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Octane March 2019

Octane is a premium monthly magazine celebrating over 100 years of automotive design, from classic Bentleys to the latest BMW. We have been at the heart of the motoring industry for seventeen years, so we know our stuff when it comes to classic cars. Written by enthusiasts for enthusiasts, the magazine captures the exclusivity and excitement of the classic car world so you can experience it all wherever you are.

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United Kingdom
Autovia Limited
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12 Issues

in this issue

2 min
brabham hits the streets

BRABHAM HAS ANNOUNCED two huge developments for its BT62 track car that was launched at the Australian High Commission in London last summer to conicide with the 70th anniversary of the ‘Black Jack’ marque. Secretly built and tested in Adelaide, the BT62 is to be powered by a Brabham-badged naturally aspirated 5.4-litre engine that gives it something in the region of 700bhp and, thanks to carbonfibre and Kevlar construction, it weighs in at under a tonne. Brabham has now confirmed that for an extra £150,000 (in Europe; there are no prices for other territories yet) the million-pound track car will be available as a road car and also that it is to race at Le Mans in 2020. Even six months ago, the prospect of either looked a very long way off,…

1 min
a bizzarrini bambino

THE BONKERS 1971 Bizzarrini 128P prototype is sure to be one of the most talked-about lots at Bonhams’ annual ‘Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grand Palais’ sale during Rétromobile in February. Having been developed by Giotto Bizzarrini after closing his factory in 1969, the wild glassfibre wannabe racer took its bow at Turin in 1972. It featured a tubular spaceframe chassis with an 87in wheelbase, with power from a transverse 1300cc Fiat ‘four’ fed by a pair of Webers and driving through a Colotti gearbox. Just two were built, this left-hand-drive prototype and a right-hand-drive racer now residing in Italy’s national motor museum in Turin. This car, built up from a body discovered at the factory, sold at Russo & Steele five years ago for $77,000. It will go…

1 min
the seiko 5 watch

You need only read Chrono to learn what makes lovers of Haute Horlogerie, er, tick: ‘manufacture’ (a watchmaker that employs its own in-house movement), ‘complications’ (functions in addition to the simple telling of the time), and automatic movements. Always automatic movements. Never quartz ones. That’s why we love the Seiko 5. An in-house automatic movement, and always a day/date window, too – that’ll be your complication. Since 1963 the 5 (Seiko’s longest-lived sub-brand) has been building a cult following with five key attributes: not only the automatic winding and day/date display, but water and shock resistance too, and an ‘unbreakable’ mainspring. So they’re tough. The difference is the egalitarian pricing. There are few quality automatics this side of £1000, even fewer below £500, but with the 5 you can take your…

2 min
mustang sallies forth to $2.2m

THE FIRST BIG RECORD of 2019 fell during Mecum’s mammoth 11-day Kissimmee auction on 3-13 January. The one-and-only 1967 Ford Mustang GT500 Super Snake went on to become the most expensive Mustang ever sold at auction – for a second time. At $2,200,000 it doubled its estimate and eclipsed the previous record of $1.3 million set by this same car back in 2013. The car was built by Carroll Shelby, who intended it to be the fastest Mustang of all, and was used to promote a new range of Goodyear Thunderbolt tyres. Fitted with the same high-output 424ci Ford V8 engine as used in 1966’s Le Mans-winning GT40, it drove flat-out on these tyres for 500 miles at an average speed of 142mph. The Mustang was too expensive to put into…

3 min
gullwings in competition

LIÈGE-ROME-LIÈGE RALLY Belgium, Italy and beyond, 17-22 August 1955 Belgian race ace Olivier Gendebien, later a four-times Le Mans winner, shares this 300 SL with Pierre Stasse to win the legendarily arduous 5000km rally. It’s a great showing by the Gullwings, with examples also in second place (Réné Cotton and Agnès Lemerle), and fourth (Werner Engel and Heinz Straub), split by the third-place Lancia Aurelia B20 of Johnny Claes and Lucien Bianchi. Gendebien and the SL will go on to win 1955’s Coppa d’Oro delle Dolomiti and Stella Alpina rallies. CARRERA PANAMERICANA Mexico, November 1952 Where it all starts: Mercedes-Benz enters three prototype carb-fed W194 SLs – note the different grille and lack of side strakes – in this long and dangerous race, and finishes first and second with Karl Kling/Hans Klenk (shown here after…

1 min
octane’s fleet

ROBERT COUCHER International editor • 1955 Jaguar XK140 • 1988 Mercedes-Benz 560 SEC ANDREW ENGLISH Contributor • 1960 Triumph TR3A • 1962 Norton Dominator • 1965 Aston Martin DB5 SANJAY SEETANAH Advertising director • 1981 BMW 323i Top Cabrio • 1998 Aston Martin DB7 Volante MARK DIXON Deputy editor • 1955 Land Rover Series I 107in • 1966 Ford Mustang 289 • 1994 Range Rover 4.0 JAMES ELLIOTT Editor-in-chief • 1965 Triumph 2.5PI • 1968 Jensen Interceptor SAMANTHA SNOW Advertising account manager • 1969 Triumph Herald 13/60 Convertible • 1989 Mercedes-Benz 300SL GLEN WADDINGTON Associate editor • 1983 Porsche 944 • 1989 BMW 320i Convertible JOHN SIMISTER Contributor • 1934 Singer Nine Le Mans • 1961 Saab 96 • 1968 Sunbeam Stiletto • 1989 Mazda MX-5 Eunos RICHARD HESELTINE Contributor • 1966 Moretti Sportiva • 1971 Honda Z600…