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Octane September 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

BIANCHI L’EROICA To take part in an Eroica vintage cycling event you need only an eligible bike and the bloodymindedness to keep pedalling the thing along mile after mile of gravel road. The first of those, at least, is easy to come by thanks to Bianchi, whose traditionally constructed and classically beautiful L’Eroica model complies with all race regulations despite being brand new. €2999. bianchieroica.com LEGO APOLLO 11 LUNAR LANDER Released to mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, this 1087-piece model is remarkably true to life and correctly equipped with everything apart from the bacon cubes and peaches that constituted the first meal eaten on the Moon. £84.99. lego.com BMW 3.5 CSL PRINT BY STUDIO BILBEY Illustrator Ian Bilbey tackles the very first BMW Art Car, the 3.5 CSL painted for the 1975 24…

1 min
1961 lincoln continental convertible

THE ‘KENNEDY-ERA’ LINCOLNS, so named for their associations both happy and tragic with President John F Kennedy and family, have seen much renewed interest in the past few years. When introduced in 1961, the clean lines and slab-sided look, designed by Elwood Engel, were a game-changer. Out went the gaudy fins and endless jewellery de rigueur on cars of the 1950s; in came the clean look of the Space Age. These Continentals were quite expensive when new, the convertible selling at $6713. Just 2857 convertibles were built in 1961 but the line continued to 1967. This one in Wimbledon White, with its 7.0-litre V8 and automatic transmission, was described as in ‘good’ condition. That, in auction-speak, is often damning with faint praise. Old cars can be complicated and expensive to restore,…

3 min

Goodwood Festival of Speed 5-7 July The most memorable Festival of Speed in recent years had it all. Aston Martin took pole position on Gerry Judah’s sculpture on the 50th anniversary of Salvadori and Shelby’s Le Mans win in the DBR1. Also 50 this year is the unfortunate Michael Schumacher, who was honoured with a fine selection of cars. Other highlights included a Jackie Stewart celebration and Romain Dumas demolishing the hill record in VW’s electric ID R. BIC€ST€R SUP€R SCRAMBL€, 23 JUN€ Bicester Heritage’s first Super Scramble was a huge success, with 6000 visitors flocking to the former RAF base. Stars included the Rover-BRM turbine car, Napier-Railton and a host of others. HOP€ CLASSIC RALLY, 14-15 JUN€ Now in its sixth year, this unique charity event has so far raised around £1.5 million to…

2 min
first british pilot to break sound barrier

David Lean’s 1952 film The Sound Barrier, and Neville Duke’s book Sound Barrier published the following year, created a romantic historical ideal surrounding the quest to go faster than the speed of sound. After World War Two, Britain was still facing rationing, it had a massive ‘lease lend’ bill to pay off and the war-ravaged country had to be rebuilt. Despite this, the engineering minds of the British aviation industry felt compelled to continue the exploratory work begun during the war to build a supersonic aircraft, a machine which could travel at more than Mach 1.0. That’s around 767mph, depending on atmospheric conditions such as air pressure. After the war, Britain’s Air Ministry signed an agreement with the United States in which the British Miles M52 aircraft designs were handed over. The…

1 min
gaffer tape

Gaffer tape. Strong, sticky, easily torn across the weave if you want it to be, trustworthily robust if you don’t. Ruptured radiator hose? Leaking window? Fluttering numberplate? Frazzled wiring? Departing body panel? Gaffer tape is your friend, your rescuer, for long enough to get you where you need to be, but temporary enough to make sure you have to fix the fault properly. Why ‘gaffer’? Its ubiquity in film studios for holding props together is one possibility (there’s always a ‘gaffer’ on the set, fixing things). People also call it duct tape, or even duck tape. US soldiers gave it that last name during World War Two, when it was invented for their use by Johnson & Johnson’s Permacel division, on account of its resistance to water. It even helped to…

4 min
jay leno

Some of my favourite collectable cars are those I like to call noble failures, cars that were ahead of their time and no-one realised. The 1934 Chrysler Airflow is a good example. Call it the shock of the new, because the 1934 model with its Art Deco streamlining and waterfall grille was so different from the previous model that people just couldn’t take it in, especially the long-wheelbase Imperial version. Luxury cars were supposed to have huge imposing radiators with prestigious-looking hood ornaments like the Rolls-Royce flying lady or the Packard cormorant. They learned their lesson. After that first year they switched back to a more traditional front end. The car I’m writing about today is not so much a noble failure as a forgotten one. I have been after one…