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Octane May 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
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12 Issues

in this issue

3 min
over drive

Storming through a storm VOLVO V60 T8 POLESTAR MATTHEW HAYWARD FAST VOLVO estates are an institution and, while the formula has changed with this T8 ‘Twin Engine’ hybrid, the fundamentals remain the same. It’s understated, functional and quick enough to catch a Porsche driver off guard. The makings of a perfect tool for a quick cross-Channel dash to this year’s Rétromobile, then? This is the V60, the smaller of Volvo’s two estate cars, in the latest and most potent Polestar Engineered form. That means a combined total output of 400bhp, huge Brembo brakes, Öhlins dampers and a range-topping price of £57,205. Part of that impressive output comes from a 2.0-litre, turbocharged petrol ‘four’ with 314bhp, up from 299bhp in the standard T8, but it’s the wallop of electric torque sent directly to the rear…

2 min
bristol gets the bullet

BRISTOL CARS LTD has disappeared for what many believe will be the final time, after the latest incarnation of the company collapsed with huge debts. A previous winding-up order was rejected in 2018, but on 5 March it was confirmed that the company had gone under and its assets would be sold to pay creditors. It was declared bankrupt on 22 January and a liquidator appointed on 3 February. As Octane went to press, the Bristol Owners’ Club was mobilising to save what it can, following the rejection of an appeal against the winding-up order by the courts. Of greatest concern is the potential loss or breaking-up of the company’s archive. A statement from the owners’ club said: ‘This will have a devastating effect on the employees and the first thoughts of the…

2 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 GLEN WADDINGTON Associate editor • 1983 Porsche 944• 1989 BMW 320i Convertible SANJAY SEETANAH Advertising director • 1981 BMW 323i Top Cabrio• 1998 Aston Martin DB7 Volante MARK DIXON Deputy editor • 1927 Alvis 12/50• 1927 Ford Model T pick-up• 1955 Land Rover Series I 107in• 1966 Ford Mustang 289• 1994 Range Rover 4.0• 1997 Land Rover Freelander JAMES ELLIOTT Editor-in-chief • 1965 Triumph 2.5 PI• 1968 Jensen Interceptor JOHN SIMISTER Contributor • 1961 Saab 96• 1972 Rover 2000 TC• 1989 Mazda MX-5 Eunos RICHARD HESELTINE Contributor • 1966 Moretti Sportiva• 1971 Honda Z600 MASSIMO DELBÒ Contributor • 1967 Mercedes-Benz 230• 1972 Fiat 500L• 1975 Alfa Romeo GT Junior • 1979/80 Range Rovers• 1982 Mercedes-Benz 500SL• 1985 Mercedes-Benz 240TD EVAN KLEIN Photographer • 1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super• 2001 Audi TT Quattro MATTHEW HAYWARD Markets…

3 min

IN ASSOCIATION WITH Aston Martin marks the 70th anniversary of the Vantage name 27 February The term Vantage was first applied to a hot Aston Martin DB2 in 1950 and since then more than 36,000 cars have ‘worn’ the name, now synonymous with performance upgrades. To celebrate its 70th anniversary, Aston set up a special photoshoot at Bicester Heritage using variants mainly loaned by owners. Weeks in the planning, it took place over two days at the end of January. This ‘V’ shot alone took half a day, photographer Max Earey using a scissor lift to get the necessary height. RACE RETRO, 21-23 FEBRUARY The way this event at Stoneleigh Park has positioned itself at the very heart of the British historic motorsport community is impressive and was epitomised this year by a touching…

7 min

Book of the month The History of Bentley Motors 1919-1931 CLARE HAY, Number One Press, £335, ISBN 978 0 9535 8275 4 The author’s name is synonymous with definitive books on Bentley, so in a way any review is superfluous because you know from the outset that a Clare Hay book is going to be a good one. Then again, since it’s had almost 30 years to mature, you’d expect it to be. It’s actually two books: volumes one and two of a work that was first published by Osprey in 1993 as Bentley Factory Cars and reprinted with added colour in 1998. This latest edition has been revised and updated to take advantage of 20 years’ further research, and just 500 sets have been produced. The purchase price isn’t insignificant but in years…

4 min
siegfried bettmann

IT’S NOT QUITE TRUE that the creator of Triumph cars, motorcycles and bicycles started his enterprise penniless. Once Siegfried Bettmann had come up with a sound business plan, his family invested £500 in 1889 to kickstart his modest Coventry factory. Actually, the risk was minimal because the first pushbikes were bought in from William Andrews & Co in Birmingham, then jazzed up with ‘Triumph’ decals. Bettmann and his junior partner Mauritz Schulte didn’t actually know how to make anything, but the cycling craze was in full swing and these two former travelling salesmen did know how to cash in. Bettmann, the son of a country estate manager, was born in 1863 into a Jewish family in Germany’s metal-working heartland of Nuremberg in Bavaria. He boldly set off for London aged just 20…