Cars & Motorcycles

Octane April 2019

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

United Kingdom
Dennis Publishing UK
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12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
tall tale about the countach

Only a few special cars can claim to define a generation. Fewer still – such as the Beetle and the Mini – entirely transcend such nonsense and skate gracefully across the years like Dorian Gray, without ever ageing or seeming out of place. But how many cars can genuinely be argued to have defined two generations culturally? Just one to my mind, and that is the Lamborghini Countach. This groundbreaking supercar somehow spanned the diametrically opposed worlds of Malcolm Bradbury’s The History Man and Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho. Incredible. Of course, towards its end in the late 1980s, especially after Horacio Pagani had a go at it, the Countach looked very different from the sharp, unadorned beauty of the LP400, but while all those spoilers on the 25th Anniversary editions…

1 min.

harry metcalfe ‘I’ve driven many Countaches over the years but never the first edition, the dainty LP400. It’s just as exciting now as it was when it was first revealed at the 1971 Geneva Show, as I – finally – found out in Italy.’ Read Harry’s very personal account and marvel at Dean Smith’s exceptional photography on pages 58-69. ray hutton ‘It still astonishes me that Chrysler built a car as wild as the Viper in the 1990s. That it did is down to the chutzpah of that arch-enthusiast Bob Lutz.’ As European Editor of Car and Driver, Ray attended the Viper’s unveiling 30 years ago and followed its development as the baddest sports car of its era. His story begins on page 102. massimo delbò ‘We shot the Bugatti Type 59 in a cul-de-sac…

1 min.

Cavallino Classic 23-27 January The 28th Ferrari concours took place at Florida’s Palm Beach amid inclement weather – the sun did shine, but there was also a lot of rain. The event has expanded to embrace historic racing at Palm Beach International Raceway and a supplementary concours for other marques. Octane’s favourite car? This NART 512 BBLM. Photo: Jerry Wyszatycki bathurst 12 hours 3 february There are few venues as spectacular as Mount Panorama in new south Wales, australia. This descendant of the Bathurst 500 was won by the Campbell/olsen/ Werner Porsche 911 gT3. the measham rally, 19 january Unconventional even by VScc standards, this night rally is considered something of a rite of passage. a full moon at least offered some assistance to close to 50 crews ranging from 1920 Vauxhall to 1962 Morris Minor. RALLYE…

1 min.
miura appeal

Coming in 2019 Lamborghini Miura The definitive book After years of exhaustive research Simon Kidston’s ultimate book on the world’s first supercar will be published in 2019. Including behind-the-scenes interviews with all the key players – many, sadly, no longer with us – and superlative modern and period photography, the deluxe, 400-page volume will set the record straight on the Italian exotic beloved of sheikhs, pop stars, photographers and industrial tycoons. The Miura was the perfect ‘of the moment’ car that turned the motoring world on its head. In this new book, its vibrant ‘Flower Power’ persona will be reflected in stunning design work and graphics by the best in the business. Only 762 copies will be available, reflecting the total number of Miuras built at Sant’ Agata from 1966 to 1972. The Miura Register…

2 min.
black-and-gold fever

FIFTEEN JPS-LIVERIED Lotus Formula 1 cars were displayed at Classic Team Lotus’s new HQ at Hethel, Norfolk, to celebrate the launch of a new book about the iconic black-and-gold John Player Specials. It was the largest number of these cars ever assembled in one place, narrowly beating the previous record set at Snetterton Circuit in 2010 – when 14 JPS cars formed part of a 35-car gathering, representing all the F1 cars raced by Team Lotus in period. In addition to the cars, several key personnel from the JPS days attended the book launch, including former Ayrton Senna chief mechanic Chris Dinnage – who now tests the F1 cars looked after by Classic Team Lotus; Bob Dance, a mechanic for Team Lotus and CTL since 1960; Martin Wade, Lotus race car designer…

1 min.
john harold haynes obe 1938-2019

The man behind the publishing empire that was dramatically reborn, just when all logic suggested it should have been on the wane, has died at the age of 80. Sri Lanka (then Ceylon)-born Haynes ‘published’ his first manual on how to repair, maintain and restore a car after being given permission at school to skip sport in order to build his own Austin Seven Special. The sell-out run of 250 pamphlets was his lightbulb moment. However, the first proper manual – for the Austin-Healey Sprite – was issued in 1966 after he helped rebuild an RAF colleague’s car in Aden and found all the existing literature of little use. Thanks to his illustrative photos, the 3000 run sold in months and a huge publishing house was built off the back of it,…