EXPLOREMY LIBRARY
Cars & Motorcycles
Octane

Octane

December 2020

Octane is the authoritative guide to the best classic cars in the world

Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
Dennis Publishing UK
Frequency:
Monthly
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12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
the roaring silence of le mans

Le Mans at night can be atmospheric enough but with empty stands and no crowds it was postively eerie on 19-20 September, even with the screaming field pounding up to the Dunlop Bridge, lights ablaze. Credit to the Automobile Club de l’Ouest for managing to put on any sort of event for this 88th running of the 24-hour enduro after having to postpone from the usual June slot. The race itself was rather more conventional than the circumstances surrounding it, with Toyota Gazoo Racing taking its third win on the trot via Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Brendon Hartley in the TS050 hybrid. They were a full five laps ahead of the Rebellion Racing R13, while there were class wins for the UK’s Aston Martin and United Autosports. CLASSIC CAR DRIVE…

4 min.
robert coucher

The Land of the Free used to manufacture the most advanced and beautiful automobiles. Stutz, Duesenberg, Packard and Cadillac were all pretty much ahead of Rolls-Royce and Mercedes-Benz in terms of technical prowess in the early 1930s, with their independent front suspensions, hydraulic brakes and lusty great engines. Personal mobility of a type had been provided prior to the arrival of the Ford T in 1908 by the horse, bicycle and motorcycle. Apparently the humble bicycle was responsible for a significant increase in the birth rate, as young fellows could cycle to nearby villages and meet more attractive women than they might have back home! No doubt the Model T had a more widespread effect; it even came in delivery van configuration. I wonder if in those days there was a…

8 min.
when harri met ‘jj’

YOUR COVER FEATURE about the McLaren F1 and Le Mans 1995 in Octane 208 brought back memories of a tour of Europe I made in 1995 with two good friends in my daily driver 1973 Jaguar XJ6, destination Côte d’Azur but taking in the 24 Heures du Mans on the way. For all of us young Finnish boys, it was quite an experience! Following an endless convoy of British motorsport fans in their classic and exotic cars, we found a parking area and didn’t even camp; we stayed up for most of the 24 hours and grabbed some sleep in the car. At first, we didn’t know that fellow Finn, JJ Lehto, was driving a McLaren, and I was mostly cheering for the XJ220 Jaguars. Over the night it was increasingly exciting…

10 min.
‘your aston, mr bond’

One owner from new. Not many 57-year-old classic cars can claim this special rarity, and certainly there can be only a handful that remain in near-perfect condition. With a comprehensive maintenance history, and only 81,488 miles showing on its Smiths odometer, this 1963 Aston Martin DB5 was purchased new on 3 December 1963 and still has only one name listed in the logbook: Bond… Mr Ian Bond. ‘I went along to the ’63 Motor Show in the October, saw the beautiful Aston Martin DB5 and I ordered this one, number DB5/1330/R, in dark blue with a red interior, taking delivery in December. I always used to drive fast in those days and, having moved down from Scotland in my youth, we lived in Hampshire on the superb A30 road that runs…

5 min.
you only live once

ASTON MARTIN’S DB5 is possibly the most iconic car in cinematic history. Its appearance in Goldfinger captivated a generation of schoolboys and forever associated it with MI6’s wayward secret agent. Forget the 1968 Ford Mustang GT driven by Steve McQueen in Bullitt, or the DeLorean DMC-12 that went Back To The Future, the DB5 became so popular that it’s still the best-selling Corgi Toys car of all time. James Bond was handed the keys to his heavily modified DB5 in 1964. The ingenious techies at Q Branch had equipped it with an array of ‘special’ features, ensuring 007 would always enjoy the upper hand in a car chase. Q’s options list included machine guns borrowed from a Spitfire fighter, pop-out slashers for shredding the tyres of pursuing villains, plus that ingenious…

8 min.
mass-produced for one

America went nuts when Ford launched the Mustang in 1964. During its first 12 months on sale it shattered every sales forecast, rocketing from an estimate of 100,000 to beyond 400,000. That’s even more incredible when you consider that the two men behind it, project manager Lee Iacocca and engineer Donald N Frey, took the car from idea to fruition in 18 months. With American roads being invaded by agile, compact sport cars from Europe, Iacocca decided that the time was right for a major American manufacturer to enter the market. The Mustang was small by the country’s standards, it looked sexy and sporting, and was powerful thanks to its 4.7-litre V8 – though part of the marketing genius was in offering many options, from colour and trim to a range…