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Octane April 2020

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
12 Issues

in this issue

2 min
atechno-marvel in sensible shoes

I’VE ONLY EVER owned one four-wheel-drive car. It was a Lancia Delta Integrale 16V – bought when they still had a bit of almost-new rally god kudos, sold in the midst of that bonkers period when you could barely give them away – so I started pretty much at the top. But in many ways the Integrale was also the bottom. For every memory of mind-boggling on-the-road magic and maximum cool points wherever it was parked – except from my then-girlfriend, who insisted on referring to it as ‘the Nova’, because she was an idiot – there was one of equal agony. No fuel gauge in any car I have ever owned (even the Interceptor!) has sprinted from full to empty as quickly, even making allowance for some very spirited driving. Then…

1 min

STEFAN WARTER ‘I love the Quattro, not just because of its styling but because it is a usable car – and for the sound and power of its five-cylinder engine. My daily drivers are a Volkswagen T4, with a five-cylinder turbodiesel tuned to 190bhp, and a Volvo 850 T5-R, with its five-cylinder turbo tuned to 450bhp.’ Stefan’s Audi images star on pages 64-76. INGO SCHMOLDT ‘Phil Hill, Carroll Shelby, Jim Hall… documenting a Ferrari with such significant provenance from restoration, to racetrack, and to the lawn at Pebble Beach was a joy. Spending time with its custodian, talking about cars and the future of these fabulous machines was the icing on the cake.’ A very special Ferrari: pages 82-92. DALE DRINNON ‘One of the great pleasures of this profession is when a unique car comes matched with…

3 min

Rétromobile 5-9 February The growth of the commercial side of this Paris event continues unabated – virtually all A-list dealers now show there – but it has still retained an essence of the weird and wonderful that made it such a chic must-do showpiece under the guidance of the late Marc Nicolosi and François Melcion. Visitors just have to work a little harder to find the gems than they did in 1976. Star displays in 2020 included a magnificent range of Tatras, from 1897 Präsident replica to 1998 700 – in the aerial walkway (ie, the corridor) between halls that nowadays regularly offers a show highlight – plus a wealth of tractors, and bonkers ASI-Bertone concepts from Volvo Tundra (the inspiration for the Citroën BX) to Lamborghini Genesis V12 people-carrier and Citroën…

4 min
coming up…

27 February – 1March Retro Classics Stuttgart Cars, bikes, commercial vehicles and mountains of automobilia fill 140,000m2 of exhibition space in south-west Germany. As ever, ‘Youngtimer’ modern classics will have a notable presence. retro-classics.de 28-29 February Chester Rally Revival Some stages are open only to entrants, but others can see the pre-1999 rally cars in action at Rednal Circuit in Oswestry. rallyrevival.co.uk 5-7 March Winter Race A field of 70 pre-1977 cars, an expertly plotted route through the Dolomites and some of Europe’s most beautiful mountain scenery, plus snow, snow and more snow. winterace.it 5-7 March Sydney Harbour Concours d’Elegance Following its debut in 2019, ‘the most stylish motoring event in the Southern Hemisphere’ moves to a swanky new venue: Swifts, one of Australia’s grandest homes. sydneyharbourconcours.com 5-8 March Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance Amelia celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2020, but most of the attention at the concours…

3 min
an arizona road trip

MAYBE IT’S SOMETHING in the water, or the lack thereof, but the state of Arizona offers up many classic car sights right out in the open with nary a protective building or rooftop in sight. The desert climate provides an arid environment that inhibits rust, so owners think nothing of keeping classics outdoors. While millions of visitors come to Arizona each year to see a colossal hole in the ground (aka the Grand Canyon), classic-car fans also have plenty to keep them entertained. During a nine-hour, 580-mile road-trip spread out over a few days, they can experience a wealth of seemingly random classic automotive sights, along with Arizona’s beautiful scenery. Start your quest on America’s Mother Road: Route 66. Most people come to Petrified Forest National Park for the magnificent displays of…

4 min
kids, this is where the petrol used to go

SETTING OUT on a journey by classic car is increasingly a game of ‘dodge the legislation’, but Boris Johnson’s announcement of a UK ban on the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars from 2035, possibly earlier, adds new confusion. And that’s not good for owners or the industry, which already senses that the war on the classic motorist, far from ending, is only just beginning. The issue isn’t the ban itself, which won’t directly affect classics, but the uncertainty it creates, combined with waves of legislation coming from authorities now openly hostile to cars. Paris won’t admit classics between 8am and 8pm; London tolerates them (just) if they’re pre-1980; Oxford wants to issue permits; and whole départements of France could force them off the road on the say-so of…