (flute, clarinet, side pipe) will produce a sound wave/frequency roughly a little longer than itself, so a longer pipe equals a deeper pitch (think piccolo versus Alpine horn). But don’t forget, the engine isn’t just blowing air down the pipes like some fairground organ, it’s effectively singing down them. Try it for yourself; get the vacuum cleaner’s extension tube and sing-cum-raspberry down it, raising the pitch over time. You’ll notice two things: one, you look a complete plonker (more so if you did dress up as a nun); and two, as you raise the pitch, there will be a moment when you are ‘in tune’ with the tube, when your note hits its most resonant frequency. The wavelength is the same length as the tube and bounces back and forth, reinforcing itself. Now when an engine ‘sings’ up to that pitch, the sound might not be exactly harmonic – in tune – with its own song, so most engine power chords will remain more complex than Amajor followed by E7. But there are moments when it all comes together perfectly. Even aftermarket exhaust manufacturers have woken up to our desire to hear our motors sing and have tuned their systems so the pipes come alive at a particular rev range. The award for best singing voice probably goes to the V12s. Their multiple firings per second (and often less compromisingly routed exhausts) gift them the higher frequencies, allowing them to get into the higher singing registers of the human voice. Unlike the guttural American V8s, or more humbly brusque ‘fours’, their soprano banshee wail can carry a ghostly human quality. Perhaps that is what enthrals their owners so, forcing them to spend fortunes on their upkeep. But it’s the ability of all our engines – from big old ‘singles’ to impossibly convoluted V16s – to sing and chatter to us in such a way that creates an intimate dialogue and deep rapport between us. We understand their spirit and they resonate with ours. End

Formerly the Car Division of the Bristol Aeroplane Company

Sales 368-370 Kensington High Street, London, W14 8NL 020 7603 5555

Service & Parts Unit 19 Shield Drive, Great West Road, Brentford, TW8 9EX / 020 8560 3300

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rolling back the years With much to celebrate in 2013 and its future looking rosy, Rolls-Royce delves deep into its illustrious past at a new exhibition in Munich

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n a year packed with major automotive anniversaries, Rolls-Royce has as much to celebrate as anybody. We are now a decade removed from the launch of its state-of-the-art Phantom, a car that cemented the renaissance of the marque under the ownership of BMW Group, and this year also marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of the company’s co-founder, Sir Frederick Henry Royce. Business is fairly booming, too: for the third year in a row, the world’s most revered luxury car manufacturer announced record sales. The perfect time, then, to stage the first ever Rolls-Royce exhibition at the BMW Museum in Munich. Running until the end of March 2014, the ‘Strive for Perfection’ show traces the marque’s history in quite some style, going right back to the day Sir Henry Royce first met Charles Stewart Rolls in 1904. Open to the public and supported by London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, the exhibition is spread over 1000 square metres and features 15 stunning RollsRoyces dating from 1907 to 2012. Star cars include a 1954 example of the ultra-exclusive Phantom IV and the unique 1926 10EX – an experimental model engineered and driven by Royce himself. This and other pioneering machines are linked with the 21st century by today’s Phantom and Ghost. Alongside the cars are informative displays that concentrate on other aspects of Rolls-Royce design, craftsmanship and engineering. The iconic ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ bonnet ornament and ‘Pantheon’ radiator grille are highlighted, as are the company’s historic advertising and its traditional coachbuilding techniques. It seems unlikely that so many significant Rolls-Royces will be displayed together again any time soon, so make a left at Dover and get yourself over to Munich, post-haste. //

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Phantom II Continental The standard Phantom II was unveiled in 1929 following a period of considered development. Royce then asked body designer Ivan Evernden to build him a one-off short-wheelbase version, which when completed boasted a tuned engine and stiffened suspension. The sales department was as nonplussed by the car as Henry was delighted, but they soon warmed to Evernden’s creation after it took top prize at the 1930 Biarritz Grand Concours d’Elégance. Pictured above is a 1933 Fixed-Head Coupé, and to its right is a 1934 Touring Saloon.

1964 Silver Cloud III 1966 Phantom V Limousine ‘At 60mph the loudest noise in the new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock.’ A classic bit of advertising that helped shift more than 7000 Silver Clouds. And it wasn’t much of an overclaim, either; in fact, the only better way to travel in the 1960s was in the rear of a chauffeur-driven Phantom V (on right), as a certain Queen Elizabeth II would attest. 118 j u n e 2 01 3 O C T A N E

1969 Silver Shadow Two-Door Saloon 1972 Phantom VI Limousine The most successful model in the company’s history, the Silver Shadow broke with many Rolls-Royce conventions, most notably ditching a separate chassis in favour of a monocoque body. Relatively small and light, it was dwarfed by the 6m-long Phantom VI (on right), which represented one very big last hurrah for proponents of traditional, coachbuilt luxury cars. Some 374 had been sold when production ended in 1991, with the vast majority of these sporting Pullman limousine bodies courtesy of Mulliner Park Ward.

1952 Phantom IV Sedanca De Ville The Phantom IV was supplied to royals and heads of state only. Just 18 were built over a period of six years, and all but one survive. Based on a modified Silver Wraith chassis, the Phantom IV was powered by an inline-eight which was optimised for driving at low speeds for ceremonial purposes, but it was also able to hit 100mph when the Duke of Edinburgh booted his driver out of the way and put his foot down.

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2003 Phantom Limousine Those concerned that Rolls-Royce might lose some of its traditional character under BMW must have been reassured when the Phantom was unveiled in 2003. With its aluminium structure it represented a quantum leap in terms of engineering, but retained pleasingly familiar proportions. Four years later, the Drophead Coupé version (on right) was received warmly, optional stainless steel bonnet aside…

1914 Silver Ghost Tourer Rolls-Royce went the extra mile – quite literally – to convince the public of the quality of its cars: in 1907, a 15,000-mile reliability trial was organised and, in 1911, a specially built Ghost (similar to the one pictured, right) trundled all the way from London to Edinburgh in top gear without complaint.

1926 Phantom I 10EX Sports Tourer 1935 20/25 HP Sedanca De Ville Even if the slab grille compromised its aerodynamics somewhat, the prototype 10EX (on left) was a significant attempt at producing a lighter, nimbler, more streamlined car, and one from which many coachbuilders borrowed over the next few years. The 20/25 HP, meanwhile, was born of Henry Royce’s astute realisation that the demand for chauffeurdriven cars would inevitably decline, and the ‘little’ Rolls – no less luxurious than its larger counterparts – was the company’s best-selling model in the 1930s. End

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omparing statistic for statistic, Ivor Walklett is arguably the most prolific car designer active in the UK today. Now in his eighth decade, he has penned more than 30 individual models over more than half a century and now the latest is only a few months away from its big reveal. Together with his elder brothers Bob, Trevers and Douglas, Ivor co-founded Ginetta in 1958 and remained the creative force behind the marque until the early ’90s. He’s still operating in the specialist sports car arena via his Essex-based DARE concern, and his enthusiasm is infectious. Llike all journeys into the unknown, his move into the automotive world began with an idea. ‘My brothers always blamed me for getting them involved with cars,’ he laughs. ‘They were perfectly happy as agricultural building engineers. Specials were all the rage in the ’50s and as a young man I was keen so I took a pre-war Wolseley Hornet which belonged to them and chopped it up! I finished the car, but it handled appallingly. That was the start of the learning curve. We had the knowledge and facilities to fabricate things so we built the first proper Ginetta, the G2. It was a simple Clubman’s car with an aluminium body and cycle wings. It went on sale in 1958 and we just carried on from there. ‘Of course, making car bodies from aluminium wasn’t really cost-effective so the arrival of glassfibre was a big thing for small firms such as ours. I first read about Bakelite’s polyester resin in Automobile Engineer magazine and our next car – the G3 – was the first Ginetta to be made in this manner. We contacted Bakelite and they sent along this blustery chap by the name of Langford-Allen to have a look at our plaster mock-up. ‘We’d made it in mother’s greenhouse, which had panes missing so temperatures were all over the place. LangfordAllen – I can’t remember his first name, but then chaps in those days didn’t use first names – was horrified. He took one look and… Well, that was when he became rather blustery! He said we’d never be able to make a proper mould, and that we needed to move the buck somewhere drier. That wasn’t going to happen as it weighed about two tonnes, but we learned quickly and each of us had a role to play.’ Ivor’s was as designer, with Trevers lending his engineering skills while Bob and Douglas managed the business and the shop floor respectively. But it was the model that followed, the ageless G4, that saw the brothers eschew the safety net. From then on they would concentrate solely on making cars, and the 122 j u n e 2 013 O C T A N E

Ivor Walklett

The driving force behind Ginetta sports and racing cars is now in his seventies – and still active after five decades in the job Words Richard Heseltine // Portraits Lyndon McNeil

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Clockwise from top The ever-friendly and animated Walklett talks about the G16 sports racer (top right), which has recently seen much success in historic racing, and the perenially popular G4 – a version of which is still in production; period brochure for the G3, available in kit form.

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company moved from rural Woodbridge, Suffolk, to West End Works in Witham, Essex. ‘Actually, I conceived the G4 before the G3 but it was a much more complex car and, as such, took longer to come together. When we launched the G4 [in late 1960], it took off and we’re still making them today. Originally, we were going to use a short-stroke 750cc Coventry Climax engine, which Lotus used to win the Index of Performance at Le Mans, but then they decided not to put it into production. We did think about using the Standard 8 four, and the price was right, but eventually we settled on the Ford Anglia 105E unit. And, of course, we carried on developing the car and got into racing in a big way. ‘Trevers and I were always pushing for us to get more and more involved in motor sport. You have to remember what it was like back then. The 1960s really were a revolutionary

period and competition was fierce. The G4 went really well, and the only driver to consistently get near Chris Meek in our works twin-cam G4R [‘R’ for IRS] in 1964-65 was Jackie Oliver in his Lotus Elan. We did our first single-seater, the G8 Formula 3 car, in 1964. It had a lot of potential, and was very forgiving to drive, but if you were low down the pecking order for engines then you were always going to suffer. I don’t think we received particularly good service from Holbay.’ The next model, however, would clean up in sports car racing at national level. ‘We’d been building a Formula 2 car for Willie Green but he opened a door he shouldn’t have while visiting the factory and saw our G12 prototype. He then asked if we could change his order and put his one-litre Cosworth SCA engine into a G12 instead. His was the first. He and Chris in our works entry won everything in 1966-67, but it

was designed as a small-capacity GT car so there wasn’t much room for development. That’s why we did the G16.’ While the model has latterly been a front runner in historic racing, this shapely sportsracer never quite realised its potential in period. ‘John Burton went well in the first car with a Cosworth FVA engine, but then BRM’s Wilkie Wilkinson offered us a two-litre V8 for the works car. It would cost the same as a Cosworth unit and would produce 270bhp, compared with 240bhp. It was too good an offer to turn down. Unfortunately for us, we weren’t able to refine the car further as we spent all our time chasing problems with the engine, which were eventually traced to the pick-up off the flywheel. BRM never got round to sorting it, which was incredibly frustrating. However, by the end of the ’60s we were beginning to move more into

road cars so the G16 gradually went on the backburner. The pace of development in racing car design was such that it was hard to stay competitive and also break even.’ While there had been previous attempts at road cars, the pretty G15 was the first to sell in volume. Launched at the 1967 Earls Court Motor Show, this Imp-engined sports car became an instant hit; hence the move to a new, larger factory in Sudbury. ‘We couldn’t make them fast enough,’ Walklett smiles. ‘We also introduced the G21 [in 1970, although deliveries didn’t start for a further two years] but then along came the oil crisis, the imposition of VAT and the three-day week. It was an awful time, what with all the strikes and so on. We’d fully Type Approved it, as we did with the G15, and with the 1725cc four-cylinder Sunbeam engine the G21 was a lovely car. But we were up against the MGB GT

‘We were always pushing to get more involved in motor sport. The 1960s were a revolutionary period’

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‘I’ve always liked

at a time when British Leyland was being subsidised by the Government so we never stood a chance. Fortunately, we hadn’t sold our old place in Witham so we moved back in.’ It wasn’t a great time for Ginetta. ‘To be honest, I don’t have particularly fond memories of that period. The G15 continued to sell for a while because the price was right and, while we hadn’t conceived it with racing in mind, Barry Wood was very successful in ModSports in our works car. The problem was, we started to lose orders for the G21 due to the economic climate. Then we received a letter from Chrysler saying that it was about to stop production of the Imp! ‘They behaved honourably, and offered us an all-time requirement deal whereby they would build and store engines for us, but that meant we would have to make quite a large investment. We also investigated putting a Skoda engine and ’box in the G15, but that didn’t come to anything. We also did a small batch of VWengined cars for our US importer Art Allen [Ivor looks aghast at the memory] but we were on a hiding to nothing there.’ Ginetta survived the ’70s building the occasional car and selling spares while also threatening to return to racing car manufacture with a Sports 2000 machine. This design and others failed to take flight but the marque would return to prominence in a big way during the 126 j u n e 2 013 O C T A N E

Above Walklett’s workshop is a treasure trove that includes this Ginetta G17 Formula 4 car, his son’s DARE TG Sport (the white car seen on page 123), and other Ginettas tucked away in nooks and crannies.

following decade, if not, perhaps, in a manner the marque faithful expected. ‘[Journalist] Peter Filby kept on at us about kit cars, how we were missing a trick, so we had a closer look. For me, the problem with kit cars back then was that you needed to drill 10,000 holes into bodyshells as builds tended to be a bit freeform. ‘The popular ones, things like Duttons, were horrible. We were good at designing things that could actually be built – a lot of kit-car manufacturers had no production sequence for volume manufacture – and we came up with a series of models whereby every component could be taken from a donor car and transferred directly onto ours. You didn’t need to be a genius to assemble one. We did very well out of that; well enough to get back into proper car production with the mid-engined G32 from a new factory in Scunthorpe. We’d fully Type Approved and crash-tested it to be sold just about anywhere in the world by the time we sold out in 1989.’ With two of his siblings past retirement age, this changing of the guard made sense although Walklett rues his decision to stay on under the

new regime. ‘As brothers, we could talk about things. We had decades’ worth of knowledge and experience but that environment was gone. The majority shareholders decided everything and I was just “the boy”. My views counted for nothing. It all began to go pear-shaped so I left.’ Only to end up making Ginettas once again, this time via the DARE operation from the mid-90s. ‘Originally, Trevers and I set up the business as a design consultancy. However, the Japanese Ginetta distributor, who’d acquired the rights to the G4 and the G12, asked us to build them on his behalf. I was a bit reluctant as we were working on our DZ project [a radical mid-engined car sold briefly in the late ’90s] but after a bit of persuasion we set up a factory. We did a deal whereby we would fund production costs in return for a share of the production rights. Before long we were making around six cars a month.’ Now working with son Tom and nephew Mark, the ever-cheerful Walklett shows no sign of slowing down. The new car looks great, and its designer is keen for the DARE name to enjoy the spotlight. ‘Making the G4s and so on is great. I love them, and we are happy publicising the Ginetta brand, but we also want to make a splash with our own car.’ The energy, the acumen and the ambition are clearly still intact – but then we didn’t expect otherwise. End

A selection of cArs in our workshops in 2012. for restorAtion work to the highest stAndArds, cAr sAles, servicing And engineering work pleAse cAll simon, wAyne or robert on 01285 869791, emAil or visit

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the other hypercar Meet the world’s most fuel-efficient car – developed by VW for the same boss who gave us the Bugatti Veyron. We drive the company’s alternative high-tech showpiece Words Andrew english // PhotograPhy Ingo Barenschee

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Erich Maria rEMarquE, the German author of the 1929 anti-war novel All Quiet On The Western Front, was born in Osnabrück, Lower Saxony, and today the town is home to his archive. It is also home to the 112-year-old Karmann car company, owned by Volkswagen since 2009, where from this month a proportion of its 1800 employees will be helping to change our perception and understanding of the supercar almost as profoundly as Remarque did for the First World War. For, in a series of workshops remarkably similar to the old Porsche race shop at Zuffenhausen in Stuttgart, Karmann will produce Volkswagen’s XL1, a 313mpg, superefficient supercar in an initial production run of 50, followed by a further 200 examples. These two-seat fuel-misers are as singleminded as any racing Porsche, and the common denominator here is Dr Ferdinand Piëch, head of the VW board of supervisory management and former head of Porsche’s race department. In 1998, Piëch was chairman of VW and decreed that his R&D engineers design two very different cars: one with 1001bhp, which would become the Bugatti Veyron, and another that would sip only one litre of fuel per 100km – a German measure of consumption that equates to 282.5mpg. In his last public appearance as VW chairman, Piëch drove the experimental One Litre car from his office in Wolfsburg to the 2002 VW shareholders’ meeting in Hamburg. It was raining and cold, and the engineers wondered about the sanity of putting their boss in this tiny cigar tube and leaving him at the mercy of high-speed German traffic. In the end, however, the wily Piëch beat his own targets, averaging 317.4mpg at an average speed of 43.5mph. ‘We will never build a one-litre car,’ he said as he climbed out, ‘but it could give us the knowledge to build a two-litre car.’ The following year I became one of only two UK journalists to drive this 299cc, singlecylinder, diesel-powered car. It was as noisy as a cement mixer, claustrophobic, rode like a tea tray, was engineered like a bicycle and was 13 0 J u n e 2 013 O C T A N E

Right and below Like a slightly sinister swarm of insects, XL1s line up in the Alps ahead of the launch drive. Octane regular and Daily Telegraph correspondent Andrew English has driven its predecessors, too.

completely wonderful. It even moved its German engineering team to a higher plane of erudition. Dr Thomas Gänsicke, the car’s project manager, wrote at the time: ‘It really is a fascinating experience to drive through the night at 100km/h with the fuel consumption indicator showing just 1.0 litre per 100km and nothing but the stars above your head…’ And that’s about as runic as German engineers are ever allowed to get. Then, nothing happened. The project got a sheet thrown over it and the engineers got moved on. Five years later, Ulrich Hackenberg was head of research at Volkswagen, Martin Winterkorn was chairman and they were working on a parallel-hybrid system that could be used across the entire VW Group. Could a similar hybrid system tame the singlepot death rattle of the One Litre car? It could, and we saw the next stage in Frankfurt in 2009. The L1 had a two-cylinder, 800cc TDI engine which, with assistance from a small electric motor, gave a top speed of 100mph and 189mpg. After the show, Hackenberg told me that it was the enthusiastic reaction of journalists such as myself and Mike Rutherford of The Sunday Times that had helped persuade them to continue with the one-litre project. I told him I bet he said that to all the boys. We didn’t have long to wait for the next development. In front of an audience made rich on oil and gas revenues, the 2011 Qatar motor show saw the first public unveiling of a prototype XL1, a plug-in, parallel-hybrid, two-cylinder turbodiesel. Hackenberg had rejected the tandem-seat arrangement as impractical, but Piëch suggested a staggered side-by-side arrangement to limit the inevitable width increase. In a restricted, police-escorted drive, I piloted the prototype XL1 round the Qatar’s capital city, Doha. It clearly needed work and a lot more damping for its carbonfibre body, but this was a highly promising second attempt. Then, on the eve of March 2013’s Geneva motor show, Volkswagen revealed that it would put the XL1 into limited production. I knew this already, partly because the previous week I’d been at the Karmann factory and seen the car’s production facilities, but mainly because the previous day I’d driven the XL1 across the Swiss Alps from Lucerne, over the 5000ft Brünig and Jaun passes and into Geneva. This was in the company of the team of engineers that built it, including Hackenberg.

At 12ft 9in long, 5ft 5.6in wide and 3ft 9.4in tall, the XL1 is the world’s most aerodynamic production car, with a coefficient of drag of 0.189. It is also the lightest hybrid, weighing 795kg with the resin-transfer-moulded carbonfibre body just 230kg. The entire drive system weighs 227kg, with 153kg for the running gear, 80kg for the equipment and 105kg for the electrical system. The parallel twin-cylinder turbodiesel is half of a Polo’s 1.6-litre unit. Made in aluminium, with plasma-sprayed bores instead of iron wet liners and a Lanchester balance shaft to reduce vibrations, it produces 47bhp and 88.5lb ft. Between it and the transmission is a thin 27bhp/74lb ft electric motor powered by a 5.5kWh, 60-cell, 230-volt Sanyo lithium-ion battery. The transmission is a super-expensive magnesium alloy version of VW’s E400 seven-speed, twin-clutch unit, which drives the rear wheels. This really is the acme of energy efficiency and lightweight innovation, and it could stand toe-to-toe with other supercars launched at Geneva: Ferrari’s LaFerrari and McLaren’s P1. Technical goodies include LED lamps, narrowgauge wiring with electrical fuses, carbonceramic brakes, an electrical air-con/heater unit and a fully-faired underbody. The side and rear windows are polycarbonate with anti-scratch coatings and there are no wing mirrors, just rear-facing door cameras displaying their images on non-reflective screens in the door trims. The wheels are magnesium alloy and weigh just 4kg (the skinny Michelins weigh 3kg), the wishbone front and semi-trailing-arm rear suspension are all cast aluminium, and the anti-roll bars and engine mounts are carbonfibre. Crash safety is on par with that of current VW models, and in the event of a roll-over accident the hinges for the scissor doors are secured with explosive bolts, which release the assembly so you can climb out. In normal operation, the XL1 stays in electric drive until full throttle is used, speed exceeds 62mph or the battery charge falls to 14%. Electric-only mode lasts 31 miles or (again) until the battery charge falls to 14%, when the electric motor restarts the engine to maintain the charge and drive the vehicle, although it never fully recharges the battery. You can also ‘hold’ the battery charge to use in a built-up area. Recharge time via a separately supplied charge box is just over an hour using a 240V UK household supply, or half an hour with a

v w ’s 30 0m pg h y perc a r

‘i t r e semble s a 21s t-cen t ury in t er pr e tat ion of aur el persu’s cl a s sic t e a r drop’

360V supply. Top speed is limited from a possible 125mph to 99mph for battery longevity and 0-62mph acceleration is in 12.7sec. Combined economy using the EU’s rather contrived calculation for plug-ins is 313.8mpg. In fact, Hackenberg says that’s a rounded-up figure and the actual consumption is 0.83l/100km (340.4mpg). Carbon dioxide emissions are 21g/km, and the ten-litre fuel tank and battery give a combined range of about 311 miles. ‘The car came out of the wind tunnel like that,’ says Walter de Silva, head of VW Group design, although his designers spent an intensive two years nibbing away at the aerodynamics. In profile it resembles a 21stcentury interpretation of Aurel Persu’s classic windcheating teardrop, but there are designer touches in the XL1, particularly the twin vents on the dorsal engine cover, reminiscent of the first Beetles. Swing up the scissor doors and you can feel and see some of the advances that have been made since Qatar in 2011. The doors have more assistance so you aren’t tugging them shut, while the body damping is hugely improved so the soles of your shoes don’t resound off the stiff carbonfibre structure. Around town, this fuel-sipping VW feels clanky. Shove the throttle firmly, the electric motor whines and you pull briskly away. The tyres crash over expansion joints and potholes, the unassisted steering has a strange over-centre feeling and the low-mounted body bobs gently along like a dinghy at its mooring. And when the engine starts you’d imagine someone was doing a bit of drilling on the bodywork. On a positive note, the brakes combine electrical regeneration with oldfashioned friction, and they are an object lesson in smooth, powerful and linear response – if only all hybrid anchors were this good. The carbonfibre seats are trimmed in lightweight material and are superbly supportive and comfortable. The steering wheel adjusts up and down, too, so finding a good driving position isn’t a problem. You have to get used to the lack of a central rear-view mirror, but the TV wing mirrors are amazingly good. It’s all recognisably Volkswagen in derivation, even down to the instrument binnacle and centre console switches, which are from the Up! model. There’s a simple techy charm about the mattblack carbonfibre dashboard and the lovely piano-black, full-width ventilator and it’s all been designed by a Brit, Andrew Hart-Barron. ‘We wanted it to be recognisably a VW, but also to show how different it was,’ he told us at the Qatar launch. A central Garmin PDA screen conveys sat-nav info plus engine and fuel economy stuff. Eventually the sat-nav will be developed to advise the power electronics when to dig deep into the battery charge because a nearby long descent will enable it to recharge, or the

car is going home or to work where it will be hooked up to the mains. Two six-footers will fit comfortably and you get used to the staggered seating. There’s not a huge amount of space in the cockpit, but the luggage space in the boot behind the engine is 120 litres. Out of town, the XL1 starts to make more sense. The ride calms and the steering weight feels more appropriate. While it sounds slow on paper, there’s actually real guts in that driveline, even though the torque is limited to protect the exotic transmission. Floor the throttle and the chirruping engine, whirring motor and rumbling tyres make you feel like a getaway driver in a sci-fi bank heist. Then there are the times when the transmission clutches out the driveline and the XL1 freewheels (or ‘sails’, as the German engineers endearingly put it). Up beyond the snow line on the Brünig pass, the XL1 looked like a ghostly wraith as it rolled silently out of the mist, leaving no trace of its passing (least of all CO2) apart from the slightly sinister feeling that you’d seen the future. Gradually you get used to conserving momentum, although there’s a limit to how much you’d want to trust 115/80x15in tyres on turning-in to a corner, and the steering loads up alarmingly in acute bends. And while on a long journey the suspension is quite comfortable, the bobbing sensation never quite goes away and you never quite get used to the engine noise, which alternately sounds like a woodpecker with a sore beak and a masonry drill. But it’s great fun and so ethereally special you feel like a time traveller. ‘The only twin in the whole [VW] Group that sounds good is from Ducati,’ says HeinzJakob Neusser, head of the powertrain development group. ‘This engine becomes smoother the more load you have, though, as we can put more pre-injection fuel into it – it’s all about combustion stability.’

This is the first launch I’ve ever attended where my beer consumption the night before (two pints) is virtually the same as the fuel burned on the test drive. If the average 12,000-miles-a-year British motorist swapped the latest generation of turbodiesel hatchback capable of 75mpg for a VW XL1, their annual fuel bill would fall from £1075 to £257 and their CO2 output would fall by 80%. Few carmakers could make a car like the XL1 and, with its combination of devilishly clever innovation and super efficiencies, it illustrates Wolfsburg’s engineering virtuosity far more effectively than, say, slapping a vee-wee badge on the side of an F1 car. VW will lose money on every XL1 it builds, so now it’s just a case of working out how much it wants to lose, which is why the company is being so coy about the price. ‘Sometimes Piëch completely ignores the business case and tells us “Just do it”!’ says Heinz-Jakob Neusser. I’ve spent too much of my life sitting in rocketship supercars wondering if I or the idiot beside me could control the beast at its intergalactic speeds, and ignoring the sheer squandering of resources such cars engender. And anyone who imagines the new breed of hybrid supermodels at Geneva will save the Earth one jot of temperature-rising needs their head examined. So, while the XL1 is an irrelevance, it isn’t a pointless irrelevance, if you get my drift. Its efficiency shows what could be done, and while that is unlikely to be done with carbonfibre and teardrop body design, Hackenberg assures me that the driveline can and will be fitted into a tiny VW Up! hatchback, where it will average about two litres per 100km (141mpg). So 128 years after another German company invented the motor car, VW is moving the game on. Amen to that. O C T A N E j u n e 2 013 133

the other fuel misers








wH at ca me BeFor e

VW isn’t the first to squeeze mega-mileage from fossil fuels – but it might be the best 1} 1929 Burne y S tre a mliner

Airship designer Dennis Burney penned about 13 extraordinary 20ft-long streamlined cars between 1929 and 1931. The first cars used a reversed Alvis front-drive chassis adapted to allow the rear wheels to steer. By all accounts, while the specification was advanced and the seven-seat interior a precursor of the multi-purpose vehicle, the cars were not a success: they were unwieldy to manoeuvre and suffered severe overheating of their straight-eight Beverley-Barnes engines.

only once, in a non-championship race for which it built two V12-engined versions of its W26 racing car with distinctive streamlined bodies.

4} 1969 merceDeS-Benz c111

Never commercially produced after a fatal accident at The World’s Fair, but still hugely influential. Basically a teardrop shape after the aerodynamic principles laid down by Romanian engineer Aurel Persu, the Dymaxion car was a three-wheeler steered via its single back wheel and powered by an 85bhp Ford V8, which gave 36mpg and a claimed top speed of 120mph. Just three were built, but an exact replica (pictured top right) was recently built for Sir Norman Foster, a student of Buckminster Fuller. It featured in Octane 90.

Not a single car, but a series of experimental vehicles, the first of which broke cover at the Frankfurt show in 1969. As ever, the gullwing doors overshadowed the advanced technology under the GRP skin, which included a 280bhp, triple-chamber Wankel rotary engine. A Mark II version debuted at Geneva the following year, but Mercedes had pushed rotary technology to its logical conclusion before deciding it would never reach acceptable levels of thermal efficiency. Two more C111s, the 1976 C11-IID and the 1979 C111-III, got diesel engines instead, were progressively more streamlined and set new speed records at Nardo in Italy. The last C111-IV had a 500bhp turbocharged V8 and reached 250.9mph at Nardo. A postscript was the 1991 C112, a mid-engined sports car developed out of the Sauber endurance racer, with active body control and aerodynamics. Mercedes took 700 orders for the car but sadly never built it.

3} 1937 merceDeS-Benz avuS S t romlinie

5} 1980 volkSwagen arv w

2} 1933 Buck minS ter Fuller Dy m a x ion ca r

The Avus track in Germany was built as a race and testing venue close to Berlin, with two six-mile straights linked by terrifying steeply banked curves at each end. The Mercedes team competed there 13 4 j u n e 2 013 O C T A N E

An experimental VW record-breaker with a razor-edged streamlined body made of aluminium and composite materials, and a six-cylinder diesel engine. It was built to explore the relationship

between high speeds and aerodynamics. In 1981 it became the world’s fastest diesel car, reaching a speed of 225mph.

6} 1999 HonDa inSigHt

Fantastically advanced and the world’s first modern hybrid, beating Toyota’s Prius to the market by months. All-aluminium two-seater body and tiny lean-burn one-litre petrol engine were aided and abetted by a thin motor/starter and lithium ion-battery. This was much more of a driver’s car than the Prius, with a manual transmission and good handling. Thanks to a Cd figure of 0.25 it was also one of the world’s most aerodynamic production vehicles. Octane deputy ed Mark Dixon drives one; it’s done 180,000 miles at over 70mpg.

7} 2011 ren ault t wiz y

First of a new breed of weird and wacky batteryelectric urban runabouts – although few of them have super-streamlined coachwork, which is one of the prerequisites of eking out the most miles per gallon or kilowatt-hour. Others include Opel’s RAKe, Audi’s Urban Concept and the Volkswagen NILS. There’s also next year’s BMW’s i3, which is pretty much a conventional supermini apart from the fact it’s built from carbonfibre and unobtainium. You could also add tilting three- and four-wheelers such as BMW’s Clever and Simple concepts, and the Mercedes-Benz Life Jet and Carver concepts. End

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Adrian Goding Equal parts artist and craftsman, Adrian Goding looks at the automotive past through stained glass Words Chris Bietzk PhotograPhy Andrew McLaughlin


t’s alive!’ exclaims Adrian Goding down the telephone. I have a vision of pitchfork-wielding neighbours gathering at his door in Hadstock, Cambs, as Boris Karloff lurches about the living room, but the artist is in fact referring to his chosen medium, stained glass. ‘It’s like nothing else,’ he says. ‘Look at a panel in neutral daylight and again with sunlight streaming through it; the image is suddenly transformed. Sit down in front of a stained glass window first thing in the morning and you’ll see it change, hour by hour.’ He’s right: his Panhard piece (pictured right and overleaf) was displayed prominently at last year’s International Conference on the History of Motorsport Technology, and as the sun travelled across the sky, many of the guests seemed transfixed by the shifting hues of the glass. Host Sir Jackie Stewart, that most colourful of characters, was occasionally in danger of being upstaged. To stand in front of the 25sq ft panel, which to be specific depicts a 1902 Panhard et Levassor, 13 6 j u n e 2 013 O C T A N E

is to be reminded that there are some things that are just beyond most of us. If you take the apparently unfashionable view that an artist ought to possess a degree of technical skill, you will be delighted by Adrian’s work. Tiny details are ingeniously rendered, and the lead lattice that holds the fragments of glass in place is terrifyingly intricate. ‘The technical challenge is actually part of the fun. The Panhard and Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost pieces weigh close to 100kg each, and engineering them in such a way that they didn’t just collapse on themselves was tricky. Each is composed of two separate sections, joined as seamlessly as possible, and there’s steel hidden inside the leadwork to provide support.’ It’s all so masterfully done that it comes as something of a surprise to learn that Adrian acquired his considerable expertise relatively late in life. He studied product design at university before embarking on a career in automotive robotics, which saw him work with Ford and Vauxhall among others, developing assembly lines. The automated wizardry of the

a dr i a n g odi ng

‘He admits that his wife began to ask whether he was ever going to finish the piece’

Mk4 Escort assembly line was no doubt far more interesting than the car that eventually rolled off it, but Adrian grew sufficiently restless that one day he picked up a pamphlet advertising evening classes and enrolled on a course in stained glass window making. A few months and many gold stars later, he began accepting paid work and was soon able to leave the car industry behind. These days the bills are paid by small private commissions, repair work and the regular maintenance of the leaded windows at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. ‘On a given day I might be mending a window smashed by a football or restoring a pair of Art Deco glass doors; there’s rarely a dull moment. But the fact is that I spend a great deal of my time fixing problems in other people’s work, and at a certain point I decided I needed to take a bit of a break to create something of my own.’ In this instance ‘a bit of a break’ means 8001000 hours, or four months in real terms – that’s how long each of his automotive panels took to complete. Needless to say, when committing that sort of time to a single artwork, it is helpful if the subject matter is of interest, and Adrian is almost as fanatical about pre-war cars as he is about coloured glass. He is currently the proud owner of a 1925 MG Bullnose and a 1917 Studebaker. ‘I bought the Studebaker on a trip to the US when I was 20. The engine was seized 13 8 j u n e 2 013 O C T A N E

Above The 1902 four-cylinder, 16hp Panhard at Brooklands just before the start of World War One. Now this car has been reproduced in stained glass by Adrian Goding, the work taking nearly 1000 hours.

solid and it needed a lot of work. It was mad, really, but a bit of elbow grease and youthful enthusiasm goes a long way and the car was restored in fairly short order.’ The 1902 Panhard et Levassor was wellknown to Adrian long before it occurred to him to make a study of it. It has been owned by the same family since 1967 and Adrian had always liked it. ‘There’s so much detail on display – lots of lovely brass and exposed engineering. It has an interesting history, too, having taken part in a Veterans race at Brooklands in the very last meeting before the outbreak of World War Two.

I knew it would make a good subject.’ The cutting pattern alone took 100 hours to produce, and there were occasionally moments – or weeks – of frustration. The headlamp lenses were redesigned and redesigned again until Adrian was happy with them, and he admits that midway through the process his wife began to ask whether he was ever going to finish the piece. ‘The hardest thing, though, was sitting alone in the workshop for all that time. I grew tired of my own company very quickly!’ That did not prevent him from starting a second panel soon afterwards, this time immortalising the 1913 Alpine Trial-winning Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost. A century on from that famous victory, the ex-James Radley ‘Alpine Eagle’ is owned by John Kennedy, who provided a mountain of invaluable reference material and suggested that Adrian include the distinctive Rolle Pass in the background. ‘The lead isn’t soldered until all the glass has been cut and put in place, and the Ghost panel lay flat on a table, unlit, for so long that I began to question whether it was any good.’ Pay a visit to Rolls-Royce and Bentley dealer P&A Wood, where the piece is currently on loan, and you’ll agree that Adrian ought never to have doubted himself – it attracts as many admiring glances as the metal in the showroom, and is a fitting tribute to the car that helped Rolls-Royce to cement its reputation for quality. Given the labour-intensive nature of his art, Adrian is considering his next project carefully, but he is not short of ideas, and his dedication to documenting the past is inspiring. ‘I’ve been speaking to the RREC about producing a window to honour former club president Eric Barrass, and to the Imperial War Museum about a piece featuring a WW1-era biplane. And I’d love to do a Maserati 250F at the Monaco hairpin.’ With a number of classic car owners also interested in commissioning a stained glass portrait of their pride and joy, it sounds like Adrian had better learn to enjoy his own company, and fast. End ThAnks To Andrew McLaughlin at TCI Studio, Hadstock, Cambs, for the superb pictures,; contact Adrian Goding at

sir joh n w hit mor e’s l o tus corti n a

14 0 j u n e 2 0 1 3 O C T A N E

Words john Simister // PhotograPhy Bernard Canonne

The winner every Time Sir John Whitmore raced this completely original Alan Mann Lotus Cortina to victory eight times in its maiden 1965 season. Octane reunites car and driver

Words Tony Dron // PhotograPhy Simon Clay

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sir joh n w hit mor e’s l o tus corti n a


Any meeting with John Whitmore is fun, enlightening and an entertaining education. A genuine polymath, he frequently comes up with amusing, unconventional, even controversial ideas but he always has the air of a man who knows what he’s on about. Steering our talk towards the car, I ask him why the Alan Mann Racing Lotus Cortinas were better than the Team Lotus cars, which to Colin Chapman’s fury even Jim Clark once quietly informed his boss that they were. John admits he’s not sure: ‘Alan didn’t tell me much – he’d just ask me what I thought of the car. He was very good, always trying some little tweak that wasn’t much on its own, but they all added up. I drove the Team Lotus cars too and the Alan Mann Racing cars really were always that little bit better.’ In such a conversation it’s never long before you find yourself learning about something completely different, such as the simulated moon landing he did with Capt Charles ‘Pete’ Conrad, the Apollo 12 crew member and the third man to walk on the moon, who went on to become a mission commander. ‘Jackie Stewart introduced me to him, as he was very interested in motor racing. The simulation was in a capsule in Houston, Texas, and it took about 75 minutes. He was OK to invite me to do it because I was an instrumentrated commercial pilot.’ How many nonastronauts have done that? Hardly any, that’s for sure, but then those are the sort of friends that John has always knocked about with. He adds: ‘Sadly, Pete was killed on a HarleyDavidson motorcycle on public roads when he was nearly 70 years old, so I heard.’ One of his best mates was a certain Steve McQueen. More than 50 years ago, John gave the actor his start in motor racing here in Britain. You might hear a bit about that, or something about the plight of farmers in East Anglia (‘Right now, a third of Jack Sears’ farm is waterlogged and he can’t plant anything’), or perhaps about the train systems of the future that he predicts will take a lot of business away from airlines. It could be almost 14 2 j u n e 2 0 1 3 O C T A N E

‘They dominated the european championship, with john driving this same car’ anything, except himself, even though he is the author of best-selling textbooks on human performance coaching. But the wandering conversation can be steered back towards the car when necessary. John, of course, is actually Sir John Whitmore, baronet; he can trace his distinguished family back to AD1290, which he does appreciate, yet he gives no sense of self-importance and prefers to be known as plain John. Brought up in a stately home on a 7000-acre farming estate, he was educated at Eton, Sandhurst and the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester – and he has always known his own mind, which is questing, inquisitive, adventurous and independent. At times he appears as an eccentric visionary, well past normal retirement age now but nevertheless firmly focused on the future and armed with the relevant facts. Born in 1937, John started racing in 1958 and was immediately successful. Within a few months he got a call from Colin Chapman, inviting him to share a works-prepared Border Reivers Lotus Elite with Jim Clark in the 1959 Le Mans 24 Hours. They finished tenth overall and second in class – Sir John Whitmore, serious racing driver, was on his way. He won the British Saloon Car Championship with a Mini 850 in 1961 and was soon signed up as a Ford works driver, which opened opportunities with the likes of Team Lotus, John Willment and Alan Mann Racing, all of which he drove for.

Alan Mann made sure he secured John’s services by turning up outside his London flat one evening and ringing him from a telephone box outside. Once inside, he offered John a drive in the European Touring Car Championship, with number one status in the yet-to-be-announced Alan Mann Racing team of Lotus Cortinas. In their second season, 1965, they dominated the championship, with John driving this very same car, KPU 392C. As it is up for sale in the Bonhams auction at the Festival of Speed, John has been invited to Goodwood to take his former steed up the hillclimb. Reporting on this is not difficult because I got well acquainted with this exceptional car many years ago. Back in 1989, I set up a day at Ford’s Boreham circuit with John and KPU 392C, which in those days he owned. We both drove it at racing speeds on the circuit, following which I researched the car and every bit of its history to date. John is clearly enjoying the reunion but has no desire to reacquire the car. He bought it in 1967, after it had completed a promotional tour of Ford dealerships, and it remained in his ownership for 28 years. For that victory tour at the end of the 1965 season, it had been thoroughly minted up, as they say in the trade, and given standard seats. When John bought it, it was still completely unaltered. In 1972, he lent it to the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, where it was displayed at times. John removed it from Beaulieu in 1978 and took it back to Alan Mann, who was then running his aviation businesses at Fairoaks airfield. Although Alan Mann Racing was no longer in operation, several of the old mechanics were still working with Alan at Fairoaks, so the car was serviced there. John then moved KPU 392C to East Anglia because his former team-mate, Jack Sears, had made a kind offer to store it safely at his home. The car came out for one track-day demonstration run during that time, when it unfortunately blew its head gasket. A change John made back then was to fit a minimal rollcage in the rear of the car and that was still

Below Now in his seventies, Sir John Whitmore won his class in every round he contested in the Alan Mann Racing Cortina – which he rated as better than Team Lotus’s own cars.

O C T A N E j u n e 2 0 1 3 14 3

sir joh n w hit mor e’s l o tus corti n a

Below There can be few, if any, 1960s racing saloons left with anything like the originality of this car. It has never been damaged in an accident; even the now-sagging rear suspension sits on the original, specially tweaked leaf springs.

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sir joh n w hit mor e’s l o tus corti n a

14 6 j u n e 2 0 1 3 O C T A N E

‘It was easy to adopt sideways attitudes without feeling that speed was being wasted’ listing Sir John Whitmore as the previous owner, all of which will be among the items sold with it in July. As the 1965 European Touring Car Championship winner, still with its 1965 red and gold Alan Mann Racing livery, it will surely fetch a great deal more this time. Bonhams’ estimate of £90,000-120,000 might even be on the conservative side. After the first run up the hill, I jump into the passenger seat and ask how it was. ‘Much better than I was expecting,’ says John. ‘It handles surprisingly well and it’s really quite quick. There is a problem with the brakes, though: the travel is very long, with nothing happening until they suddenly come on too sharply.’ That suggests a sticking servo but maybe the rebuilt brakes just need bedding in. The rear suspension was always low but it has clearly settled even lower since I last saw the car. As a 1965 model, it’s on leaf springs at the back and they do look like a very special bit of period racing equipment, with unusual curves in some of the leaves. A magician in the blacksmith’s art of semi-elliptic leaf spring technology is probably required. Even so, John says that the handling was not unduly affected by the obviously drooping rear suspension. My own driving session in KPU 392C took place on the circuit at Boreham nearly 24 years ago. Although the Alan Mann Racing Lotus Cortinas were prepared in such a way that their front wheels rose less high when cornering than those of the Team Lotus cars, ALAn MAnn CoLLeCTion

there when we did that exclusive test at Boreham in 1989, which was probably the only other outing the car had in those days. For several years John kept it stored with Jack’s private collection, which included a Ferrari 250GTO. He joked that perhaps in such illustrious company the Ford would absorb a certain extra classic car value. Clearly it did because when he sold it at auction in 1995 it went at a record price for the time. The buyer was an American enthusiast from New England, a modest fellow with exactly the right attitude. He told me recently that he recalls the bidding at that 1995 auction, when he was up against a group who planned to run KPU 392C in historic racing – he overheard their conversation during the auction. Had they been successful, this piece of history would have been fundamentally altered. Fortunately, the successful bidder had a better idea. He gave it a very good home in the USA, in which it continued to be carefully preserved and maintained in its original state. From that day to this KPU 392C has been serviced and used sparingly, mainly to attend his local Lotus club events – he tells me he’s done less than 1000 miles in it since 1995. When the car arrived at his home he noticed that it was missing a small brass Pyrene fire extinguisher, visible in some early photographs. He found one at a local US autojumble and placed it in the existing bracket on the transmission tunnel. In 2001, John was invited to New England to speak at a Lotus Owners’ Gathering and he drove the Cortina the few miles to its place of honour. Now, a couple of decades on, the car has been shipped back here to be sold once again. Can there be any 1960s racing saloon that is more genuinely original than KPU 392C, anywhere in the world? Preparing it for sale, the owner has fitted new Dunlop racing tyres and had the braking system fully rebuilt. This wise American has also retained its spare set of wheels, a pair of glassfibre racing seats, two framed posters of the car and the V5 form

Left and right The Alan Mann Cortina wears distinctive livery, though it first competed in standard Lotus Cortina colours and on a 1964 registration number – as seen here at the Mont Ventoux hillclimb in 1965.

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sir joh n w hit mor e’s l o tus corti n a

1965 alan mann racing Ford lotus cortina EnGInE 1595cc fourcylinder, DOHC, twin Weber 40DCOE carburettors PoWER 152bhp @ 7800rpm TRansMIssIon Four-speed manual, rear-wheel drive, limited-slip differential sTEERInG Recirculating ball sUsPEnsIon Front: MacPherson struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar. Rear: live axle, radius arms, semi-elliptic leaf springs, adjustable Armstrong AT9 dampers BRakEs Front: Girling discs. Rear: vented drums WEIGhT <826kg PERFoRManCE Top speed >106mph. 0-60mph <9.9sec

both inside wheels felt very lightly laden when this car was pushed hard through the corners. It was, however, extremely controllable and it was easy to adopt sideways attitudes without feeling that speed was being scrubbed off wastefully. The old-fashioned tyres didn’t generate anything like the adhesion that was to come in saloon car racing just a few years later; that much extra grip can sap the power. On its soft suspension, there was plenty of body roll and it took a lap to gain confidence and realise that it wasn’t going to roll right over. Obviously, it was already 24 years old even then and I suspected that new tyres and a full suspension rebuild, including new dampers, would have made it sharper. That said, it was still clearly a race-prepared car that could corner remarkably quickly once I learnt to concentrate on letting the tail hang out a bit, with minimal steering input. It was necessary to overcome an instinct to apply a little too much opposite lock, but from then on it could be piloted through the turns in the most satisfying neutral to oversteering drifts. The brakes felt terrific, knocking the speed off this light car with surprising efficiency. Back then, KPU 392C’s extraordinary originality was uppermost in mind, so I took extreme care not to do anything stupid, such as rolling it into a ball. Today it is 48 years old and still accident-free. Personally, I hope that it will continue to be preserved in this state. If someone were to buy it and go racing in historic events today, the risk of damaging it would be obvious enough but it would lose its authentic originality before the racing even started. To suit today’s tyres, plus the bodystiffening effect of the inevitable full rollcage, 14 8 j u n e 2 0 1 3 O C T A N E

‘A major part of the value of this collectors’ item is its incredible originality’ the suspension would have to be much harder. In no time it would be a very different machine. No, a major part of the value of this very special collectors’ item lies in its incredible originality. The 1965 ETC season is well documented but there is one little bit of that record that still confuses people. During 1964 the racing Lotus Cortinas had the original A-frame rear suspension, with coil springs. Alan Mann lobbied hard to change over to the simpler, more robust leaf-spring arrangement and the decision was taken to do that for 1965. As the new cars were not ready for the opening round of the European Championship, on the full, banked circuit at Monza on 19 March, two of the old 1964 cars were put back into service there, with John Whitmore and Henry Taylor as the drivers. Running flat-out in top on the long straights and through the banked sections, however, proved too much for the engines, which both failed. The new cars, with leaf springs, arrived just in time to be prepared for the second round, the hillclimb at Mont Ventoux, which was held much later in the year on 6 June. As there

hadn’t been time to paint the new cars, they were still in standard white with green side stripes. John Whitmore won outright in this one, which at that stage bore the numberplate of one of the 1964 cars, BTW 297B – no doubt because there hadn’t been time to register it. The third round was a long race at the Nürburgring, one week after Mont Ventoux, and the new cars remained in standard colours and running with the funny numberplates. John won outright again, this time sharing 34 laps of the Nordschleife with Jack Sears. It was only after round four, at Zolder in late June when John won outright again, that the 1965 Alan Mann Racing Lotus Cortinas were given their proper red and gold livery, not to mention their correct registrations. Through the remaining five rounds of the Championship, John won his class every time, meaning that KPU 392C won all eight of the events it contested in 1965. There was also the bonus of three more outright victories at the Olympia hillclimb, the Snetterton 500Km race and the St Ursanne-Les Rangiers hillclimb. John recalls lifting front wheels to cut some of the corners at St Ursanne, in effect widening the road by some margin. Soon, however, he is looking around, surveying the array of priceless cars outside Goodwood House, and becoming thoughtful. ‘All of this will go, you know,’ he says, waving an arm to indicate the scene. ‘Well, it will be a minority activity, for enthusiasts only. Motoring as we know it is coming to an end.’ Perhaps he’s right. Often enough, he is. I reckon it ain’t over yet, not by a long chalk, but what do I know? End Thanks To Bonhams,


ASTON MARTIN WORKSHOP The world’s leading classic Aston Martin specialist providing sales, restoration, servicing, crash repair, enhancements and precision engineering from pre-war to present day – plus over 50,000 parts and gi s online!


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NOBLE HOUSE EXCLUSIVE CARS NETHERLANDS Noble House has been dedicated to classic British cars for over 25 years, leading to our appointment as official Aston Martin Heritage dealership. It gives us great satisfaction to share our passion with our clients. Tel +31 (36) 532 53 00 Fax +31 (36) 532 48 52 Email

WHILE DAVID BROWN’S acquisition of Lagonda in 1947 gave Aston Martin the 100 YEARS WO Bentley-designed engine that became OF ASTON the heart of the DB2, it also bought the legacy of Lagonda’s luxury touring models. MARTIN The success of the DB4 saw Brown reinstate both the Lagonda marque and the famous Rapide name for the 1961 four-door model based on its Aston sibling. But its Edsel-like front styling compromised the Touring coachwork and its three-year production run yielded just 55 sales. The Lagonda name reappeared in 1974 with the William Towns DBS Lagonda. Essentially this was a DBS stretched to accommodate two extra doors, but just seven cars found buyers as Aston Martin was again beset with financial problems. Under new owners came a further William Towns design, the dramatic 1976 Aston Martin Lagonda V8. Its futuristic wedge shape, computerised management system and digital dashboard predictably polarised opinion, but with a top speed of 143mph, this was a genuine Grand Tourer in the Lagonda tradition, and it attracted 645 owners. Aston Martin’s chequered ownership history continued and, in 1993 under the direction of Ford, the Lagonda Vignale Concept was revealed at the Geneva Motor Show. Powered by a 4.6-litre Ford V8 and built on the underpinnings of the unprepossessing Lincoln Town Car, it featured art-deco styling from the pen of Moray Callum. Just one example was sold, to the Sultan of Brunei in 1995 for £1.3m. A merciful non-starter was the Lagonda V12 SUV Concept of 2009, and it was not until 2010 that the four-door concept returned – triumphantly – on the Aston Martin Rapide. In 2013, Geneva was chosen to launch the supremely appointed Rapide S; with a top speed of 190mph and a 0-62mph time of just 4.9 seconds, Aston Martin’s latest four-door offers the performance to match its stunning looks. Andrew Roberts








World class Aston Martin restoration, over 20 years of providing finest body and paintwork to the highest standards. Winners of many prestigious annual awards.

A worldwide renowned Aston Martin specialist formed in 1979, we specialise in all aspects of the DB marque offering sales, servicing and concours-winning restorations to the highest standard.

Aston Martin: it’s all we’ve done since 1975. We guarantee you a quality service. Our forte is making your Aston work and drive superbly. Full or partial restoration, power steering, air conditioning, engine rebuilds, upgrades.

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10 0 Y E A R S O F A S T O N M A R T I N



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Specialising in the sales, service and restoration of Aston Martin in our modern 30,000sq facility. With over 20 years’ experience in the marque, we offer the highest level of workmanship covering all models from DB series to new Vanquish.

Lockton is the sole authorised insurance broker to the Aston Martin Owners Club. Our appointment stretches back over 20 years and is based on delivering great service and competitive premiums.

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ROOS ENGINEERING LTD SWITZERLAND Roos Engineering is one of the most reputable Aston Martin specialists in the world. With Roos, you can own and enjoy a classic Aston Martin, confident in the knowledge that a wealth of experience is at your disposal. Tel +41 (0)62 788 79 00 Email


Skyfall sees James Bond back in a DB5 – meticulously prepared by our own Heritage Department. This level of detail isn’t reserved for ‘celebrity cars’. From a service to a complete restoration, you can count on us. Sales +44 (0)1908 610620 Service +44 (0)1908 619264 Heritage +44 (0)1908 619619




You don’t have to be an Aston owner – just an enthusiast. An international club organising socials, concours, tours, racing. Celebrating 100 years of Aston Martin.

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Gone but not forGotten Words Dale Drinnon

Ian Fleming

James Bond never met a super-villain he couldn’t best, but his creator was powerless against his own demons

‘Fleming and Bond shared Eton, Scottish ancestry – and less savoury traits’

152 j u n e 2 01 3 O C T A N E

That Bond was his creator’s alter ego is now undisputed. Not only did Fleming draw from his wartime operations for Bond’s exploits, they shared Eton, Scottish ancestry and other, less savoury traits, like a contempt for women and reported sadomasochistic tendencies, which in Fleming’s case extended to the bedroom. They also had a mutual appreciation for interesting automobiles, although Fleming’s tastes, when success allowed, ran more toward American cars of the personal luxury idiom. His favourite was his supercharged Avanti, and he was also fond of his early two-seat Thunderbird and its flashy four-seater sibling. In truth, though, Bond was who Fleming wanted to be and couldn’t. Bond was a man of action, while Fleming was a fantasist, forever riding a desk and wishing he, too, could grab some genuine glory. Maybe that’s why he threatened for years to abandon Bond for more serious material, but always balked; better to be a hero of his own imagination than no hero at all. Bond also had another advantage: he did not have to deal with the messiness of mortal life, something with which Fleming struggled constantly. He had married late at 40, and both parties were compulsively unfaithful. She denigrated his writing, he drank to roaring excess and they fought constantly. By the mid-1950s his health was also fading; his first heart attack came in 1961 and he never really recovered, growing increasingly morose and withdrawn. The second attack in August ’64 killed him; he was barely 56, and honestly had little understanding of what he had ultimately wrought.



is signature Bond tales read a little differently to me now. His plotlines seem often farcically contrived, the characterisations glaringly bigoted even for the period, and dear heaven, what arrested schoolboy wit could have possibly produced names like ‘Pussy Galore’? Despite his legendary devotion to detail, I also notice occasional laziness: confused geography, cars and guns of mistaken identity, his repeated go-to phrases and improbable feats. But Ian Lancaster Fleming had a gift, and it was a rare one. He could create a world on the page, and make it leap off and into your head; a world of good and evil and points between, of exciting people and places and things. And for those who were then of impressionable age and bland circumstances, he opened horizons previously unimaginable. In hindsight, it was Fleming who first fired my interest in travel and foreign adventure, and yes, dammit, he’s probably also the reason I once affected a cigarette case and still own a Walther. Fleming’s worlds weren’t earnestly literary or remotely realistic, but they were unbelievably alluring, and the author spent most of his years in pursuit of the sort of life enjoyed by the characters in his novels. Fleming was descended from a prominent banking family and his father, Valentine, was an MP and war hero, killed in 1917 when Ian was just eight; thereafter Ian’s manipulative and demanding mother incessantly reminded him of large shoes to be filled. At Eton he mostly focused on sports, teenage angst and women, and in view of his academic results his mother nixed university in favour of the military and secured him an appointment at Sandhurst. Recent tabloid accounts suggest that a dose of gonorrhoea caused his expulsion from the Army in 1927; less bombastic sources say his furious mother made him resign as punishment for catching it. In the remaining years before the next war he fancied the diplomatic corps, but failed the exam, tried finance but became bored, and had a go at foreign correspondence with Reuters. That fit him quite well, except the money stank, so he went back to the City. When the fighting started, however, as was not unusual for an Old Etonian with language skills and experience abroad, he wound up in espionage with Naval Intelligence. Finally he seemed to have found his niche: exercising power and being ‘in the know’ was exactly what his massive but fragile ego needed, and evidently he was rather competent. Unfortunately, wars do end, and when Fleming’s did, he went off to work for The Sunday Times and on the side started writing that thriller he’d long planned. It was of course Casino Royale, published in 1953, and along with his other James Bond novels it made Ian Fleming a global household name.


Words delwyn mallett

Kalakala car ferry Now a wreck criticised as an eyesore, the Kalakala was once heralded as a masterpiece of Streamline Moderne design


n Chinook jargon, ‘kalakala’ means ‘flying bird’. Phoenix might have been a more ornithologically appropriate moniker for the futuristic Kalakala, as she was built on the burnt-out hull of an earlier ferry and now, half a century after being taken out of service, is struggling once more to be reborn. The Peralta, launched in 1926, plied the San Francisco Bay long before the Golden Gate Bridge was built, but in 1933 she was badly damaged by a fire that consumed the ferry terminal. The Peralta’s relatively undamaged hull was bought by Alexander Peabody of the Puget Sound Navigation Company, who arranged for it to be towed to the Lake Washington Shipyard in Houghton. Peabody, at that point still only in his mid-30s, was the third generation to run his family shipping line and he had grand ambitions for the hull. The ‘streamlined decade’ was gathering momentum and Peabody wanted to be part of it. It has been speculated that the pioneering industrial designer Norman Bel Geddes, an unrelenting visualiser of the future, had a hand in the design; but this seems unlikely, for as the Kalakala became a renowned example of Streamline Moderne design he would surely have not hesitated to

publicise his contribution. What is undisputed is that the plans were laid out and signed by a German-born, but American-educated, naval architect named Helmuth W Schmitz, and that a freelancing Boeing employee was also involved in shaping what would eventually be billed as ‘the world’s first streamlined vessel’. Louis Proctor was a highly skilled model maker, crafting precision wind tunnel models for the Seattle-based Boeing Aircraft Company. Legend has it that on viewing the original plans for her husband’s new ferry, Mrs Peabody announced that it ‘should be more rounded’, although it is hard to imagine that she had in mind the streamlined beauty that finally emerged. Louis Proctor, temporarily laid off by Boeing, spent the next six months building a five-foot long balsa wood model of the Kalakala so that the full effect of the radical design could be assessed. Boeing had just introduced its groundbreaking all-aluminium 247 airliner and Proctor would have been well aware of advances in streamlining elsewhere, too – and almost certainly of Bel Geddes’ well-publicised but largely unrealised designs. Innovation was not, however, restricted to the styling of the Kalakala. The silver-painted steel superstructure was finished in record time thanks to the use of continuous arc

welding, a technique so new that the US Navy had only just started to use it in the construction of their submarines. And the massive ten-cylinder, 3000hp Busch-Sulzer diesel engine was the most powerful ever fitted to a ferry: it could propel the Kalakala, laden with 2000 passengers and 110 cars, at 18 knots. Interestingly, the engine was made by the workforce at the Busch brewery, which turned its hand to engineering during the dark years of Prohibition. From her maiden voyage on 3 July 1935, the Kalakala was a sensation, attracting media attention not just in America but around the world. Come nightfall, the hard-working ferry became a floating nightclub on which passengers could take a ‘moonlight cruise’ while dancing to the music of the onboard Flying Bird Orchestra. By the 1960s cars had grown bigger, and with her carrying capacity therefore much reduced, the Kalakala began to show her age. Having travelled well over a million miles she made her final trip on 2 October 1967, before being towed to Alaska and an ignominious future as a shrimp-processing factory. Unused and semi-derelict, she was rescued from destruction in the 1990s by an enthusiast, but the enormous task of restoring the Kalakala has broken many hearts (and bank accounts), and today she is moored in Tacoma, Washington, where she is considered a hazard to navigation by the Coastguard, a potential environmental risk by authorities and an eyesore by many locals. Despite her obvious historic importance, the future of this unique craft remains unsecured.

‘The Kalakala was a sensation: a hard-working ferry by day and a floating club by night’

15 4 j u n e 2 01 3 O C T A N E

Chrono Words Nick Foulkes

Prestige de la France Vacheron Constantin has reissued one of its forgotten classics – a Swiss masterpiece with a little Parisian ‘je ne sais quoi’


onversations about 1970s watch design tend to revolve around the work of Gérald Genta. Genta was the genius who invented the luxury steel sports watch with integrated case and bracelet (Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, Patek Philippe Nautilus, IWC Ingenieur inter alia), and he looms so large over the ’70s watchscape that he is often credited with designs that were actually the work of other people. Watch designs are seldom the work of one individual. There are exceptions, like those of Genta, but more often than not these exceptions are jeweller’s watches from the likes of Andrew Grima, Louis Cartier, Gianni Bulgari and Pierre Arpels. Today, watch companies prefer to describe designs as a collective effort, sometimes to gloss over the fact that external designers have been brought in, but often simply because that is the culture of watchmaking: most of the time a watch is the product of collaboration, of a process in which the case design is just a part of the watch and a servant of the greater purpose of the timepiece. It is, I suppose, very Swiss and democratic but it does get a bit annoying when you want to track down the clever person behind a favourite design, as I did recently when researching an underappreciated classic from the 1970s back catalogue of Vacheron – the Prestige de la France. The watch is a trapezoidal shape and before

its launch it was known internally as the Trapèze (say it with a French accent to avoid confusion with circus acts). However, even if I cannot get to the bottom of who sketched out the design, the origins of the name can be pinpointed with unusual accuracy to the late afternoon of Friday 23 June 1972. On that day at the Ritz in Paris there was a reception attended by the minister for développement industriel et scientifique, where Jacques Ketterer (then the head of Vacheron Constantin) was presented with the Prestige de la France diploma by the president of the comité de prestige et de propagande national. I love the idea of a propaganda committee, but exactly what a Swiss company was doing accepting an award from a French quango warrants closer examination. Founded in 1755, Vacheron Constantin is the oldest continuously operated Genevoise haute horlogerie house and it is fiercely proud of its Helvetian roots. But while indisputably Swiss, the early years of the last century saw Vacheron Constantin represented in Paris by the firm of Verger Frères, comprising, as the name suggests, two brothers who had taken over their father’s business shortly before World War One, and who were open to the new ideas that gripped Paris in the heady and creative years between the wars. Verger clocks with Vacheron movements are among the most exquisite and sought-after examples of early-20th century timepieces that combine

the decorative and horological arts. The Verger brothers had asked Vacheron Constantin to show them its range of movements and their eyes were drawn to the Lilliputian tuyau movement, which with its baguette shape was different from more conventional circular movements. They thought they might be able to do something with it, and the resulting timepiece was a nearinstant hit with the short-haired, cigarettesmoking flappers, for whom a Vacheron Constantin watch set with diamonds by Verger was the antithesis of the ponderous pendant watches worn by their mothers. The close ties with Paris remained, the Swiss watch house collaborating with the best Parisian jewellers, and the awarding of the Prestige de la France diploma in 1972 honoured the link between Geneva’s oldest watchmaker and the international capital of elegance. It is even suggested in the catalogue of Antiquorum’s 2005 Vacheron Constantin sale that the trapeziodal shape was originally a ‘creation of Vacheron Constantin’s Paris bureau’. Given that I like luxury goods of a 1970s vintage (readers might recall my fondness for the Lamborghini Espada and Rolls-Royce Camargue), the svelte and unusual design of the Prestige de la France was always bound to please me, and what pleases me even more is that it has been reissued to reaffirm the unique bond forged by Vacheron Constantin between Geneva and Paris, and to coincide with the opening of a Vacheron boutique on the Rue de la Paix. There have been revivals of the trapezoidal case shape before: during the 1990s it was brought back under the name ‘1972’, but this time around it is a remake so good that it is almost better than the original. A typically chic Vacheron touch is that the 1003 ultra-slim movement (also found in one of my favourite Vacherons, the recently reissued Historique ultra-slim) is made of 18-carat gold. With the marque’s usual epic understatement, though, this is kept out of sight under a solid caseback rather than made a fuss of. The opening of the new Vacheron boutique and the reissue of the Prestige de la France has just made spring time in Paris yet more memorable and beautiful.

‘There have been revivals before, but this is a remake so good that it is almost better than the original’

15 6 J U N E 2 01 3 O C T A N E

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Smoking-hot collectables Ethically questionable? Sure. But the union of motor sport and John Player Special cigarettes produced some of the coolest racing cars – and collectables – of recent times


e believe that no cigarette is safe, and operate our business on the basis that smoking may cause human disease.’ This forbidding statement kicks off the ‘Our Views’ section on the website of… Imperial Tobacco, manufacturer of John Player Special cigarettes. It must be weird, mustn’t it, to work for an organisation that has to flag that up above anything else. One of its staff members had to write that statement, a manager approve it, an IT geek upload it. You can only wonder what, deep down, they think about their endeavours. And can they possibly have a ‘no smoking’ policy in their Bristol offices or in their Nottingham factory? Had this car magazine been published 35 years ago, and had I been writing for it, I might well have advised you to light up when the alarm clock bleeped and to keep puffing until you were chucked out of the pub at 11pm. John Player Special black-and-gold adorned issue after issue of Autocar and Motor Sport, the ads part-paying the wages of many a motoring hack. Car and bike enthusiasts were clearly a vital target market for John Player Specials. The brand and its super-slick packaging were launched in 1970, and Imperial found one sure-fire way to get these ciggies between restless, nicotine-stained fingers: motor sport sponsorship. To say this stratagem was a success is an understatement. JPS sponsored the Lotus Formula One team from 1971 until 1979. After that, its tobacco sales slumped so drastically that JPS hurriedly resumed the partnership between 1982 and 1986. There was also sponsorship of BMW Touring Cars, of powerboats, and of Norton F1 motorbikes. And everywhere these teams competed, JPS merchandise was sold or given away. Stickers, playing cards, keyrings, posters, even men’s ties – and they all reflected the glossy, goldhighlighted black spoilers, fins and fairings that thundered past appreciative racegoers. Something about the very shiny, semipreciousness of this ephemera has meant that much of it has survived, so you can easily start building a JPS collection very cheaply for just a few quid. Related pub items with equally

‘Imperial soon discovered that motor sport sponsorship was a sure-fire way to shift its ciggies’

15 8 j u n e 2 01 3 O C T A N E

evocative styling – shapely, bar-top china water jugs and chunky ceramic ashtrays – make good additions, and can be had for £5-10 apiece in undamaged condition. Many readers, like me, will have vivid memories of the Corgi 1:36 scale Lotus 72 John Player Special Formula 1 car. It was, I’m sure you’ll agree, a little beauty, and like other JPS tie-ins remains quite easy to find even in mint and boxed order, and will set you back £15-20. It’s harder to locate as part of a gift set, loaded on a goldpainted trailer and towed by a JPS-bedecked Elite. This is delightfully silly, as the car would never have been transported like that, and the driver is still in the cockpit. The set in top nick will cost £50-60, although much less unboxed or as individual items. Very unusually, Corgi also did a 1:18 scale JPS car as a bedroom shelf showpiece; another £50 item, but again reasonably plentiful. In all cases, there are packaging variations to keep you hooked, and Polistil and Scalextric also modelled the Lotus. My favourite item, while still a model, could also give me the soundtrack of the period if it were tuned to Johnny Walker’s Sounds Of The ’70s (Radio 2, Saturday afternoons). My John Player Special radio, an all-plastic

representation of the Lotus 72, is not very accurate but it is authentically attired. It came with a reasonable box and clearly has never been used to listen to Slade, Sweet or T-Rex in tinny quality. In fact, it’s in such good nick that I daren’t even force the battery compartment open to try it, for 1970s plastic can be unpredictably brittle. Not bad, I thought, for a tenner. I asked Sapphire Whitbread of Classic Team Lotus about it, and although she’d never come across one before, she guessed it was probably something that JPS gave to VIP guests at events. Interestingly, Classic Team Lotus shifts almost as much replica JPS stuff as it does its merchandise in Lotus’s traditional green-andyellow colour scheme. The big seller is a JPS polo shirt at £37, and there’s a £16.50 baseball cap, and £95 shower-proof jacket. But what of the ever-prickly issue of fags? Did the Corgi JPS car encourage 1970s schoolboys to cluster and cough behind the bike sheds? That’s a hard one to call. But those F1 cars and superbikes must have contributed to the longevity of the John Player Special brand in the 14 markets where it is found today. And sales have rocketed from nine billion individual cigarettes in 2005 to 24.8 billion in 2012. It is, perhaps, an unhealthy heritage, but for us collectors, desirable heritage it nonetheless is.



Morgan Two bicycle £1196.40.

FEATHER LIGHT WITH unassisted steering, premium leather trim, skinny tyres, a [cough] firm ride and a distinct lack of weatherproofing, and oh-so-pretty: it’s a classic Morgan alright. And while it has the clean lines of a fixed-gear bicycle, the Two is actually usable thanks to its duo-matic two-speed hub, with the rider shi ing between ratios by pedalling backwards slightly. We reckon it’s the perfect open-top for the summer.

 Porsche Martini Racing holdall

£140. +44 (0)8457 911911,

IT LOOKS like it was designed to carry the heroically sweaty firesuit of a Targa Florio winner, but we suspect that this bag, which is part of a new range of Porsche Martini products, will accommodate your damp gym kit just as well.

Bulgari Roma watch


GIVEN THAT not everything designed in the 1970s has aged well (AMC Pacer, anyone? Anyone?), it is rather nice to see that the Bulgari Roma, which first appeared back in 1975, is growing old very gracefully indeed. In its latest incarnation the Roma features a curved 18-carat pink gold case and a black alligator leather strap.

Bentley gentlemen’s eau de parfum £3000.

BENTLEY’S NEW kissing potion, presented here in a Lalique crystal flacon, is apparently an ‘elixir of fine woody notes and exquisite leather’. You’ll be fighting the middle-aged car enthusiasts off with a stick, then.

 Fangio Eagle cover print

£45. +44 (0)1452 790672,

READERS OF a certain vintage will have fond memories of Eagle, and we fancy some might even remember picking up issue 45 back in 1962, when wiggly-eyebrowed weirdo Dan Dare was dropped from the cover in favour of a proper hero. Drivepast is now offering a quality A2 reproduction of the Fangio cover, printed on textured paper and ready to frame.

16 2 J U N E 2 0 1 3 O C T A N E

Hublot LaFerrari watch £250,000.

SO JUST what does a cool quarter-of-a-million pounds buy you, then? The most technically advanced hand-wound tourbillon watch Hublot ad has ha ever built, developed in conjunction with the good people at Maranello and boasting a 45-day go power reserve. Or, you know, an actual Ferrari.


Classic Additions custom car covers

Montblanc Heritage Collection 1912 fountain pen

£POA. +44 (0)1938 561717


HANDMADE from a cotton acrylic with a so fleecy lining, these covers are offered in a range of colours to complement your classic. Breathable outdoor covers are also available.

CONTRARY TO popular belief, penmanship is not a lost art, but it is very difficult to write nicely with a cheap biro plundered from a hotel room. Avail yourself of one of these titanium beauties from Montblanc and your chicken scratch might just become legible.

Solar-powered air heater

Eau Rouge T-shirt

£25. +44 (0)1572 822621,

Ruark wireless speakers

£299.99. +44 (0)1702 601410,

THE NEATEST solution to tinny computer speakers we’ve come across, the Ruark MR1 system combines Bluetooth technology with uncompromising sound quality. They’ll play music from your phone or iPad too, of course, and the optional battery pack means that you can cart them out into the garden, weather and neighbours permitting.

THE LATEST in T-Lab’s ‘Great Bends of the World’ series, this shirt illustrates the perfect line through Spa’s Eau Rouge. The screen-printed design is wonderfully simple, but for the sake of accuracy it could really do with a tiny Jacques Villeneuve pulling himself out of the tyres at the bottom of the hill.

From £428. +44 (0)800 619 0317

THIS NIFTY contraption will heat and dehumidify your garage, keeping your car warm and dry. A 30% discount is available to Octane readers.

Austin-Healey 100 pedals From £95. +44 (0)1543 472244

TIG WELDED clutch and brake pedals, CAD-designed (as shown above) from original drawings to exact dimensions.

Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa illustration

From £15.99.

ROGER TUGWOOD produces highly accurate illustrations of classic cars, motorcycles and military vehicles, all of which are available in a variety of sizes.

Rocket Racing Igniter Series wheels From £155 each. +44 (0)1252 318666

OFFERED IN a variety of sizes and finishes, Rocket Racing’s Igniter wheels hark back to the hot rod era.

O C T A N E J U N E 2 0 1 3 16 3


REVIEWED BY richard heseltine and mark dixon


Beyond injury, achieving the extraordinary

Book of the Month

STEPHANIE TEMPlE, Haynes, £17.99, ISBN 978 0 85733 380 3

THE FACT THAT PROCEEDS from this book are going to a particularly deserving cause – £2 from every copy sold will be donated to the charities Help For Heroes and the Race2Recovery Foundation – might be considered reason enough for making it our Book of the Month. Fortunately, no special pleading is necessary. It’s a beautifully produced and moving work. As Octane readers will remember from our feature in issue 118, Race2Recovery was set up to prove that seriously injured servicemen and women could achieve extraordinary feats – in this case, by taking on the toughest rally in the world, the Dakar. And not only did they attempt it, they finished it. This book tells their story, from the germ of an idea that occurred to Captain Tony Harris while he was recovering from having half his left leg blown off in Afghanistan, to the moment that one of the team’s Bowler Wildcat off-roaders crossed the finishline in Chile. Team member Corporal Tom Neathway – who hatched the rallying plan with Captain Harris – co-drove in the rally despite having lost both legs and an arm. Sadly, his Wildcat had to retire after suffering terminal damage to its transmission, but fellow team member Corporal Philip ‘Barney’ Gillespie became the first amputee ever to complete the Dakar Rally. The book is packed with dramatic photos from the event, but there’s much more to it than that. In particular, we like the way that the support given by ‘Friends and Family’ (see the spread pictured right) is paid due respect, by profiling the team members’ wives and girlfriends’ own stories. Not forgetting Trish Chapman, widow of the late rallyist Gordon Chapman, who donated his extremely valuable Wildcat to the cause. It’s impossible to read accounts like these without feeling a lump in your throat, something that Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond openly admits in his foreword. As he says, ‘Inspirational is an over-used word… But I think I can be excused its use here, because that is exactly what these men and women are.’ Amen to that.

Flat out, flat broke

PERRY MCARTHY Haynes, £9.99 ISBN 978 0 85733 382 7

YET ANOTHER reprint, this time in softback, of the book that should be Generation X’s answer to Duncan Hamilton’s Touch Wood! Except this isn’t really a classic as at least Hamilton won something of note. To be honest, the subhead ‘The Original Stig’ says it all. Fair play to McCarthy for whittling away at a career in motor sport, and for surviving his brief stint with Andrea Moda, which was perhaps the most inept F1 squad in history. However, while McCarthy is an approachable and affable sort, some might argue that he wasn’t quite the hot stuff this book suggests. Fun to dip into then, but that’s about it.

Bathurst GTS Monaros STEPHEN STATHIS Phase Three Posters, £95 ISBN 978 0 9806493 3 8

ANYBODY WHO IS A BIT partial to Australian muscle cars will enjoy flicking through this hardback photo album, which focuses on an iconic Holden at an equally legendary circuit. But ‘flick’ is the apposite word. Essentially a scrapbook with informative captions, its worth is somewhat undermined by the sameness of the images. Most of them seem to have been taken at the same corner and the endless repetition does grate after a while, not least because of the egregious asking price. That said, there are few books on the subject, and a 50-off limited edition signed by tin-top titan Colin Bond is also available.

16 4 j u n e 2 0 1 3 O C T A N E

Mirage 1967-1982

ED MDONOUGH Editions du Palmier, £30 ISBN 978 2 36059 035 3

THERE IS A definite sense of déja-vu about this Frenchlanguage hardback. And that is because it is basically a repacked and redesigned version of an older Veloce offering. It’s a decent enough effort, the author recounting the origins of the marque, the le Mans-conquering glory years and its latter spell under American ownership. We particularly enjoyed reading about the roll-out 1982 season and the reasons behind the Mirage team’s expulsion from that year’s le Mans 24 Hours. There are a wealth of images, too, the sad part being the flat reproduction and the uninspired design.

Formula 1 All the races ROGER SMITH Haynes, £35 ISBN 978 0 85733 350 6

lAST TIME AROUND, we were a bit cool about this thumping hardback. Much of our criticism centred not so much on this book’s worth but more on the number of similar efforts that already act as Grand Prix reference works. But it is comprehensive, with potted outlines of each round of the World Championship since 1950. There are also umpteen illustrations by Alain Baudouin. What we really liked were the trivia box-outs, which prevent it from being just another book of ‘and then they did this’ lists. So it’s a useful reference book that is thoroughly researched and already in its second print run. Which speaks volumes.

Land Rover file 65 anniversary edition

ERIC DYMOCk, Dove Publishing £22.50, ISBN 978 0 9569533 6 0

PUBlISHED TO coincide with the land Rover’s 65th anniversary, and now wearing official land Rover branding, this 416-page hardback is a potted guide to every conceivable strain of land Rover (and by extension, Range Rover) and quite a few that defy description. Each iteration gets a spread, which includes a comprehensive spec table. So, if you want to know more about the six-cylinder 1967 Series IIA landie, or the Defender XD Wolf military derivative, then look no further. There are more comprehensive books on the subject, but not many, and none we can think of that offers this level of value for money.

w w

The DeLorean story


NICK SUTTON, Haynes, £17.99, ISBN 978 0 85733 314 8

TO BE HONEST, we had low expectations here, largely because the story behind John DeLorean and his eponymous sports car has been written about ad infinitum. However, this is a cracking read, offering an insider’s view of what it was like working for this visionary/huckster. Sutton recalls with a degree of affection – but mostly exasperation – the many characters involved, how the car came into being, the background to the fraud accusations, the shadow of sectarian violence that hung over the factory in Northern Ireland, and the drugs trafficking charges that DeLorean somehow batted away. What you take away from this is how the car was doomed from the outset. That and the sense of profligacy, this being the firm that flew an exec from the US to Belfast on Concorde just to notify him that he was fired...

And the revs keep rising

MEL NICHOLS, Haynes, £19.99 ISBN 978 0 85733 270 7

ANYBODY WHO EVER read Car magazine during the 1970s and ’80s will be familiar with Nichols’ work. His road trip stories are justifiably legendary, especially those involving Italian supercars. Nichols was o en there first, and you will invariably derive a degree of romanticism from reading his stuff. In fact, some of it leaves the hairs on the back of your neck standing up. The Tasmanian really did have a gi for making you feel that you were in the car with him. However, there is a certain sameness to much of his writing, and it is a little self-congratulatory in places. But this really is to nitpick. If you love words as much as fast cars, then you should own a copy – assuming you haven’t kept the original magazine articles.

Circuito de Pedralbes ANGEL CAMPOS,, £65 ISBN 978 84 614 8064 7

THIS ENGAGING so back celebrates the now largely forgotten 3.9-mile Barcelona street circuit that hosted its first meeting back in 1946. As Campos reminds us, the track was used for two World Championship Grands Prix (1951 and ’55) before it was permanently retired in light of the horrific Le Mans inferno that cost so many lives in 1955. Offered only in Spanish text, this is perhaps a bit of a curio, but it’s genuinely fascinating nonetheless. While we were aware that the circuit had hosted F1 races, we were hitherto unaware of the politics surrounding them, and first-person insights from local players adds greatly. It’s just a shame that the layout is so amateurish. Poor photo repro, too.

Amédée Gordini – a true racing legend ROY SMITH, Veloce, £55, ISBN 978 1 845843 17 5

WE HAVE BEEN EAGERLY awaiting the arrival of this book, largely due to paucity of texts dedicated to ‘The Sorcerer’ and the marque that bore his name. This is the first English-language book on the subject, and it has clearly been a labour of love for the author. We had enjoyed Smith’s prior works on Alpine-Renault sports-racers and this is similarly exhaustive, recounting Gordini’s early years in Italy, his decorated exploits in World War One, how he made his fortune in France and how he lost it during World War Two. And that is before you get into the meat of the book, which celebrates his spell manufacturing giant-slaying sports cars and monopostos, and the men who made them great (Froilan Gonzáles wrote one of the forewords). The wealth of information here is staggering, and the race-by-race summary is particularly welcome. Middling photo repro aside, this is a superb effort.

The amazing sports car journal JASPER WILKINS, Enthusiasts Publications, published 1973, value £50

THIS SLIM VOLUME celebrates the good, the bad and the Beaujangle Can-Am of lowvolume British sports and kit cars from the 1950s to the dawn of the ’70s. Wilkins, a pseudonym for Peter Filby, clearly loves the subject matter and there can be few, if any, other books that feature both the Lister-built Sunbeam Tiger Le Mans coupés and the mighty Nota Fang. It’s only 64 pages long, and almost impossible to find, but it’s a gem.

DVD and Blu-Ray

Gone in 60 seconds, £9.99/£15.99

NOT TO BE CONFUSED with the Nicolas Cage remake, the original Gone in… came from first-time writer/director HB ‘Toby’ Halicki, who wanted to make a ‘proper’ car movie. The final 40 minutes centre on an epic chase involving a stolen Mustang – ‘Eleanor’ – with Halicki also being the star actor and stuntman. The climactic 128 jump still takes your breath away, especially with the knowledge that Halicki broke his back performing it. The acting is clunky but this flick – now available on DVD and Blu-Ray – has more heart than most Hollywood offerings. Look out for cameos from Parnelli Jones and Gary Bettenhausen.

Joan Richmond

DAVID PRICE, JR Publishing, £65, ISBN 978 0 646 55241 4

ALTHOUGH SHE LIVED to the age of 94, this biography – subtitled From Melbourne to Monte Carlo and beyond – effectively ends when Joan Richmond was 41, in 1946. A er that she became almost reclusive and spent much of her time caring for animals. It was all very different before and during the War, however. Born into a wealthy Australian family, Richmond soon developed a passion for motoring and competed in many important pre-war races and rallies. Not least was the 1931 Monte Carlo Rally, for the start of which she drove from Melbourne to Palermo. On another occasion, a chance meeting with Jean Bugatti led to a lunch invitation and a guided tour of the factory. It’s a fascinating story, but – as with many Australian-sourced books – you’ll pay dearly in the UK for the privilege of reading it. O C T A N E J U N E 2 0 1 3 16 5


Model of the Month


1:18 CMC

Bugatti T35B


BY SMTS PRICE £119.95 MATERIAL Metal handbuilt QUALITY  VALUE  Only ten examples have been made of this model of the 1961 Le Mans entry. It’s impressively heavy, and well finished.


BY TRUESCALE MINIATURES PRICE £66.95 MATERIAL Resincast QUALITY  VALUE  You can’t get more American than this fantastically detailed Daytona Corvette – is that a beermat lying on the dash top?!


Unless stated otherwise, models shown are available from Grand Prix Models, +44 (0)1295 278070, P&P is free to UK customers.

PRICE £228.95 MATERIAL Premium diecast QUALITY  VALUE  YES, IT’S GREEN rather than the more usual French racing blue, because this is the first in a new series from CMC of Type 35s in ‘national colours’. And for this initial release, CMC has chosen the most famous

Type 35 of them all: the car driven by William Grover-Williams to victory in the inaugural Monaco Grand Prix of 1929. Grover-Williams went on to become a British secret agent in France during WW2 and was executed by the Nazis in 1945; his car survived in amazingly original form and is rumoured to have been sold to collector Fred Loh in 2006 for €2.7 million. 2


CMC’s replica is, as you’d expect, stunning. Working features include a handbrake that pulls on the linkage to the rear wheels, and front brake cables that correctly move on guide pulleys as the wheels swivel. Both bonnet sides open to reveal a very detailed engine, although the underside of the model is (prototypically) concealed by a full-length undertray. 3

BY SPARK PRICE £59.95 MATERIAL Resincast QUALITY  VALUE  Pretty Touring-bodied road-racer has been nicely captured by Spark, including the fairing over the spare wheels.


BY BBR PRICE £199.95 MATERIAL Resin and metal handbuilt QUALITY  VALUE  It looks like an F40, but Koenig’s twin-turbo special was based on an F355. Price aside, the model is hard to fault.


PRICE £54.95 MATERIAL Resincast QUALITY  VALUE  Pleasing little model of the ‘16’ in its original 1958 form, as driven by Alan Stacey in the 1958 British Grand Prix.

6 // FITCH SPRINT BY AUTOMODELLO PRICE $119.95 MATERIAL Resincast QUALITY  VALUE  Racing driver John Fitch’s hotted-up Chevrolet Corvair was dubbed ‘America’s Porsche’, and this is a very fine replica – buy it through





BY MINICHAMPS PRICE £99.95 MATERIAL Resincast QUALITY  VALUE  Excellent replica of the unique 57SC that’s now in the Mullin Collection.





BY MARSH MODELS PRICE £172.80 MATERIAL Metal and resin handbuilt QUALITY  VALUE  Gorgeous handbuilt of Roger McCaig’s 1971 privateer entry – the alloy floorpan and interior detail look particularly fine.


BY CARBONE PRICE £268.40 MATERIAL Resin handbuilt QUALITY  VALUE  …with body by the Mayfair Carriage Co of London. An expensive but superb model.

Auto-Dux Construction Set

16 6 J U N E 2 0 1 3 O C T A N E

ANYONE WHO HAS TRIED to glue together and paint a plastic kit knows it can be a messy business. Putting together the Auto-Dux set is much simpler: all you need to do is attach the clockwork motor to the base, screw on the body and fit the wheels. At least, that’s what a child would have done in the early ’50s if he’d been given one of these sets. Any collector lucky enough to find a pristine, unassembled example today would be well-advised to leave it exactly as it is, with each component carefully strung onto its backing card. Markes and Company first used the Auto-Dux trademark for toys made in its

factory at Lüdenscheid near Cologne, Germany, in 1932. A new series of post-war cars began in 1951 and this variation presumably dates from a year or two a er that, as the Mercedes 300SL Gullwing is based on the car that won Le Mans in 1952 in the hands of Hermann Lang and Fritz Reiss. It’s paired with a more sedate vehicle, BMW’s first post-war saloon, the 501. Both are to approximately 1:35 scale, a bit bigger than the customary 1:43 size used for diecast models. Before WW2, the German toy industry had been associated with tinplate toys but, by the mid-50s, this market had largely been taken over by Japan. New plastic materials gave

European toy companies an opportunity to innovate, and the Dux set is an interesting mix of old and new: the silver body of the Mercedes is a tinplate pressing whereas the BMW is moulded in plastic. The German toy industry’s decades of experience in producing ingenious mechanisms can be seen in the clockwork motor, which fits horizontally onto the chassis and is switched on or off by a switch protruding from the back of the car. Period Dux advertisements claimed that ‘youthful lovers of motor sport have taken this car kit to their hearts’. Those whose passion to own one remains unfulfilled 60 years later could pay £500 for the privilege.






Taking stock – and moving forward 1973 Citroën SM

DaviD lillywhite @OctaneDavid

when I was a kId, the Citroën SM was reckoned to be the most complicated car in production. I knew that, and I’m sure that should have stopped me from wanting to restore one. But it didn’t. Every now and again, though, I hit panic mode. The bulk of the restoration is now complete, but it’s the detail that takes so much time. Which way a cable routes through the engine bay. Which screw in the bag of 20 that I so conscientiously marked up over a year ago is the right one for a particular fitting. What the hell the smudged label says on the bag of unidentifiable brackets. And then there’s the mess I seem to make, and the lack of space in my double garage, especially when at least half of the available space was 16 8 j u n e 2 0 1 3 O C T A N E

taken up by parts removed from the car. At least that situation is improving as I refit more bits. Anyway, what I’m building up to is that this project was temporarily overwhelming me. A visit from deputy editor Mark Dixon helped; we pushed the car out of the garage to give it a good look over, and I made a full list of all the jobs that need doing. Some of the jobs on the list are ridiculous. Fitting the fuel filler flap! And the badges on the C-pillars! They should be easy to cross off the list, and that will make the last stretch a lot less daunting. Others will be tougher to achieve. The next big step is still to start the engine, for which I need the expertise of SM man Andrew Brodie. First there’s Octane deadline week to get through, and then I’m hoping I can drag him here to help. Meantime, I’m still to finish the engine bay wiring, and then I’m going to concentrate on clearing space in the garage. If I make the final

adjustments to the door window frames, then I can fit the interior door trims and handles. If I climb inside the boot to fit the small lever that’s part of the self-levelling headlight mechanism onto the rear suspension then I’ll be able to refit the many sections of boot carpet, which I’ve

freshened up with black aerosol paint. That leaves the European-spec nosecone, which I need to dismantle, clean up and paint in Citroën Gris Nacré silver, which Autopaint Rochdale (www.autopaintrochdale. com) mixed up for me a while back. I’ll carry on crossing bits off the list...

not quite a barn find, but almost 1927 Ford hot rod MARK DIXON @OctaneMark

AND WE’RE OFF! A suitable Ford Model A engine block has been tracked down for ‘Alex’, my period hot rod – pictured below during its most recent encounter with the AA. Now at last Derek Magrath, who looks after the car for me, has something concrete to work with. Or rather, something cast-iron. As recounted last month, Alex’s current engine has been bored-out so much that it keeps blowing head gaskets, so we were on the hunt for a near-standard block that could be used to build up a fresh engine. After a few false leads, Derek was tipped off

about some spare blocks in deepest Somerset that had belonged to a Model A owner who had recently died. His son was clearing out the garage but didn’t really know what was what. So it was more in hope than expectation that Derek and I trekked south-west on a snowy Saturday. Fortunately, our luck was in. There were maybe half-a-dozen blocks lined up on a bench. Five of them were either the wrong type or seriously overbored but the last was a 3.3-litre Model A block that had three standard bores and just one that measured plus-20 thou – presumably a repair done ‘on the cheap’ in period. Behind the garage, jam-packed with car parts and autojumble, we found a tempting project: a Model A Ford, complete apart from its engine. Right-hand drive and UK registered, it

appears to be a two-seat roadster that’s been converted into a hardtop coupé by mating it with the upper portion of something that didn’t start life on a Ford. Wherever it came from, we think it looks rather good. Although someone had reputedly told the vendor that he ‘would definitely buy the Model A’, the putative buyer had not resurfaced after several weeks and I’m pretty sure he won’t have done by the time this magazine appears in the shops. Enquiries will be forwarded, therefore – provided I haven’t succumbed to temptation in the meantime. I can’t help imagining it with a Flathead V8…

O C TA N E ’ S FLEET These are the cars – and motorbikes – run by the magazine’s staff and contributors

david lillyWhite Editor

1971 MGB GT, 1971 Saab 96, 1973 Citroën SM, 1976 Zip Shadow Kart

// Email Clockwise from below Tempted by this Ford Model A; secondhand block bought for hot rod engine rebuild.

RobeRt coucheR International editor

1938 Bentley Sportsman, 1955 Jaguar XK140

SanJay Seetanah Advertising director

1998 Aston Martin DB7 Volante

Scuderia octane rides again 1955 Jaguar XK140


ThE GOODWOOD ROAD Racing Company press day in March is an excellent day out. In anticipation, I unlock the garage and give the Jaguar a check-over. All appears well, and the engine fires right up. It’s amazing; the Jaguar does not use any oil or water, and the fresh Michelin rubber from Dougal Cawley at Longstone Tyres never needs pumping up because I have fitted a set of his trick inner tubes, too. Extracting the XK140 from the confines of its tight garage is now a doddle thanks to the EZ Electric Power Steering, as is negotiating the

tight, traffic-clogged streets. After trundling out of London, the Jaguar is properly warmed up by the time I hit the motorway, where it cruises effortlessly at the speed limit. Off the motorway and into the lanes, I switch off the assistance. Result? The steering is heavy. But the XK140 has rack-and-pinion steering, which is a significant improvement over the XK120’s recirculating ball. With the Twyford Moors-rebuilt front suspension now utilising polybushes, the steering is pin-sharp and accurate. I enjoy the route down to Chichester via Petworth. Nearing Goodwood Estate there’s a shortcut through Selhurst Woods, which is a joy on a sunny morning. Now that the Goodwood press day is such a big affair, we hacks have our own car park down behind the house.

I park the Jaguar on the grass and notice all the assembled cars are new. No classics to be seen. Walking through the moderns I then spy a small, grey Saab. Aha! With redpainted wheels and registration YSL 941, this is Octane contributor John Simister’s 1961 Saab 96. Well done John! It seems only you and I actually drive our classic cars on a regular basis. There you have it: Scuderia Octane walks the talk.

MaRk dixon Deputy editor

1927 Ford Model T, 1927 Ford hot rod, 1963 Fiat 2300S coupé, 1987 Bentley Turbo R, 2001 Honda Insight

Glen WaddinGton Associate editor

1983 Porsche 944, 1989 BMW 320i Convertible

delWyn Mallett Contributor

1936 Cord 810 Beverly, 1946 Tatra T87, 1950 Ford Club Coupe, 1952 Porsche 356, 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL, 1957 Porsche Speedster, 1963 Abarth-Simca, 1963 Tatra T603

O C T A N E j u n e 2 0 1 3 16 9


Car prepared. Driver not... 1968 PORSCHE 911T GEOFF LOVE

IN STORE FOR US on this year’s London to Lisbon Trial are 2091 miles, 25 regularities and 14 tests. There is also the option of the Classic Car Tour, which offers less-experienced drivers the opportunity to enjoy a nine-day rally taking in some of the best scenery in France, Spain and Portugal. With no previous experience, a car from organiser HERO’s Arrive and Drive scheme and the optimism borne of a naïve sense of ‘What can possibly go wrong?’, my co-driver and I have opted for the full-fat Reliability Trial. We may be a little underprepared, yet HERO’s Porsche 911 2.0T SWB certainly is not. Finished in periodcorrect Irish Green with a black hide

interior, the 1968 Porsche has been the subject of a mechanical and cosmetic restoration in recent years. It features a full rollcage, harness, bucket seats and Brantz tripmeter. In preparation for the London to Lisbon, it has also been fettled by specialist Andy Prill of Maxted-Page and Prill, who made good a few rattles and a number of minor faults on the carbs and ignition system. The result is a well-sorted and reliable car that should have no problem facing the challenges ahead. The same unfortunately cannot be said of the crew. The event begins with scrutineering and documentation, which should cause us no problems as the car has been prepared by the organisers. But then we are on our own. Even before the ferry port in Portsmouth at the end of the first day there are two regularities and two tests to navigate – nothing like easing

you in gently for the challenges ahead. The provisional entry list hints at a wonderful selection of cars that will congregate in Greenwich on 27 April for the start. No fewer than seven other Porsche 911s are due to take part, alongside a Riley Brooklands, an Austin 7 Ulster, two Derby Bentleys, a smattering of Austin-Healeys, a gaggle of Morgans, a small pride of Jaguars and an Aston Martin DB4 Zagato. Altogether, nearly 60 cars will be setting out for Lisbon and the gala awards dinner on the Sunday evening nine days later. Rather optimistically I had a look at the list of awards available for finishers. While we have few illusions of picking up any of the marque or class awards, we have set ourselves the challenge of at least being placed in the ‘Absolute Beginners Trophy’. Follow our (mis)adventures on the Octane website.


TONY DRON Test driver

1932 Austin Seven


1965 Aston Martin DB5, 2000 Triking


1934 Singer Nine Le Mans, 1959 Morris Mini-Minor, 1961 Saab 96, 1987 Peugeot 205GTI 1.9


1929 Ford Model A hot rod, 1956 Chevrolet 3100 pick-up, 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner, various bikes


1992 Porsche 911RS


1963 Triumph TR6SS Trophy, 1965 Austin-Healey 3000 MkIII

Top and le HERO’s 911 is ready to roll, and fresh from some engine work by Porsche specialist Andy Prill. If only publisher Geoff Love were fit to match…


2003 Corvette C5 Coupe

17 0 J U N E 2 0 1 3 O C T A N E

Full power restored 1934 SingeR nine le manS jOhn simisTer

The previous reporT ended with the hint of a gearbox timebomb. It became evident when I tried to put the Singer back in the garage after a local run. It had jammed in gear and the lever could move only laterally. So it was off with the gearbox top and remote-control extension. ‘Be sure to collect the detent balls and interlock pin,’ said the handbook. Balls yes, interlock pin… no. Missing. Vanished. And both selector shafts therefore able to move, causing two gears to be selectable simultaneously. Glad that didn’t happen on the road. I made a new pin from a piece of drillbit, and all is now fine in the gears department. Next came the engine’s sluggishness – crawling up Fish Hill out of Broadway on the post-purchase drive home took a long time – and its hammer-blow tappet noise. The overhead camshaft and rocker shaft are new but the rockers were in a dreadful state, their pads hollowed out by past cam-lobe contact and poor oil. A sticking valve was causing a dire start-up misfire, too. Removal of the cylinder head revealed three different sizes of inlet valve, one very recessed into its seat,

plus worn guides and lots of carbon. The pistons and bores were as new, however, confirming claims of past work there. Even better, judicious paint-scraping over the engine number revealed the Singer to have its original engine block. Bob Harman Performance in Watford reclaimed the guides with K-Line bronze liners and recut the valve seats to suit new valves from Singer parts guru Dave Hardwick, who also refaced the rocker pads. Before dismantling the engine I checked the ignition timing, to discover a further reason for the engine’s torpor. The strobe revealed bad spark scatter and no advance at all with rising revs. So I sent the worn-out distributor to The Distributor Doctor for a refurb and an electronic module. Doctor Martin Jay told me my unit is actually for a Morris Eight, a mismatch made worse by the fact that the shaft rotates anti-clockwise in the Morris but clockwise in the Singer. No wonder it wasn’t advancing. On its return the Lucas DK4 will be fully Singer-specced. With this and the head rebuild, I should have one very lively and smooth-running Singer.

Right Removing the cylinder revealed a litany of maladies, including mismatched inlet valves and worn rockers and valve guides. @octane_magazine

K e e p u p t o d at e Follow the progress of the Octane fleet via Twitter, Facebook and the Octane website blogs

@ O C T A N E j u n e 2 0 1 3 17 1







The private bank for historic motor racing W W W. E F G I N T E R N A T I O N A L . C O M



Thruxton Easter Revival 30-31 March Hampshire, UK

MARTIN O’CONNELL and Nick Fleming were the stars of the weekend during the inaugural Thruxton Easter Revival Meeting organised by the Historic Sports Car Club. With a record entry of 280 cars, the meeting marked the 45th anniversary of the first Formula 2 event at the Hampshire track in 1968, won by Jochen Rindt in his Brabham BT23C. Fleming won the first part of the Jochen Rindt Trophy in a close finish with O’Connell’s Chevron a er a dramatic moment between the cars at the Club Chicane. On Sunday, O’Connell won from Andrew Smith and collected the Rindt Trophy from Murray Walker, who had commentated at the very earliest

motorbike race meetings at Thruxton in 1950. It was also a win apiece in the Martini Trophy races, with O’Connell taking the opener in a contest of Chevron B36s. Fleming won Sunday’s race as a mighty drive from Ray Mallock took his invitation-class Mallock Mk18 into second place overall. Mallock raced in the European Formula 2 races at Thruxton in 1975 and ’76. Nelson Rowe took his second win of the season in Historic FF1600, with Benn Simms second and Tiff Needell bagging a podium place on his first FF race for four decades. Rowe also took the Historic FF2000 win, but only narrowly from flying teenager Callum Grant.

The first Super Touring Trophy event was marked by a double win for Stewart Whyte (Honda Accord) and in the Historic Touring Car race it was Richard Dutton who edged Mike Gardiner in a battle of the American V8s. Ian Jones added another win in Classic Racing Cars and Andrew Hibberd took a Formula Junior victory in his Lotus 22. Neil Burroughs, racing the car for only the second time, was the class of the 36-car Guards Trophy field in his Chevron B8. The 70s Road Sports contest was marked by a first win for David Tomlin in his Ferrari 308GTB and, in Historic Road Sports, Roger Waite beat Peter Shaw in a battle of the Lotus Elans.


Ron Faulkner Trophy Trial 23 March Langrish, Hants, UK

17 2 J U N E 2 0 1 3 O C T A N E

FOLLOWING HIS WIN in the 2012 Cotswold Historic Trial, in the first historic sporting trial of 2013 Ian Veale topped the leader board with a loss of 49 marks in his IRH2, a car which his father passengered in the 1960s, to win the trial organised by Southsea Motor Club. Drivers had to battle through snow to reach the venue, a valley in the South Downs National Park, which kept spectators away. To give the Class A pre-1970 crossply-shod cars a chance, organisers reduced minimum tyre pressure from 10 to 5psi. Grahame White took time out from running the Historic Sports Car Club to enjoy his first outing for 39 years in the Cannon he’s owned from new, sharing the car with European Historic F2 Champion Tim Barrington, but they retired with a fan problem. // For daily motor sport updates visit

In brief NEW CLUBHOUSE AT PRESCOTT The Bugatti Owners’ Club has opened its newly revised and extended clubhouse at Prescott hillclimb, work on which was completed over the winter a er fundraising efforts, including £150,000 from the ‘Friends of Prescott’. The newly extended clubhouse’s glazed front overlooks the lower part of the hill from the start to Orchard Corner. //

30 years ago, Rae Davis – with hair! – checks over the Thurgood/Davis/Trevelyan MGB.

HRDC FOUNDER Julius Thurgood’s latest plan to disinter old racers from slumber is to reunite former Willhire 24-hour runners for a possible six-hour enduro. Thurgood, who competed in the first three marathons, 1980-1983, said: ‘Quite a few people have

contacted me to help them identify cars that may have run in one of the 15 24-hour events. Some cars, like my MGB that ran in the original event, are well known and still racing, while others surface as “barn finds” from time to time – such as the 1985 winner, the ex-Roy Eaton/David

Oates/John Clark Capri – recently brought back to life by Neil GodwinStubbert. A full 24-hour race may be a step too far, but a six-hour enduro is perfectly feasible.’ If you think you have an ex-Willhire contestant lurking in your garage, call Julius on +44 (0)7850 361159 or email //

FORMULA FORD AT SILVERSTONE Historic Formula Ford 1600 – currently enjoying bumper grids – gets a further boost with a double-header showcase at the Silverstone Classic, 26-28 July. Grids of more than 40 cars are expected as pre-1972 cars from the first five seasons of Formula Ford racing will have qualifying on the Friday followed by 20-minute races on the GP circuit on both Saturday and Sunday at one of the biggest events in European historic racing. //

HSCC celebrates Donington’s 80th

THE HSCC marked 80 years since the first race meeting at Donington Park with an eight-race programme on a slippery track a er heavy sleet during morning practice. In the Historic Touring Car race, lack of grip hampered the big Mustangs and Falcons at the front of the grid. Roger Godfrey brought his Mini-Cooper S from eighth to lead, with fellow Mini drivers Pete Morgan and Peter Crewes following him. But Godfrey outbraked himself at the Esses (right), allowing Morgan and Crewes through. Pole man Richard Dutton (Mustang) held on to take third. The top four places in the 40-minute Guards Trophy went to Chevron B8s with Charles Allison nipping ahead of Luke Stevens, handicapped by a misfire on the final lap. Fastest in qualifying for Historic Road Sports, Justin

VSCC Herefordshire Trial


16 March How Caple, Herefords, UK


25 March Donington Park, Leics, UK


Willhire runners sought

Murphy’s Ginetta G4 ended its race in the Redgate gravel, leaving the Elans of Frazer Gibney and Roger Waite to finish less than a second apart. OVER A MOSTLY dry weekend following a wet week, conditions were ideal but challenging – and the result couldn’t have been closer. At the end of day one, Don Skelton (Austin 7 Sports, le ), already the winner of the previous two trials this year, held a slender two-point lead over Mags Diffey and Alex Ames in their Bugatti Brescia. On five of Sunday’s seven hills, the two matched each other point-for-point but at Herbert’s Hump, where only Graham White in his Lea-Francis in the longwheelbase class had a clear run all day, the Bugatti scored only nine points to the Austin’s 13. At Godman’s Rise, however, the story was reversed with Diffey outscoring Skelton by seven points to take overall victory by a single point. In third place, Richard Houlgate in his Austin 7 was the only other driver to receive a 1st Class award in the SWB Modified and Special Cars class. Nick Topliss (Salmson AL22) won the class for standard SWB cars, while Dennis Bingham overtook Saturday leader Andrew Staples, both in Model A Fords, to head the LWB Standard class.

Competition cars for sale page 237 Historic motor sport advertising page 261

NOSTALGIA LOOKS BACK The Original Hot Rod Drags – conceived in 1989 to raise money to resurface the Long Marston dragstrip (now Shakespeare County Raceway) – celebrates its 25th anniversary over the weekend of 13-15 September, with the 20th anniversary of the NSRA Nostalgia Nationals preceding it on 21-23 June. With the endorsement of the National Street Rod Association, the drags led to the formation of the current UK drag racing scene, and now runs 16 categories from flatheads to street-legal 7-second, 190mph-plus cars. //

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,0 £10

0, -20


…or cars for the FIA Historic Hillclimb Championship. Beware: climbing to these dizzy heights is neither cheap, nor local WORDS: PAUL HARDIMAN

THIS IS THE top stuff: a fabulous way to seek out some of the best driving roads in Europe, among a bewilderingly wide entry with everything from twincylinder Steyr saloons through lightweight singleseaters to big-banger sports racers. Venues are all over central Europe with climbs in eight countries, though it leans towards the Alps, with three dates in Italy, two each in Slovenia and Slovakia and one each in Portugal, Germany and Croatia. Dates and locations are clustered together to make the logistics as painless as possible, but the championship doesn’t come to the UK for the simple reason that we don’t have any Alps or, on the mainland, the facility to close roads for motor sport. Minimum course length in the championship is 3.5km, giving a fantastic, flowing driving experience, but the British Isles don’t have a course long enough – with the exception of Llerghy Frissel on the Isle of Man, which could be extended past the Gooseneck to finish further up the Mountain Course. The championship runs to Appendix K of the International Sporting Code (details on the FIA website, see end) and 2013 dates are: 26-28 April Rechberg (AUT) 11-12 May Rampa Int. da Falperra (PRT) 1-2 June Sternberk – Ecce Homo (CZE) 8-9 June MC Jahodna (SVK) 14-16 June Ilirska Bistrica (SVN) 6-7 July Trento Bondone (ITA) 174 J U N E 2 0 1 3 O C T A N E

13-14 July Cesana Sestriere (ITA) 20-21 July Dobsinsky Kopec (SVK) 27-28 July ADAC Glasbachrennen (DEU) 6-8 September GHD Gorjanci (SVN) 14-15 September Buzetski Dani (HRV) 27-29 September Coppa del Chianti Classico (ITA) Entry fees are typically €400 and, for each halfseason, the top five scores count. Each car must have a valid Historical Technical Passport or equivalent, and there are five categories covering cars from 1919 (period C) up to the end of 1985 (J1), though J2 cars (1985-1990) can run but are ineligible for championship points. Within each category there are up to six capacity classes, with anything over 2.0 litres lumped into a ‘big-banger’ class. The forced-induction calculation is 1.4; in a dead heat, the win will be given to the older car. The list of homologated cars is 57 pages long and includes – as well as a mention for Turkey’s classic car, the Anadol – cars built up to 1996, so there’s a huge choice. Period G2 cars (1970-1971) can use slicks. Bear in mind, however, that the climbs are long, typically 5km, and because of the nature of the closed-road courses the paddock can be some distance from the startline – in Portugal it’s 9km – so normal sprint fuel tanks won’t be large enough. Single-seaters are catered for in Category 5, with post-1952 classes for up to 1600cc and up to 2000cc, so here we’re essentially looking at

everything from Cooper-Bristols to Formula 3/ Atlantics and specialised hillclimbers, and there are further classes for Formula Junior, both front- and rear-engined. The 1919-1953 cars all run in the same class with no capacity distinctions. The licence requirement is an FIA International but that’s the only common ground as the fields are incredibly diverse. The 2012 winners by category (there’s no overall victor) were: C1 Jürgen Pachteu (AUT, Steyr Puch 650TR); C2 Josef Michl (CZ, Porsche 911RS); C3 Jaroslav Baranek (SVK, Ferrari 308GT4); C4 Uberto Bonucci (ITA, Osella PA9/90) and C5 Petr Tykal (CZ, Formula Easter MTX 1-03). As far as the money goes, at the top, you have the V8 big-bangers; to give an example, a 1965 McLaren M1B was offered at H&H’s Duxford Auction shortly before this issue went to press, at an estimate of around £250,000. Good 2.0-litre sports cars can be had for £175,000200,000 for a front-runner, though refreshing the Ford Cosworth BDG or BMW M10 engines is going to cost around £10k, which is more than enough to rebuild a smallblock Chevrolet V8. Roadgoing Porsche 911 2.7 Carreras cost £150,000, and rebuilding and hillclimb preparation is likely to swallow another £10,000-20,000, though for hillclimbing a ‘bitsa’ with HTP papers can be had from £70,000 upwards. A tatty Ferrari 308GT4 could be bought for as little as £10,000 but would probably need at least twice that again to make into a winner. Too complicated and expensive? There’s also the MSA British Hillclimb Championship, which has two classes for Pre-1971 and pre-1985 Sports Racing and Racing cars. // //

Competition cars for sale page 237 Historic motor sport advertising page 261


Mark Hales

OLD DOG ON NEW TRACKS: A STEEP CURVE TO LEARN N ESSENTIAL of my trade is to perfect the lap, and then to do it again as soon as I start the next one. As I keep reminding my students, each successive tour is two minutes of research ahead of the next. The track’s layout will remain the same, but they could be on a different part of it, at a different speed, and when they are seeking an optimum – and an advantage over the other chap – it is the tiny variations that will make the difference. We might be talking tenths or even, when you enter a really competitive arena, hundredths of a second, and that requires almost forensic attention to detail and relentless concentration. For a quick and dirty fix though, nothing beats the thrill of a circuit which you have never seen and the possibility of finding whole seconds in an hour or so. I’m happy to say there aren’t that many opportunities le in these islands, but it’s surprising where they pop up. Only this week, I tried Anglesey’s three-quarter-mile School Circuit in the reverse direction, which created a tightening hairpin that reappeared with infuriating regularity every 40 seconds or thereabouts and, far from being a dull exercise, it completely energised the whole group. They could have another go at Getting It Right without much fear of falling off. Talking of which… a few years ago, I was invited to a Porsche Club of North America track day at Lime Rock, or Lime Rock Park to give its full title. It lies a couple of hours’ drive north of New York and, like so much of the culture that floods from the tube into our living rooms, is a name that immediately resonates, but labelled something about which I knew absolutely nothing. It turned out to be a bit like Spa, but on a much smaller scale and with trees more deciduous than evergreen. Currently owned by Skip Barber (another name that resonates), it’s the base for his driving school but they also run American Le Mans and NASCAR there, so I had expected it to be much longer than its 1.5 miles, and with bigger paddocks to park the trucks. Conceived in 1956 by local land-owner Jim Vaill and race driver John Fitch, it might indeed have been bigger had it not run into vociferous political opposition – in the mid-1950s. There were more surprises in store too, such as scrutineering at a track day. My host Tony was asked which tyre pressures he specified for his 911 before someone else checked that the tyres were


17 6 J U N E 2 0 1 3 O C T A N E

indeed set to those figures. Another wielded a torque wrench on the wheelnuts while lights and seatbelts and so on were all inspected, and it was at least as thorough as some I’ve experienced at European race meetings. There was also noise testing, although apart from the huge buzzards wheeling overhead and the geese paddling in the waters of the lake, I couldn’t see exactly who might be affected. As a new driver, I had then to undertake a rookie test with Dave, one of the instructors, whereupon I quickly discovered – not for the first time – that an apparently simple track was nothing like. Just as it is at Goodwood, Lime Rock’s devil is in its cambers – although it seemed to be mainly where the road had been repaired – but also in its blind brows and bumps. There is also the entry to Big Bend (parts 1

‘I TRIED ANGLESEY’S SCHOOL CIRCUIT IN THE REVERSE DIRECTION. IT ENERGISED THE WHOLE GROUP’ and 2), which forms the tightening curve at the end of the main straight. Both Dave – and Gary, another senior instructor – would say things like ‘We mostly put our wheels to the right of the concrete [repair patch]’ but they didn’t say why and at the time I could see no reason not to open out the corner. Tony’s Porsche, which was equipped with fourwheel drive and a set of sticky Michelin Cup trackday tyres, seemed happier when you did because it didn’t try to push its nose so wide, but then every so o en you found the whole car easing over towards the grass on the entry to Big Bend’s second phase. A stroll beyond the barriers during the lunch IN ASSOCI ATION W ITH



The private bank for historic motor racing W W W. E F G I N T E R N A T I O N A L .C O M

break revealed that the road surface slopes up and across towards the middle before cresting into a ledge that forms the outside lane of the road. In other words, all the kind of detail you can’t spot from the driving seat when you’re busy. You aim to dig the car into the first half of the corner, loading it up against the camber, then hold it there all the way round, letting it run wide only on the very last part of the exit – a bit like the Karussel at the Nürburgring, only not quite so bumpy. There was a similar although lesser example of the same thing at the following corner – appropriately named Le hander – where, once again, the experts don’t use all the road. A foray in a two-wheel-drive 911 on standard road tyres revealed a bigger reaction and I’d like to have tried it on a less crowded track and against the watch, because I suspect it depends on the amount of mechanical grip available from your car, and how well it puts its power down. Hence the lesser effect on the all-drive Turbo with its stickier tyres. One of the Lime Rock locals reckoned a 64-second lap would be a good one in the two-wheel-driver, and then mentioned that John Morton had lapped a Nissan turbo prototype in 42 seconds… so maybe it also depends on the amount of downforce. I thought about that as I headed Tony’s Turbo up the steep rise, which affords only a view of the sky and leads from Righthander to No Name Straight – another detail it shares with Goodwood – and which is topped by a curving crest sharp enough to have a four-wheel-drive Porsche spinning its wheels. It is preceded by a hollow, which you use to compress the suspension at the same time, turning the car to run straight up the incline. If you run across it, the force is enough to push most suspension against the bumpstops on one side, with all the unpredictability that can bring. And it’s only when you slow down a er the chequer that you notice the barriers are half a car’s width away for much of the quick part of the lap. I mentioned this to one of the locals, who simply grinned and replied: ‘They moved ’em back. They were much closer ’n that for years…’ Not that I would have noticed. The track and its bumps and slopes hadn’t changed and nor had the leafy backdrop and the white-painted wooden buildings, which must have looked and felt much the same in 1962. They don’t build tracks like Lime Rock – or Goodwood – anymore.

Competition cars for sale page 237 Historic motor sport advertising page 261

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THIS MONTH Auction calendar continues to grow // UK, Europe and US market appraisals // £4m Maserati 300S // What goes on behind barn doors // Buy a Lamborghini 400GT 2+2

toP10 PRiceS mARch 2013

£3,020,157 1935 dueSenbeRg model Sj conveRtible couPe by walkeR-lagRande Rm, Amelia Island, USA. 9 mar

£1,842,423 1928 bentley 4½-litRe Semi-le manS touReR Gooding, Amelia Island, USA. 8 mar

£1,584,483 1966 FeRRaRi 275gtb long-noSe alloy Gooding, Amelia Island, USA. 8 mar

More, more, more

ever-busier auction schedule reflects the health of the market, and the broad appeal of classics moRe than five years on from the start of the global financial crisis, the good ship world economy has still not been righted, and the latest reuters poll of leading economists suggests that even January’s cautious forecast might have been a little optimistic. Compare the performance of the classic car market with that of, well, pretty much anything else, and you’d be forgiven for thinking that old motors alone were responsible for the modest (3.2%) growth now anticipated by the aforementioned brainboxes in 2013. the last 12 months have seen more than a few records broken at auction, and it would appear that the appetite for high-end sales knows no bounds, with the calendar increasingly packed as top-class events are announced almost weekly. Barrett-Jackson, fresh from a $21-million weekend at palm Beach, will now start preparing for its

first reno auction, scheduled to take place at Hot august nights (pictured above) on 8-10 august. the week-long festival, a fixture on the us calendar since 1986, is a riotous celebration of american cars and music from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, and a suitably circus-like setting for one of Barrett-Jackson’s wonderfully colourful auctions. Just a few days before crowds begin to arrive in reno, auctions america will offer more than 400 collector cars at its own new sale in southern California. during 1-3 august, a wide variety of vehicles will cross the block, including 42 cars from the Jim Carr Barn-Find Collection, of which our favourite is the 1929 packard eight phaeton with dual windshields. other houses on both sides of the pond are keeping their auctioneers busy, too. rm has indicated that it will hold a sale in london in 2013,

and its single-vendor events have been so successful that it’s a wonder there are any major collections left in the states. and by early november, Bonhams will have drawn a line under its fifteenth sale of the year. a cynic might suggest that all of this is simply a response to large numbers of investors seeking to swap stocks for steel, but take a look at recent auction crowds (BarrettJackson drew 300,000 to scottsdale in January) and the proliferation of classic car shows and historic racing events and it becomes clear that a genuine and increasingly widespread enthusiasm for classics is just as much to blame for the fact that we market-watchers have more quality sales to keep track of than ever before. as problems go, it’s a very nice one to have, and it’s pleasing that our little corner of the world continues to prosper despite the somewhat gloomy predictions for the broader economy.

F o r d a i ly m a r k e t n e w s u p d at e s v i s i t w w w. o c ta n e - m a g a z i n e . c o m

£1,326,544 1929 RollS-Royce Phantom i deRby SPeedSteR Gooding, Amelia Island, USA. 8 mar

£1,179,150 1953 Fiat 8v SuPeRSonic Gooding, Amelia Island, USA. 8 mar

£1,105,454 1967 FeRRaRi 275gtb/4 Gooding, Amelia Island, USA. 8 mar

£1,012,857 1933 Stutz dv32 conveRtible by RollSton Rm, Amelia Island, USA. 9 mar

£987,745 1948 tuckeR 48 Rm, Amelia Island, USA. 9 mar

£921,211 1995 FeRRaRi F50 Gooding, Amelia Island, USA. 8 mar

£920,779 1965 FeRRaRi 275gtb by Scaglietti Rm, Amelia Island, USA. 9 mar

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Saw this and thought of you… Bonhams, Goodwood Festival of Speed, UK 12 July BRIGGS SWIFT CUNNINGHAM was many things: racing car constructor and collector, driver and team owner, America’s Cup-winning sailor, inventor and, apparently, a man who really knew how to pick out a present. When the first three examples of the spectacular Fantuzzi-designed Maserati 300S le the factory in 1955, they were immediately shipped out to Cunningham, who, in an act of extraordinary largesse, gi ed chassis number

3053 to his old friend and team driver Bill Spear. Spear wasted no time in finding out what his new toy was capable of, entering 3053 in the 1955 Sebring 12 Hours. He and Sherwood Johnston finished third, with the car demonstrating the balance and agility that led Sir Stirling Moss to declare the 300S ‘one of the nicest, easiest sports racers ever made’. The three-litre, six-cylinder, 260bhp car was campaigned across the USA until 1956, when

it was sold to an enthusiast on Long Island, who in turn passed it on to noted Maserati authority Joel Eric Finn in 1964. Since then it has been meticulously maintained in original condition while competing regularly in historic racing events, and has changed hands just twice, so collectors are understandably all aflutter about its appearance at Bonhams’ Festival of Speed sale. Even the wealthiest will need to check the old bank however: as one of just balance before bidding, howeve 28 examples of arguably the most beautiful racing car of the 1950s, Bonhams expects 3053 to command between £3.5 and £4.5 million. //


Jaguar XK150 Fixed-Head Coupé Brightwells, Leominster, UK 15 May

OF ALL THE MYRIAD XK120/140/150 permutations, the XK150 fixed-head coupé must surely rate as the best all-round package given its price, performance and practicality. While genuine and rare right-hand-drive 3.8S roadsters can fetch £200,000-plus at auction, other flavours of the XK150 fixed-head can generally be picked up for around a quarter of that, or even less.

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The difference between the values of tin-tops and those of the most rarefied roadsters is strikingly wide, particularly given that owners of the former will assert that their cars are every bit the equal of an Aston Martin DB4 saloon. I’m not getting involved in that one! The car on offer at Brightwells this May is a plain 1958 RHD 3.4 overdrive model, not an uprated S or 3.8S. That may reduce its desirability, but its price and everyday, straightforward usability both count in its favour. The car is mostly to factory spec and reckoned to be in ‘lovely condition following extensive restoration’. Its estimate of £42,000-45,000 pitches it towards the top end of recent auction realisations, but consider that around £40,000 was spent on the bare-metal resto, which has bedded in nicely. The no-quibble combination of dark blue paint and black leather interior with blue carpets should please bidders, too. There’s no doubt that XK150 tin-tops are great value right now and this car, potentially available for little more than the cost of its overhaul, looks an even better buy than most. We’ll see on the day. Dave Selby

ALSO LOOK OUT FOR… This 1924 poster harks back to a gentler age when racing drivers politely signalled their intentions; this one is indicating right… This rare large-format lithograph, which has an estimate of £18,000-20,000, will be offered among around 20 motor racing images at Christie’s next London poster sale on 23 May. Less challenging – politically and financially! – is a vibrant 1930 Monaco GP lithograph, which is expected to make between £8000 and £12,000.




Brightwells, Leominster, UK. 15 May Your eyes deceive you, dear readers. This is not one of the two surviving JWA Mirage M1 racing cars, but it might as well be – a more accurate replica of the imposing GT40-based brute you will not find. Built alongside a real GT40 monocoque for reference and featuring bodywork cast from the original M1 moulds, the car was clearly a true labour of love. Under the hood is a monster 422ci (6915cc) engine. Frankly, we’re a bit scared of it, but there’s no doubt it is worth its estimate of £80-100k. //


Silverstone Auctions, Silverstone, UK. 17 May If, like us, you looked at the 300S on the opposite page and lamented your lack of both buying power and bank-robbing expertise, you’ll be pleased to know that Silverstone Auctions will offer a slightly more affordable Maserati in May. Unearthed a er 14 years in dry storage, the 1968 Ghibli is in need of a complete restoration, but is estimated accordingly at £12,000-16,000. Although it needs more than a bit of spit and polish to return it to its original state, a patient owner will eventually be rewarded with a fine example of the Giorgio Giugiaro-penned beauty, which with its 330bhp V8 is just as much of a pleasure to drive as it is to look at. //

Mecum, Indianapolis, USA. 18 May Yes, it’s more Inspector Gadget than it is James Bond, but the Amphicar can’t fail to put a smile on your face. It was a favourite of President Johnson, who delighted in taking unsuspecting friends out for a spin before careening into a lake, shouting, ‘The brakes don’t work! We’re going in! We’re going under!’ Given that certain examples of the Quandt Group car were rather less watertight than they should have been, sinking was a distinct possibility, but this 1967 car has been subject to a nut-and-bolt restoration, and acid-dipped and E-coated to guard against rust. In the right room, an example of this quality might approach $100,000, which is possibly why Mecum are being cagey about their estimate. //

Auction calendar

27 April RM Fort Worth, USA 27 April Coys Ascot Racecourse, UK 27 April Cheffins Cambridge, UK 29 April Bonhams Hendon, UK 9-11 May Auctions America Auburn, USA 14-19 May Mecum Indianapolis, USA 15 May Brightwells Leominster, UK 17 May Silverstone Auctions Silverstone, UK 18 May Bonhams Newport Pagnell, UK 25 May RM Villa d’Este, Cernobbio, Italy

Small but perfectly formed RM, Fort Worth, USA 27 April COMPARED TO much of the famous European exotica of the 1960s, the 2000GT was produced in huge numbers, with 351 built between 1967 and 1970, yet examples of Toyota’s masterpiece rarely appear at auction. Listen to the received wisdom about these cars and you might assume that this is because the majority were exported to Lilliput for the enjoyment of tiny people, but the truth is that few GTs le Japan, and their owners very wisely tend to hang onto them. Just 62 were delivered to the USA, and one of the very best of these is set to cross the block at RM’s Don Davis Collection sale. While the Satoru Nozaki-designed car certainly is not roomy, all but the tallest and roundest will forgive it its cramped interior upon turning the key. At the time of its

launch the 2000GT was described by Road & Track as ‘one of the most exciting cars we have driven’, and this example appears just as it would have done way back in ’67 thanks to the efforts of Mr Davis. The body has been stripped to the metal and resprayed in its original Bendix Yellow, and the wheels, headlamp buckets and side window surrounds have also been refinished for the sake of accuracy. The interior, including the ‘ooh’-worthy rosewood dash, is unrestored, and the odometer indicates that the car has covered only 62,000 miles. It’s such a lovely thing that we wouldn’t be at all surprised to see it meet its top estimate of $850,000 – or to see it repatriated by a discerning Japanese buyer. //

25 May Bonhams, Spa, Belgium 1 June Historics at Brooklands Brooklands, Weybridge, UK 2 June Bonhams Greenwich, USA 9 June Barons Esher, UK 10 June Artcurial Motorcars Paris, France 15 June Bonhams Oxford, UK 15 June Coys Athens, Greece 17 June Bergé & Associates Brussels, Belgium 21-22 June Russo & Steele Newport Beach, USA 22 June Anglia Car Auctions King’s Lynn, UK 26 June H&H Rockingham Castle, UK 28-29 June Mecum Champaign, USA 29 June Coys Blenheim Palace, UK 12 July Bonhams Goodwood Festival of Speed, Chichester, UK 17 July Brightwells Leominster, UK 19-20 July Mecum Des Moines, USA 24 July H&H Buxton, UK




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Simon de Burton on the surprising value of dirt

T’S pROBaBly faIR to say that we all like a barn find. Pulses always begin to race at news of a freshly exhumed machine that is thick with dust, musty-smelling and, under the dirt, ‘remarkably original’ after being locked away and forgotten about decades earlier. Auction houses are especially keen on such discoveries, not least because being able to attach the ‘barn find’ label to the catalogue description of a car that might not otherwise be all that special is known to stoke enthusiasm among potential buyers, prompting romantic notions that they might be able to attach a new battery, add a drop of fresh petrol, put some wind in the tyres and wake a sleeping beauty. Its effectiveness as a ‘marketing tool’, however, has led to the term being bandied about far too frequently, and its over-use insults the intelligence of we punters. Result? Those aforementioned romantic notions are replaced by cynicism. At this point, I must admit to having been involved in a bit of barn-find lilygilding myself. It was back in 1994 and I was working in the press office at Sotheby’s, tasked with garnering publicity for anything interesting and news-worthy that might be crossing the block. One day I was phoned by a member of the car department who asked me to liaise with the vendor of a 1930 Lagonda 3.0-litre, Special Low Chassis Weymann saloon who was hoping to boost awareness of his car. I made contact with Bedfordshire-based Professor Roy Peacock, then a lecturer in aerospace sciences at Pisa university. He gave me some basic information about the car and asked if I could ‘do anything’, to which I had to reply that his story – man owns old car and decides to sell it – did not really warrant troubling the printers at the Daily Telegraph. A brief silence followed, after which he said something along the following lines: ‘Would it change things if I said that I’d parked that car in my one of the outbuildings at my home in Ampthill back in 1969 and had forgotten I owned it until opening the garage door a couple of weeks ago? Does that make it more interesting? You know, the absent-minded professor angle?’ Professor Peacock’s tongue was audibly positioned firmly in his cheek, but who was I to question the probability that a man of clearly vast intellect had ‘forgotten’ that he owned a car that, at the time, was worth a useful £15,000. With a certain amount of trepidation, I pitched the idea to the Telegraph’s then motoring editor, Eric Bailey, a brilliantly funny and often mischievous writer who

always knew exactly the right questions to ask – and the right ones not to ask. He duly interviewed our vendor and a piece headlined ‘Professor wheels out forgotten Lagonda’ subsequently appeared in the news pages of the Monday 21 November edition, complete with a three-column picture of the suspiciously heavily cobwebbed car. And, yes, it attracted interest from potential buyers and the car sold for above its estimate. Less imagination was required in the case of a fabulous SS100 which genuinely had been languishing in a barn in Kent for many years, having been used by a farmer (and this is hard to believe) to drive up and down the fields to check his hop crop. It was just the right width, apparently, to fit between the rows of plants. Having been dumped in the barn some time during the 1960s, the car looked an absolute mess, with a crushed nearside headlamp thanks to part of the building collapsing on it during the Great Storm of 1987. But it was absolutely complete and original – a true barn-find gem that doubled its estimate and sold for £63,000 to the late car collector and antique carpet expert Glen Kalil, who cleaned it up and replaced only the bits that really needed replacing before putting it back on the road. That car, and the sympathetic approach that Kalil took to getting it back into circulation, represent the very quintessence of what barn finds are all about. Now, however, there’s an increasing tendency to stretch the bounds of barn-find probability in what often ends up appearing as a slightly desperate attempt to wring a bit more value out of a car – frequently in cases where overegging the story simply isn’t necessary. You might have noticed, too, that barn finds seem to be turning up with ever greater regularity these days. In the next few weeks alone, Silverstone Auctions will offer a Maserati Ghibli, Coys and Bonhams will both field Series 1 E-types and, at its annual Aston sale, the latter is set to hammer down a dusty DB6. All will undoubtedly sell and sell well, with prices being boosted by the cars’ freshness to the market, originality and minimal number of owners. But are they true ‘barn finds’ in the sense of being cars which were parked up, abandoned and genuinely forgotten about? Or are they simply the result of the skilful storage techniques of an increasing number of canny owners who have come to see the truth in the old Yorkshire adage ‘Where there’s muck, there’s brass’? Either way, let’s not lose sight of one of the key aspects of classic car ownership – and that’s the importance of keeping it real.

‘Canny owners have come to see the truth in the old Yorkshire adage “Where there’s muck, there’s brass”’

SIMON DE BURTON has his finger on the pulse of the auctions and sales rooms, having been Octane’s founding market editor for five years.

182 j u n e 2 01 3 O C T A N E

European highlights cOyS, lONDON, UK. 12 MaRch

Who needs a Bugatti when you can have a Benova? You could have had one if you’d put your hand up at Coys’ recent London sale, where a 1927 example of this delightful French-built cyclecar went for an estimate-busting £34,500. Perfect for VSCC events and general trialling capers, the nicely restored example was one of just 300 or so Benovas built during a four-year production run. aNglIa caR aUcTIONS, KINg’S lyNN, UK. 6 apRIl

One of the best value-for-money cars to cross the block in recent weeks must have been the 1956 Triumph TR3 historic rally car sold by Anglia Car Auctions for a belowestimate £26,985. Built to full rally specification – including a tuned Racetorations engine and full rally interior – the car proved its worth in 2005 by winning the Monte Carlo Winter Challenge. It was sold complete with a FIVA passport valid until 2017. Surely a bargain? aNglIa caR aUcTIONS, KINg’S lyNN, UK. 6 apRIl

No apologies for giving Anglia two bites of the cherry this month. It’s my way of exorcising my irritation at not being there to bid for the 1965 Mustang 289 notchback that changed hands for a paltry £6510 – the sort of price it would have made 20 years ago. It appeared to be entirely original, even down to the hub caps and, unusually, the paintwork. The latter needed ‘rectification,’ apparently, but the car was still an absurdly good buy.

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Dave Kinney on a stormy end to the Florida auction season

E’rE Now comINg to the end of the Florida auction season, but there are two big sales to review – held just two weeks and roughly 60 miles apart. Auctions America returned to Fort Lauderdale from 22-24 March and took $17,460,000 against last year’s $16,880,000, selling 72% of all lots. The event tends to attract ‘mainline’ consumers and dealers, and the average price per car came in at just under $50,000, but the high sale brought $880,000 including commission, which seemed about right for the car in question, a 1955 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing. While we are on the subject of Mercedes, 190SLs continue to sell for dollar amounts unheard of just 12 months ago, with one recently changing hands for more than $200,000. Both of the 190SLs offered at the Fort Lauderdale auction were hammered sold, one at $110,000 and the other at $155,100. But don’t feel sorry for the owners of 230, 250 and 280SLs: they remain highly sought after by collectors and demand is far outstripping supply, especially for well-mannered, rustfree examples with some pedigree. They appear to be on most everyone’s ‘must-have’ list, and it doesn’t look like that will change any time soon. The State of Florida seems to be the world’s official repository for most of the SLs built after 1970, so bargains can still occasionally be found, and an (admittedly far from concours-ready) ’84 380SL convertible recently went for the pocket-change price of $4840. As many SL owners will attest, however, that figure could also quite feasibly be the amount you’d pay to the local SL expert upon wheeling such an example into the workshop for basic repairs. As expected, the Auctions America event was heavy on American iron (no fewer than 12 Shelby or Shelbybased cars were offered), but interestingly two US-legal London taxis were also sold. Both 2004 models, the first made $15,950 and the second $22,000. Barrett-Jackson might have wished that it, too, had held its most recent sale in the convention centre at Fort Lauderdale, for its Palm Beach auction was beset with thunderstorms. Nonetheless, some 55,000 collectors and enthusiasts attended the event on 4-6 April, and over $21,000,000-worth of metal was sold. On the Thursday an array of affordable collector cars crossed the block, and the most interesting might have been a bright yellow 1972 Opel GT. Although imported to the US by the thousands, GTs are rarely seen today as, frankly, many of them sat neglected for years while they

rusted away. This happy example sold for $6050 and was possibly the best viewed sub-$100,000 collector car at the sale. Nobody, it seems, auctions more cars for charity than Barrett-Jackson, and both of the top sellers at Palm Beach were offered on behalf of the National Guard Youth Foundation. The first, a 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray convertible (the first example to be delivered when production begins), brought $1,000,000 and went to NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick. The second was a 2009 Ford F150 King Ranch pick-up owned by one George W Bush, and made $350,000. Also of note was a 1960 Austin-Healey Sprite restored in a rather less than accurate ‘British Racing Green’, but even if the restorer had taken some liberties it was a very handsome example. At $20,350 its price was right in line with the predictions of some fellow punters. Perhaps the most interesting lot there, though, was a replica 1886 Benz PatentMotorwagon constructed, somewhat improbably, in Vietnam. We’ve become accustomed to seeing the Mercedes-Benz apprentice-built copies, as well as the British-made versions that were commissioned by Mercedes-Benz, but we had never before seen a replica of the replica! In other news, two notable Midwest concours will be held in the month of July, and both are now considered must-see events. On the weekend of 12-14 July, enthusiasts from the greater Chicago area will flock to the Barrington Concours d’ Elegance, which is now in its seventh year and operated primarily as a Classic Car Club of America Concours. On the Saturday there will also be a 40-mile road rally (note that this rally is of the bucolic-scenery kind, not the drive-as-fast-as-you-can kind), open to all who wish to participate. This year’s scheduled displays include a preview of the Avions Voisin exhibit from the California-based Mullin Automotive Museum, as well as a Duesenberg exhibit that will feature famed Duesenberg restorer and expert Randy Ema. Two weekends later and culminating on Sunday 28 July is the Concours d’Elegance at St John’s in Plymouth, Michigan, just a few miles from Detroit. Formerly known as the Meadow Brook Concours and held at Meadow Brook Hall, the event has moved from a location that many thought could not be topped to one that most agree is quite superb. Special features in 2013 will include a VIP tour of the Henry Ford Museum on the Friday, and for those who prefer performance cars, a tour of the Lingenfelter collection will be held on the same day at the same time.

‘Florida seems to be the world’s official repository for most of the Mercedes-Benz SLs built after 1970’

DAVE KINNEY is an auction analyst, an expert on the US classic car auction scene, and publishes the USA’s classic market bible, the Cars That Matter price guide.

18 4 j u n e 2 01 3 O C T A N E

Kinney’s top three US cars AUcTIoNS AmErIcA, ForT LAUDErDALE. 22-24 mArch

Kaiser-Darrin Roadsters were once rarely seen at auction, but there have been a number of these innovative early American sports cars in the market recently. The Dutch Darrin-designed model has a glassfibre body and sliding doors, and even a three-position top. This 1954 example sold at Fort Lauderdale for $80,000, which seems to be the new going rate for a Darrin in top condition. BArrETT-JAcKSoN, PALm BEAch. 4-6 APrIL

Four-door sedan resto-mods are all the rage at Barrett-Jackson. For the uninformed, a resto-mod is an older body shell with modern underpinnings, often with special paint and all mod cons added. This 1947 Bentley Mark VI Custom, now equipped with a Chevy V8 drive train, custom interior and blacked-out windows, made $154,000. It might make you laugh, it might make you cry, but either way it’s worth noting. BArrETT-JAcKSoN, PALm BEAch. 4-6 APrIL

Fiat Dino coupés tend to be noticed when they come to auction, particularly if they appear rust-free, like this handsome dealer-owned example presented at Palm Beach. Finished in Rosso Corsa, this 1967 car eventually sold for $28,050. With Ferrari prices skyrocketing, this might be the only way left for the average enthusiast to own a souvenir from the Enzo era that actually runs and drives.

F O R D A I LY M A R K E T N E W S U P D AT E S V I S I T w w w. o c TA N E - m A g A z I N E . c o m


C o m pi l e d B Y PAu l H A R d i M A n

market insider

James Hanson

Managing director, Speedmaster Cars

The classic racing car market continues to be strong and closely shadows the broader collector car market. High-value cars (£250,000+) have proved a good investment over the past 12 months, and history is increasingly important – and the difference in value between the best and worst examples is significant. High-value closed sports cars are popular; for some reason people like to have a roof over their heads, though I can’t see it makes any difference to safety. Perhaps it’s just something to reassure the wife. Recently I’ve sold a couple of two-litre sports racers eligible for series such as the HSCC Martini Trophy and Masters Sports Car Championship. Chevron B8s are great cars, very usable, and also very fast in their class, while an Osella PA1, which will cost you £175-200k, is more than capable of beating the Lola T70s that will set you back three times as much. I think Touring Cars will do well in the future. Don’t forget what a huge following the BTCC had in the 1980s. At the moment, the new HTCC series might be helping cars to sell, but I don’t think it’s caused an increase in prices just yet. I’ve just bought a ‘real’ RS500 for a customer, which he’s going to sit on. These and Group 1 M3s are changing hands for £70-£120k depending on their history. Porsche racing cars are still undervalued. A 2.8RSR with a good history isn’t cheap at £500-£700k, but a similarly iconic Ferrari – a 250SWB, say – is a couple of million more. On the other hand, although for the price of a 917 you could buy two or three real T70s, which would you rather have? Sometimes you just have to let your heart rule your head… So the really good stuff is going up, but the middle of the market is getting squeezed, and at the lower end things are quite difficult. I think that the market will continue to separate in the coming months and years, so it bears repeating that maintenance costs are similar for the best and worst examples, meaning that upkeep expenditure as a percentage of value is lower for the better cars. //

18 6 j u n e 2 01 3 O C T A N E

dB6 Mk2 gaining fast on dB5

The DB5 remains the collectors’ favourite Aston, but the better DB6s are appreciating quickly db6 prices are hardening up behind the DB5s, which appear to have hit a plateau at about £325,000, but £280,000 is asking a bit much, surely? Not at all, says Nicholas Mee, who proceeds to justify the price, indicating where the best ones are headed. ‘The DB6 Mk2 is a completely different car from the DB6, with a lot of DBS suspension parts, wider wheels and better seats, plus power steering and the DBS gearbox with its lighter clutch. ‘We’re rational with our prices and compared with an

the next-best thing

Hofmann’s has reconsolidated on the Coxon Toyota site, around the corner from its old workshops in Henley, with the vastly experienced Will Cullen in charge of classic sales. The Proteus C-type pictured above is only £62k, and he’s also taken a chance on another replica – a Pinto-powered but beautifully constructed Bugatti 44. //

average £150,000 DB6 that’s going to need a lot of work, this car ticks all the boxes: it’s been owned by a series of proper Aston Martin collectors and has great history. It’s one of only 70 or so Vantages [of 270 cars made], and this one has a 4.2-litre unleaded engine coupled to the rebuilt five-speed manual, plus upgraded suspension and a rebuilt rear axle. What’s not to like? It’s just a really nice car whose new owner needn’t worry about any big bills on the horizon.’ //

‘come in, thunderbird 2!’

‘Don’t put all your eggs in one basket’, is traditional advice, and it works for Hamish Morjaria of Chess Valley Ltd, as about a third of his sales are classics, with the rest being modern prestige and sports cars. This clean 1957 Ford Thunderbird has just sold for £40k, but don’t worry – he’s got another, almost identical, just in from Beverly Hills. //

lightweights lose ground

James Hanson (see left) mentions that since the E-type’s 50th birthday in 2011, Lightweight-spec FIA racers have dropped back in price a little. ‘They sell for £120-180k depending on the spec, but you couldn’t build a new one for the same money, and that’s a tenth of the price of a real Lightweight, of which Jaguar made just 12.’ //


1936 Auburn 852 SC $550,000 This rare-in-Europe supercharged Speedster looks great outside the Kew showrooms of DD Classics – as it should after a $½m restoration five years ago. It’s a former Villa d’Este class winner and the price (£370,000) is quoted in dollars as it’ll most likely return to its native USA.





Lamborghini 400GT

Somehow, more seats equals less value, but savvy buyers will appreciate the 400GT 2+2 PerhaPs it’s no surPrise that the Lamborghini 400GT 2+2 looks just a wee bit squiffy – I suppose ‘different’ is more polite – for, in that famous fit of pique that turned Ferruccio Lamborghini from a dissatisfied Ferrari customer into a dream-maker, he instructed his team to build him a cross between an Aston Martin DB4, Corvette Stingray and an E-type Jaguar. But, given that brief, it’s actually amazing that Lamborghini’s first models turned out as nicely as they did. The Touring-penned 350GT coupé of 1964 was quirky, but it got attention and set Lamborghini apart from the start. What’s more, although Lamborghini was an upstart, the fledgling marque already had considerable pedigree: Giotto Bizzarrini (the former chief engineer at Ferrari who oversaw projects including the 250GTO) created the 350GT’s magnificent quad-cam V12 in an elegant riposte to his old boss, Enzo. The chassis and independent suspension, by Gian Paolo Dallara, were properly sophisticated, plus there were disc-brakes all round. Result? The alloy-bodied 350GT was simply better than Ferrari’s 330GTC. Don’t argue. The Raging Bull of Sant’Agata escalated its battle with the Poncing Horse with the introduction of the 400GT 2+2. Although outwardly similar to the 350GT (quad headlights aside) and built on the same wheelbase, the new car was lengthened to provide accommodation for four. Indeed, every panel was different and the car was now clothed in steel, apart from the bonnet and boot lid. In another departure, Lamborghini chose to equip the 400GT 2+2 with its own five-speed gearbox rather than ZF five-speeder of its predecessor, and although its steel body made 18 8 j u n e 2 01 3 O C T A N E

it heavier than the 350GT, the V12 had also grown from 3.5 to 4.0 litres, to deliver 320bhp. On the road all of that translated into 0-60mph in 7.5 seconds and a top speed of more than 150mph. ‘Better than all the equivalent exotic and home-bred machinery in this glamorous corner of the fast car market’, raved one British magazine. So what’s not to like? The more observant will have clocked right away that the 400GT 2+2 has no wing mirrors – but that’s because because the slim-pillared glasshouse offered amazing virtually all-round vision. How about the dashboard? It’s a riotous, chaotic mess of dials, toggles and lights – and it’s joyous! They say Lamborghini lost $1000 on every 350GT and there’s no reason to suspect that the sums added up any better during production of the 400GT 2+2, which notched up 242 sales from 1966 to 1968. The reason for the company’s inability to balance the books will be obvious to anyone who has driven a 400GT 2+2: it’s beautifully (and expensively) built and undoubtedly more capable and complete than its Modena rivals. Some even rate these Touringbodied cars as the best ever true-classic Lambos. And yet – and this is the best news of all – the 400GT 2+2 remains truly underappreciated in the marketplace. Prices are a whopping15-25% lower than those of the also undervalued two-seater 350GT (old-school polo-necked bachelors consider the extra ‘kiddy’ seats tantamount to castration by Connolly leather), and the 400GT 2+2 is as impressive on the road as it is attractively priced. It stacks up against any of the more obvious high-end 1960s GTs. Dave selby

Price points When new: In 1966 a Lamborghini 400GT 2+2 cost £7120 in UK, compared with a ‘mere’ £4068 for an Aston Martin DB6 saloon and £6516 for either a Ferrari 330GT 2+2 or GTC. Jaguar’s E-type 2+2 was a bargain at £2284, while Lamborghini’s Miura was a monster £9165. 1980s: At the height of the boom in 1989, price guides pitched the 400GT 2+2 at around £110,000. Miuras were close to double that, with 330GTCs also north of £200k. They’re not directly comparable, but Ferrari 365GTB/4 Daytonas were trading closer to £300,000. Low point: It’s hard to believe how cheap 400GT 2+2s were through the 1990s into the 2000s. In the mid-1990s, nice examples were routinely less than £40,000 at auction. At Monaco in 2000, a totally restored example made just £39,250. 2000s: In 2002 when a concours winner sold for £102,000 it was regarded as a ‘freak’ result; most cars were trading at around £60,000-90,000. today: In 2010 an exceptionally well cared-for 400GT 2+2 made £160,500 at auction; in 2011 an ex-Paul McCartney car with good originality made £122,500. Most recent open-market prices range from £143,000 to £229,000 – the latter price is the highest ever paid at auction for a 400GT 2+2 and bought a car fresh from a frame-off restoration. That puts the 400GT 2+2 within striking distance of the Daytona, but you won’t find a comparable 330GTC for comparable money. The 400GT 2+2 is also less than half the cost of an unspectacular Miura, but way, way more than half the car – and rarer, too.



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are delighted to offer these significant motorcars 1965 Lola T70, Mk I Chassis SL70/3 Following its extensive restoration by the ROFGO Collection engineers, we are delighted to re-offer SL70/3. It was supplied new to John Cannon and ran in the 1965 Sebring 12 Hours and many other prominent Can-Am races with notable success. Also driven by Walt Hansgen, the T70 is eligible for the Goodwood Revival meeting as well as the European Classic Endurance Racing series. An iconic mid-60’s sports racing car with excellent period and current competition history. POA

2006 Porsche Carrera GT No.1133 of just 1270 GTs produced, this fabulous example has covered just 4000 miles from new. Finished in white with full black leather trim, the Porsche is powered by a 5.7-litre all-alloy V10 engine - a unit that was secretly built for the Footwork Grand Prix team but eventually never used in F1. With 612bhp on tap the Carrera GT can sprint to 62mph in a mere 3.5 seconds and to 100mph in 6.8secs. Very comprehensively equipped, it looks stunning and sounds heavenly! £309,995

1975 Mirage GR8 – Chassis 802 Recently part of the renowned ROFGO collection of Gulf racing cars, chassis 802 has benefited from a full mechanical restoration. It finished third overall at Le Mans in 1975 in the hands of Vern Schuppan and JeanPierre Jaussaud. Under the control of Harley Cluxton III, it went one better the following year, this time driven by Jean-Louis Lafosse and Francois Migault. Amazingly, it repeated the feat in 1977; this time with Vern Schuppan and Jean-Pierre Jarier at the helm. POA

1964 Lightweight Series I Jaguar E-Type Rather than restore this Fixedhead Coupe as standard, the previous owner lightened and uprated it to fast road specification. The bonnet, doors, tailgate, tail section, widened rear arches, seats, facia, radiator and header tank are all fashioned in aluminium and the wheels in magnesium. The 320bhp Lynx-built engine is coupled to a 4.2-litre E-Type five-speed gearbox. The suspension features stiffer rear springs, Leda dampers and 1inch hollow torsion bars. Fast and fun. POA

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1964 Aston Martin DB5

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Ferrari 275 GTB 2 Cam Alloy

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Call us for a showroom appointment

Telephone: +44 (0)1283 762762



• Rosso/Rosso Large S/Seats • Full Luggage • Ferrari Classiche

eatures m FSH m New


WE WANT TO BUY YOUR CAR We are always looking to buy very important historic cars with 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s Ferraris at the top of our list. We only buy the best examples and will not be outbid for the right car. If you’re considering selling your car then please get in touch; all discussions are confidential. If the car is of interest to us we will make you a cash offer with immediate settlement and a hassle free sale. I look forward to hearing from you. Tom Hartley Jnr.

159 Moira Road, Overseal, Swadlincote, Derbyshire, DE12 6JD

1973 Porsche 2.7 RS White LHD Recently undergone full restoration

1996 Porsche 993 Turbo Silver 50,700 miles Sunroof, FSH

1989 Porsche 930 Turbo LE Black 12,000 miles 1 of 50!

1995 Porsche GT2 Race Car. White 1 of 20! 1979 Porsche 930 Turbo Ivory 14,740 miles LHD US car Time Warp!

2007 Porsche 997 GT3 White 7,400 miles

1989 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa Red 34,501 miles FSH

1989 Porsche 911 Speedster Silver 16,250 miles

1995 Porsche GT2 Road Car. Silver 1 of 7! 1989 Porsche 911 Supersport Cab Black 55,000 miles FSH â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Simply Stunning

1993 Porsche 928 S4 Automatic Blue 74,750 miles FSH

1997 Porsche 993 C4 Black 23,465 miles FSH

1976 Porsche 912E Red 37,500 miles LHD Retro at its best!

we are always looking to buy cars oF excePtional quality For immediate cash Purchase FuLL dEALEr FACiLiTiES inCLudinG FinAnCE & PArT ExChAnGE

CominG Soon: Porsche 993 C4S Coupe Blue 55,000 miles | Porsche 911 Carrera Cab Ivory 44,000 miles | Porsche 993 Carrera 2 Cab Blue 59,000 miles

Please call Jonathan Franklin on 0208 4422206 or 07522 911911

ThE FiNEST SELEcTioN oF modERN cLaSSic Bmw’S avaiLaBLE aNywhERE

2000 Z8 Roadster Titanium Silver/ Red Black Leather 9,450 miles. £119,995

2000 Z8 Roadster Bright Red/ Black Leather Leather 24,000 miles. £109,995

2008 Z4 M Coupe Ruby Black / Black Nappa Leather 18,800 miles. £24,995

2007 Z4 M Roadster Silver Grey / imola Red Leather 19,900 miles. £20,995

2001 E39 M5 Scarab Green / champagne Full Leather 47,700 miles. £18,995

2002 E39 M5 carbon Black / Black Leather 29,500 miles. £24,995

2006 E60 M5 Sapphire Black / Silverstone Leather 12,200 miles. £29,995

2008 M5 Touring Sepang Bronze / Black Full Pef Leather 25,400 miles. £34,995

2005 M6 Coupe Silverstone ii / Black merino Leather 16,700 miles. £29,995

2004 M3 CSL Silver Grey, Reflex Cloth Laser, 31,800 miles. £36,995

2005 M3 SMG Coupe alpine white / Black Nappa Leather 2,200 miles. £39,995

2006 M6 Coupe indianapolis Red/ Sepang Bronze Leather, 24,700 miles, £29,995

1990 M3 LHD Convertible macau Blue / Grey Nappa Leather 79,500 miles. £29,995

1999 M3 Convertible carbon Black / modena Natural Leather 35,400 miles. £16,995

2007 M3 Convertible carbon Black/ Black Nappa Leather 18,600 miles. £22,995

2002 Z3 M Coupe Phoenix Yellow/Kiwi Black Leather 14,700 miles. £26,995

82-92 Great North Road, East Finchley, London N2 0NL. Telephone: +44 (0)20 8444 1111

1958 Ferrari 250GT Pininfarina Cabriolet Series1 Full Ferrari Classiche certified.

1961 Aston Martin Db4 series 2

1938 Jaguar SS100 Fixed Head Coupe

1966 Mercedes benz 600 Grosse Saloon

1959 Alfa Romeo Guillietta Spyder LHD

1953 Mercedes 300S Roadster LHD

1967 Aston Martin Db6 vantage Shooting brake

1936 Auburn 852 SC boattail LHD

1937 Lagonda LG45 Rapide Specification

1971 Mercedes 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet LHD

2001 Ferrari 550 barchetta RHD

Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa Recreation

1969 Ferrari 365GT 2+2 RHD

1966 Jaguar 3.8 MK2. LHD

1993 Range Rover Classic LSE

1965 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III Continental

1961 Rolls-Royce Cloud 2 LWb Radford


w w w. d d c l a s s i c s . c o m

1964 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GT, RHD

1971 Alfa Romeo 1750 GTV, RHD

1964 Alfa Romeo Giulia 1600 Ti 1972 Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV, RHD 1991 Alfa Romeo Spider 2.0 S4, RHD

The worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s foremost purveyor of Giulietta and Giulia models. Please visit our website to view our superlative selection of classic Alfa Romeos. Vintage and classic Alfa Romeos are always required for purchase or sale on consignment, please contact James Wheeler. Our enthusiastic workshop team specialises in routine maintenance and repairs on all classic Alfa Romeo vehicles to the highest standard Hermitage Road, Cold Ash, Newbury, Berkshire, RG18 9JN e w t +44 (0)1635 200 444






The factory produced 15 Jota’s of which 6 were right hand drive. There are now only 3 RHD cars remaining. This is the only example to retain the Factory Jota camshafts, ECU and open exhausts - which makes it unique and exhilarating to drive. This car offers strong performance - the factory figures for this model are a top speed of 211 mph and 0-100 km/h in 3.9 seconds. This 2 owner car has been subject to a full Lamborghini Factory restoration and a complete engine rebuild by Lamborghini Wycombe.



We have undertaken numerous Lamborghini restorations from the LM002 featured in last month’s edition of Octane, to Miura, Espada, Countach, Diablo, Murcielago projects as well as routine service work on Gallardo and Aventador models. We are an Official Lamborghini Service agent and undertake this work with our staff totally IN-HOUSE.

Our Supercar division undertakes carbon composite repair work on a variety of makes and models of road and racecars which feature carbon composite structures or components. Cars upon which we have undertaken carbon composite repair work have won concours awards and we undertake this repair work for clients globally.

THE MODENA GROUP. Modena House, Blenheim Road, Cressex Business Park, High Wycombe, Bucks HP12 3RS, T: +44 (0) 1494 519100 -WWW.MODENAGROUP.NET

Sales, Service and Restoration.

1972 Ferrari Daytona 365 GTB/4 Price: ÂŁ325,000 |Mileage: 6,400 An exceptionally accurate Spyder conversion. Fully documented history from new, with only 6,400 miles recorded. Recently overhauled by marque specialists and now fully set-up by ourselves. Simply sensational to drive and in stunning condition throughout.


Tel: 01244 529500 I Email: I



To advertise here, email or call Pervez Hussain on +44 (0)1628 671210



Two 1965 Lotus Cortina Mk1 race cars

Tester Engineering are proud to offer for sale a pair of 1965 Mk1 Lotus Cortina race cars. Currently being built to full FIA specification in readiness for the 50th anniversary celebrations of this wonderful car. Tel: +44 (0)1327 315048 Email:

Race and rally cars from around the world

€ 42,500

1962 Alfa Romeo GiuliettaSprint Veloce

Ex-Sweden, FIA HTP, fully prepared plus extra spares.

Tel: +32 475 47 62 53


£45,000 ono

1963 Ford Cortina GT



Shell imported from S Africa, spare car for Gerry Marshall when he won the British Touring Car Championship. FIA/HTTP papers reg in UK/Ireland. Raced UK circuits, Spa and Chimay, prepared and run by Rae Davis Racing. Maintained regardless of cost.

Competed 1988 at Le Mans Classic, Spa, Goodwood, Montlhéry, Nürburgring, and Silverstone. Constructed around period components, including genuine longwheelbase chassis. HTP papers since 1990. Tel: +44 (0)1451 821611 Email:

Tel: +35 3166 88649 Email:



Lotus Cortina Mk1

1961 Maserati T63 Birdcage



Le -hand drive, from Switzerland, all EU duties paid. German reg, FIA HTP pass Cat F. Full steel engine, LSD, straight-cut gearset. Equipped for endurance or rallying. VGC.

Tel: +49 2272 905935/+49 171 2027706 Email:

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1965 Alfa Romeo GTA

RHD, FIA papers, known history. Raced last 12 years at Spa, Monza, Dijon, Nürburgring. Fabulous racer, reliable and fun to drive. Freshly prepped and ready to go. Located in West London, UK.

Nick Savage: +44 (0)7970 766719

O C T A N E J U N E 2 013 237

c a r s for sa le

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Cars for sale

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To advertise your car online with Octane, visit If you would like to advertise in the magazine please fill in the coupon and send it to us by post or email. You can include up to 30 words in your ad and more thereafter at 50p per extra word. Please note: the July 2013 issue (on sale 22 May) deadline is Monday 6 May.

by eMAIL Please send your photo as a 300dpi jpeg if possible. Please also supply your name, address and telephone number, and we will contact you regarding payment COST Private cars for sale in print: £54 per advert. Subscribers are entitled to one free classified advert per year. For trade advertisements please refer to advertising department (details on page 10). *Online advertising with Octane Cars for Sale is free with our 100% discount special launch offer. Visit for more details.

Octane, Cars For Sale, 19 Highfield Lane, Maidenhead, Berks SL6 3AN, UK. • Please write your telephone number on back of photo • Cheques payable to ‘Octane Media Ltd’ Name Address

Postcode Tel no (day) Visa/Mastercard/Eurocard/Switch/Delta no Expiry date Switch issue no Remittance enclosed (if applicable) £

Advertisers using OCTANE reach the most distinguished collectors and classic car enthusiasts worldwide 1991 Alfa Romeo 33 1.5ie

Where can I find a…

25,750 miles. Champagne. A much-loved low-mileage 33 in mint condition both inside and out. Factoryfitted sunroof. Full service history, maintained by Rusper Alfa in recent years. Taxed and MoT’d to Feb 2014. £1500. Contact Paul on +44 (0)1737 221870 or

2004 Alfa Romeo 147 GTA

Ideal for enthusiast or collector alike; immaculate mechanical health, FSH and brought to as close to ‘as new’ standard as possible, without worry of cost Contact Matt. Tel: +44 (0)28 9445 9446 or email (T).

Cars for sale

2003 Alfa Romeo 156 GTA

+44 (0)20 8688 4443

65,000 miles. Red. Lovely example intended for show use. Not driven hard and very well looked after. £2000 spent in last two months. Will tax and MoT. £5750. Email

1976 Alfa Romeo Spider

AC Cobra 427 MkIII S/C Continuation

Ten ‘Continuations’ (AC Cars’ perfect reproductions of the 1965 427 S/C) were completed by the factory between 1990-2002, and this is one of five in the UK. ROD LEACH’S ‘NOSTALGIA’. Tel: +44 (0)1992 500007 (Herts), email: (T).

1972 Alfa Romeo GTV 1750

50,000 miles, red. Full rebuild with accompanying photographs. Two owners prior to rebuild. Only 7000 miles driven since. Black interior, nearly new tyres. New twin Weber carbs, five-speed manual gearbox. £14,000. Tel: +44 (0)20 8440 3032, email

2003 Alfa Romeo 156 V6 Sportwagon 1994 AC Cobra Lightweight (RHD)

Among the last of the c26 genuine ‘Lightweights’, handbuilt in aluminium by AC Cars Ltd at Brooklands, Surrey. This magnificent 14,500-mile metallic burgundy example has had considerable sums spent on the engine (blueprinted with c365bhp gives 0-100mph in under 10sec and 160+mph), modified suspension and diff ratio, etc. Freshly serviced with new MoT. ROD LEACH’S ‘NOSTALGIA’. Tel: +44 (0)1992 500007 (Herts), email: (T).

238 j u n e 2 013 O C T A N E

Red with grey upholstery. One previous owner. 65,000 miles, only 7k with me in three years. Brand new Pirellis. Six-speed gearbox. Fitted with 3.0L GTV engine of similar age/mileage by Alfa specialist. ECU remapped. Solid 2.5 flywheel has been retained and a GTA clutch fitted. Other recent work includes front bushes/anti-roll bar and new rear self-levelling performance struts. Bose audio system, air-conditioning, electric windows all-round. All electrics good. Infocenter display screen works! Tax/MoT to August. With 70 approaching, a bit too quick for me now. £2450. Prestbury. Cheshire. +44 (0)1625 829551/+44 (0)7778 842271.

1290cc. LHD. Red. Bought by me in Italy 1999, reportedly as a two-owner vehicle. A local mechanic checked it over and I drove it back to England and have owned it since. It is in very good original condition, but I have had a new hood and carpets fitted, together with seats reupholstered in leather, it comes with a tonneau cover and several spares, Italian documentation and a full history since 1999. Taxed until August and MoT till March 2014. Located in the Peak District. £5950 ono. Tel: +44 (0)7407 400258 or email

1983 Alfa Romeo GTV 2000

Metallic silver, charcoal interior. Factory sunroof. Waxoyled from new. Fitted with fuel-injected 75 Twin Spark engine and gearbox, 146bhp on rolling road. Uprated suspension and GTV6 brakes. Lots of history. £10,000 spent by current owner. £5000. Email, or tel: +44 (0)7771 723368.

1961 Alfa Romeo Giulietta ti

Red. 1300cc FIA race car. Extensive Italian history and HTP, transferred to fresh GB papers. Minimum weight, all equipment in date. Recently run in HRDC and U2TC. Perfect for Tour Auto etc. £25,000. Email geoff. or tel: +44 (0)7702 124346.

1973 Alfa Romeo Giulia GTV 2000

Blue Olandese. LHD. Montreal alloys, grooved discs, lowered suspension, electric fuel pump, twin electric fans, immaculate throughout, never used in wet or damp weather, South of France import. My own personal car for last 12 years. £15,000 ono. Call Michael on +44 (0)7771 686925 or +44 (0)191 261 6430.

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1972 Alfa Romeo Junior Z

Red, black interior, front seats retrimmed in leather. Originally supplied new to an Alfa dealer in Holland who had a 1750 motor fitted, it also has uprated brakes. Very solid car which looks like it was rustproofed from new. GB Alloy wheels (a set of standard Alfa steel wheels are included). One year’s MoT. These Zagatobodied cars are only going to appreciate so this should be a good investment. £17,750. Email pwignall@icloud. com or call +44 (0)1969 623585 or +44 (0)7715 377340.

1297cc race engine

Spare FIA App K 1297cc race engine (750) by Gamberini of Bologna. Eng no AR1315 87176. 11:1 CR. 118 rolling road bhp on single carb. 2-3hrs on fresh build 2012. Easily installed with twin chokes and Veloce exhaust to give considerably more power. £7500. Email geoff. or tel: +44 (0)7702 124346.

Austin-Healey 3000MkIII

History file has invoices for restoration and engine rebuild in the 1990s. MoTs detail mileage from 1993, (3708 miles) through 2000 (7207 miles) to 2012 (12,952 miles). Finished in the very popular British Racing Green. This car is an early version of the later MkIII Phase 2. £42,000. Contact Rawles Motorsport on +44 (0)1420 23212 or visit (T).

Austin-Healey 3000MkIII

01926 499000

Full-specification Austin-Healey 3000MkIII BJ8. Popular two-tone car finished in Colorado Red with Ivory. Refurbished black seats with white piping, painted wire wheels, overdrive, very good paint and chrome. Full tonneau, adjustable steering column and wooden dashboard. £41,750. Contact Rawles Motorsport on +44 (0)1420 23212 or visit (T).

Italian Style, Sixties Cool 21st Century Engineering

+44 (0) 1275 349449

Unit 4 Lock Lane, The Cape Warwick, CV34 5AG

1957 Arnolt Bristol

Restoration project, currently fitted with a small-block V8 and an automatic gearbox. £90,000. Tel: +44 (0)20 7603 5555 or email

The Healey Masters Visit our website or call today to order our latest Big Healey Catalogue

Buying or Selling Aston Martin

Tel: +44 (0)1543 472244

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O C T A N E j u n e 2 013 239


Suppliers of BMW 2002 & BMW 3.0CS Parts T: 01263 768768 F: 01263 768336

1956 Bentley S Series Saloon

Only 55,000 miles. In delightful, original condition. Her first owners obviously treasured her whilst having her maintained at the correct places, in the correct manner – she still starts on the button, running and riding beautifully. A joy to behold, a treat to use and awaits now nothing more than the next chapter to begin in her long and illustrious life story. Price £57,500, (T).

1968 Bristol 410 - one of only 79 built, RHD, automatic

Cadillac 1987 Allante Convertible

€15.500 For more information please contact me FRANK KENNIS, phone: +31.622.420.766 or mail me info

Citroën SM

Fitted with 220bhp SS engine. Solid exhaust valves and tensioner modifications all done, so no worries. Blue Delta, new black leather interior. Very good bodywork and paint, stainless exhaust, new tyres etc. An absolute joy to drive. The Riviera, this a ernoon? Yes please! A very fast example of this supreme grand tourer. £29,950. Tel: +44 (0)7782 172402, London, UK.

1970 Bristol 411 Series 1

Extensive mechanical restoration. Finished in two-tone paint, light metallic blue with a matt black roof. Runs extremely well, fitted with the original 6.3-litre V8 engine. £42,500. Tel: +44 (0)20 7603 5555 or email (T).

1974 Bristol 411 Series 4

Recent restoration. Finished with the very popular colour combination of dark metallic silver with red leather. Recent engine rebuild, fitted with 6.6-litre V8. £79,500. Tel: +44 (0)20 7603 5555 or email sales@ (T).

2000 Bristol Blenheim III

Only 5000 miles. This elegant example has travelled a modest mileage and is in absolutely impeccable condition. Air conditioning and electric seats are fitted together with a factory supplied battery cut-out switch to ensure she will be on the button when you return from your holidays – at which point you can fire up the 5.9-litre V8 and get ready to trundle along at speeds of up to 150 mph. This is about the best we have had. Price £69,750, (T).

24 0 J U N E 2 013 O C T A N E

2009 Fiat 500 Abarth Esseesse

Full service history. 28,500 miles (will increase due to daily commute), MoT due 05/13, tax due 05/13. RAC Inspection Report from Dec 2011. Esseesse kit worth £2500 when new, includes engine remap, perforated disc brakes, lowered springs. Additional TMC induction kit, intake hose, AMD custom remap (with rolling road print-out), 172bhp/280Nm (+14bhp/+50Nm over Esseesse map). £10,995ono, tel: +44 (0)7736 326598.

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Cars for sale

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New GT40 MkI/MkII ‘Continuation’

From the South African manufacturer of the Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupe now come recreations of the legendary Le Mans-winning GT40s of 1966 to 1969. Prices from £85,000 to £93,000 (plus VAT). Rod Leach’s ‘Nostalgia’. Tel +44 (0)1992 500007 (Herts), email (T).


Specialist buyers and sellers of ‘E’type Jaguars contact Martin Lane

Call 01922 749244 1994 (Mazda) RX7 Efini Esprit

Not to be confused with the production RX7, this extremely rare wide-bodied Comp/Street ‘Esprit’ version was available only in Japan. Specially developed 450bhp engine and fully modified suspension etc. £29,995. Rod Leach’s ‘Nostalgia’. Tel: +44 (0)1992 500007; email: (T).

1952 Jaguar XK120 FHC

LHD, fully restored. Finished in California Sage with tan hide. Originally supplied in the USA, she returned to the UK last year whereupon a complete refurbishment was undertaken: paint, trim, carpets, wood, instruments, tyres (Blockley), exhaust (stainless), engine, radiator, wiring, chrome, heater, suspension (anti-tramp arms included), lighting and more. She is now in the most exceptional condition both mechanically and cosmetically and on the road she pulls really well. Her heritage certificate confirms that she is to original specification, save for the exterior colour which was black. £POA. (T).

1969 Maserati Ghibli 4.7

Recently finished after 3200-hour nut-and-bolt restoration by a well-known specialist, it is believed to be one of the best of its kind on the market. Everything documented and certified. £POA. Email ghibli02012@, tel: +43 676 7047979.

Jewellers & Pawnbrokers est. 1853

2012 Morgan Roadster

1976 Lancia Fulvia 1.3S Coupé

Original Maja yellow. Mileage 72,000. Interior vgc. MoT. Excellent runner. Bodywork sound, paintwork good but respray should make near-concours. £8000. Tel (Scotland) : +44 (0)1389 850755.

Sport 3.0L V6. Black, Saddle brown leather, black mohair hood and tonneau, black wire wheels. 1000 miles. £39,500. Tel: +44 (0)161 439 0848, email

Let Your VehicLe unLock A LoAn Hopkins & Jones are pleased to offer secured loans on classic and prestigious cars. Please call us or visit our website to make an appointment.

1970 Land Rover Velar

Here we are with another Velar and very proud we are too, having previously sold three. She was completed on 23 March 1970 and delivered to the Land Rover Engineering Department of the Rover Car Company to be used for model development and brake testing. She did over 100,000 miles in the first year with two driver teams working two shifts and driving her on a specific route to ensure the mileage reflected general usage. Like our other Velars, this example had a body-off restoration, this time in the late 1990s. We have changed all seals within the engine and gearbox, stripped the paintwork and repainted her in the original Davos White. Her interior retains original PVC injectionmoulded seats. £72,500, (T).

tel: 0207 379 7080 7 william iV street, london wC2n 4dw email:

1958 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL RHD, restored, orig. log book

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Your items must be left as security. Customers must be aged 18 or over.

O C T A N E j u n e 2 013 241


1972 Porsche 911 E 2.4 - RHD, AUS del., books, rare side oil tank


1965Rolls-RoyceSilverCloudIIIChinese Eye Coupé by Park Ward


Believed to be one of only 65 RHDs built. Chassis no SH5317C. Fully restored, private plate, £95,995. Visit for more details. Contact Ian Grange. Tel: +44 (0)161 456 3836 or +44 (0)7710 254198 (T).

1979 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow II

Packard 1941 110 Victoria Convertible €58.500 For more information please contact me FRANK KENNIS, phone: +31.622.420.766 or mail me info

Porsche 993 Targa

Stunning low-mileage Targa finished in Iris Blue. Full Official Porsche Centre history, with no fewer than 11 service stamps covering its 52,500 miles. In beautiful condition inside and out, one of the finest examples. For this and other fine Porsches, visit or call +44 (0)1440 714884 (T).

Foot of the South Downs, close to Goodwood Motor Circuit and Chichester. Why not move your operation and your man or your mistress or your wife into my old converted Coach House with current garaging for 6-7 cars, or easily changed to house 10 cars plus. Plenty of parking. Private, secure and very accessible. Oh yes, plus the charming Stone and Flint converted Coach house with 5/6 bedrooms, 4 baths, Jacuzzi, Inglenook, Office and easy access Main Road position. If this property was ON the Downs, it would be £1 million - IT’S NOT, so priced accordingly, £600,000. Unique opportunity - could easily be a B & B.

Tel: Owners in Residence, Peter or Carole +44(0)1243 544445. P.S. No Chains Thanks. Been there, done that.

242 J U N E 2 013 O C T A N E

A very happy example of these excellent value RollsRoyces.This cracking example has factory options of badge bar, front seat headrests and a lambswool rug for the luggage area, has covered 76.000 miles and is resplendent in her very period, original colour scheme. Both large and small tools are present as well as the original book pack and service voucher booklet. Very recently serviced and shod with a new set of Avon whitewalls, this example is a genuine and sound motor car. Price £17,750, (T).

Snakepit by George Barris

Built in steel in the1970s. It has 6.0-litre V8 Ford Cobra engine, six wheels and is 23 long on a purpose-built trailer. Ideal for any serious collector or museum. Valued in 1971 at $100,000. Serious and substantial offers invited. Visit for more details. Contact Ian Grange. Tel: +44 (0)161 456 3836 or +44 (0)7710 254198 (T).

WANTED Air Cooled Porsche

01440 714 884 All Porsche considered for purchase or consignment, especially pre 73, RS, GT and Turbo models, plus any rare or low mileage examples.

1997 Subaru SVX

Number 8027 of 8030 SVXs made, youngest of 121 imported. UK car, FSH, full leather, 4WD, climate, 240bhp, 113k miles, a rare and special car. Tel: +44 (0)78 2353 1113, email

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Cars for sale

ADV YoueRtise R onL CAR ine

fRe e

just some of the CARs foR sALe on oCtAne’s website

1980 Lamborghini Countach LP400S2

Black with black interior and gold wheels. Original unrestored condition with 23,000km (16,000 miles) recorded and three previous owners. Recent full mechanical overhaul by Colin Clarke Engineering. $240,000. Tel: +44 (0)7879 888342.

1954 Austin-Healey 100BN1

Fully restored in 2010; everything is in excellent conditions. All spares invoices available. FIVA approved in 2011. Eligible for all the most important classic events. MoT valid; V5. €56,000. Tel: +39 3356 343061.



1961 Jaguar E-type 3.8 FHC

Early ‘flat-floor’ car. Matching numbers, Jaguar Heritage certificate. Nut and bolt restoration in late1980s, then dry-stored until 2003. Recommissioning work carried out by CKL Developments. Price on application. Tel: +44 (0)7860 538437.

1971 Ferrari Dino 246GT

Ferrari Red with black leather. Engine fully rebuilt by DK Engineering with low mileage since. Good history file. In beautiful condition throughout. £POA. Tel: +44 (0)1257 470034.



2010 Ultima GTR LS7

Engineer-built to the highest specification. Includes new GM factory 550bhp LS7 engine, stainless exhaust (Zircotec coated), dry sump, six-speed Porsche gearbox, Intrax suspension, air-con, Stack instrumentation. £59,995. Tel: +44 (0)7979 708466.

1970 Fiat 500L

Imported from Italy and restored to original condition four years ago. Well-maintained with all receipts and starts first time. Full sunroof, red interior and grey carpets. Lots of fun to drive and much loved. 23,000 miles. £5950. Tel: +44 (0)7905 910293.

Additional family members £2 each


1970 MGB Roadster

Restored, resprayed and retrimmed. New MWS chrome wire wheels with new tyres. As-new highquality mohair roof with new framework. New chrome bumpers front and rear. £8950. Tel: +44 (0)7787 757120.

NEW MEMBERSHIPS FROM £46 The club for all TR enthusiasts

1993 Porsche 968 Club Sport

Guards Red. 124,000 miles. Top condition both mechanically and cosmetically. Full service history. Several trophies for best in class at local PCGB events. £13,500. +44 (0)7986 042407.



1998 TVR Chimaera 400

Owned six years, garaged, full service history (main dealer and specialist), the last big service (about £1300) carried out about 500 miles ago. MoT to May 13, tax to Nov 12. Sports exhaust, 16in wheels. 45,000 miles. £8750. Tel: +44 (0)1580 240249.

Aston Martin Vantage Supercharged

1995, BRG with tan hide. Sports auto-box, V600 suspension upgrade, sports exhaust system, all by Works Service. Service history from Works Service, RS Williams etc. Immaculate condition. 14,500 miles. £70,000. Tel: +44 (0)7734 788068.

55 local groups throughout the UK, and Worldwide 37 groups in 22 different Countries. Membership benefits include; competitive insurance cover, expert technical help, a superb member’s magazine with FREE classified ads, access to local and international events, comprehensive regalia shop and book sales - plus a recognised supplier scheme. ww

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O C T A N E j u n e 2 013 243

s pe c i a l i st s e rv ic e s





HOW TO adverTise To advertise in this section please call Sue Farrow on +44 (0)1344 771541 or email Octane July 2013 issue deadline 6 May. Please contact the ad team for inclusion in this issue (details on page 10)







classictyres for your classic authentic tyres from the ultimate tyre authority

t: 01590 612261 f: 01590 612722



AUTO ELECTRIC SUPPLIES Everything you need for wiring, rewiring and maintaining your vehicle

Phone, fax or visit our website for a FREE 100 page mail order catalogue containing over 1,000 different products. Or buy online! Classic and modern components. Friendly staff and fast delivery.

Tel: 01584 819552 Fax: 01584 819355 TRANSMISSIONS



G WHITEHOUSE AUTOS LTD Tel: 0121 559 9800 Fax: 0121 559 9885

CLASSIC CAR AUTOMATIC CONVERSION Convert your classic car to Jaguar XJ40 4 speed automatic


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O C T A N E j u n e 2 013 245

PERFECTION When only the ‘Best’ insurance will do






For an initial discussion as to how we can help with your insurances or a personal visit please Call 01376 574027/01376 573357 180 High Street, Kelvedon, Colchester, Essex CO5 9JD Tel: 01376 573357 Our key insurance providers: Oak, Chubb, Sterling, Ecclesiastical, Allianz, Aviva, Plum Underwriting Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

Day in the life

IntervIew steve havelock photograph francesco rastrelli

‘Until we were forced to retire we were actually beating our dad. We were so chuffed with that’

the whyte sisters Performers Elise and Seren Whyte have shown few signs of stage fright since taking up historic rallying


’m ElisE and i’m 21. My sister, Seren, is two years older, but we look alike and are very close, so many people think we’re twins. We come from Swansea but share a flat in London, where we both studied Performing Arts. We now earn a living as entertainers, acting and dancing in plays and musicals, and we’re currently appearing as sword fighters in an exhibition at the Globe Theatre. Our real passion, though, is historic rallying. Our dad was a club rally driver before we were born and he then became a marshal and rally organiser, so motor sport has always been part of our lives. In 2009 we helped marshal at Le Jog, HERO’s Land’s End to John o’Groats Reliability Trial. Then, in 2010 we went along again to present HERO’s video coverage of the event, and after doing the same at the Summer Trial we decided we wanted to compete. We couldn’t make Le Jog in 2011 as we were appearing in a pantomime, but were determined to enter in 2012 and raise some money for the Pink Ribbon Foundation for breast cancer. We did a one-day training course in a Triumph TR4A, which taught us how to navigate – in theory, at least. We also went to Mercedes-Benz World to drive on their skid pan as neither of us had any experience of driving on ice, and freezing conditions were

inevitable in Scotland in mid-winter. Le Jog was our first ever event and it was a real baptism of fire. We didn’t have a suitable car of our own (in fact, living in London we don’t have a car at all) but we took advantage of HERO’s ‘Arrive and Drive’ package and opted for a lovely little red 1964 Mini Cooper S. We didn’t need competition licences, although we have just applied for them for future events. The Mini is a nippy little car and we fell in love with it instantly, and although I’m the best with the maps we decided to share the driving as we both wanted to get behind the wheel. As we were waved away from the start we were shaking with nerves and could hardly remember our left from our right, but we soon settled down. Nobody expected us to finish, but finish we did and as we crossed the line the marshals and spectators burst into applause. We covered 1500 miles in three-and-a-half days, battling through wind, rain, snow and black ice. Coffee very quickly became our best friend! Of the 60 crews that started, only 29 finished; it was that tough. According to HERO’s records, we are the youngest ever crew – male or female – to finish. Because we are so close, we communicate very well in the car. We never shout at each other, although yelling seems to be perfectly normal for lots of other crews. Weirdly, I think

our day jobs are a help, too: as performers we often work late at night, so we cope well with the long hours and late finishes on rallies. In March we did the Classic Rally Association’s Poppy Rally – again driving the Mini. That was a two-day regularity rally on some amazing roads in Belgium. It included some tricky night sections, and to make things that little bit harder, it was the first time either of us had driven abroad. The breakfast table at the hotel on day one was covered with sprawling maps, coloured marker pens and speed tables, but our preparation paid off and we were much closer to our target times than we had been on Le Jog, which was encouraging. However, on a special test on day two, the car got away from us on a wet corner and we hit a tree square-on, putting us out. That was rather embarrassing – and costly. We’re quite girly and aren’t really mechanically minded, but we are trying to pick things up so that if we do break down we can fix problems ourselves. Our dad was also driving in the rally and until we retired we were actually beating him. We were so chuffed with that. In April’s London to Lisbon Rally we will both be navigating for other drivers to gain some more experience, and in June we’ll be back in the Mini for the the Pirelli Classic Marathon. We’ve still got lots and lots to learn, but we’re determined to become the first female crew to win the HERO Cup. ElisE and sErEn are seeking sponsorship to allow them to continue to compete in historic rallies in the UK and abroad. To get in touch, visit their website,

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