Cars & Motorcycles

Octane December 2017

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.
a fantastic way to burn fuel

IT’S A GOOD SEVEN years since my NSU Ro80 (above) went to a new home, but I still miss it. Not its thirst, good grief no, nor the complexity and rarity that made life so difficult come MoT time or when sourcing replacement parts. But I get really misty-eyed when I think about the way it drove. And for how long I’d wanted one before finally taking the plunge. And for how long I owned it. Why am I telling you all this? Because John Simister has been writing about the Mazda Cosmo, astonishingly now celebrating its 50th birthday. It shares mechanical roots with the Ro80, thanks to that amazing rotary engine. It has similarly singular styling, too. And it’s another of those lovable one-offs that get straight to the heart…

1 min.

STEPHEN ARCHER ‘I can remember seeing DB4GTs on the production line as a young chap and seeing them exercised on tracks in the 1960s by gentleman racers. So to be the first person to test the fabulous “new” DB4GT at Goodwood was a real “pinch me” occasion.’ For the full story on Aston Martin’s DB4GT continuation, see PAGES 62-78. MASSIMO DELBO ‘Fiat 500s are my childhood memories. My mother bought one when I was four months old and it remained our family car until it was stolen in 1983. It was the first car I drove and I learned the art of double-declutching in it. Joining so many others at the 500’s 60th anniversary celebration was magic.’ Turn to PAGES 80-88. JESSE CROSSE ‘Thirty years ago I handed back the keys of “my” Sierra RS…

3 min.
all fired up!

‘C’est brutale mais ça marChe ,’ Émile Levassor said of his gearbox in 1891. 126 years later, the Bloodhound Land Speed Record team might have said something similar when, with a cloud of smoke and a couple of balls of flame, the vehicle’s Rolls-Royce EJ200 military turbofan was coaxed into life for the first time since it was mounted in the five-tonne, 14-metre record car. After setting out from the team’s base in Bristol just a week previously, and having seen four days’ toil solve minor glitches, this was still no easy turn-key operation. Engineer Joe Holdsworth was forced to perform a virtuoso piece of re-coding on the engine’s software out on the airfield to persuade the jet to start rather than shutdown in alarm at low-level electrical interference it doesn’t…

1 min.
bluebird k3 returns to the water

ALMOST 80 YEARS after it established a new world speed record, the ex-Malcolm Campbell Bluebird K3returnedtothewaterin September following a 22-year-long restoration. The hydroplane was acquired in 1988 by Paul Foulkes-Halbard, and his son Karl took to the wheel at Bewl Water, Kent, where he recorded a top speed of 52mph during a series of shakedown runs. The craft was designed by Fred Cooper of Saunders Roe with the intention of smashing the existing record of the American powerboat racer, Garfield Wood. On 1 September 1937, Campbell guided the Rolls-Royce-engined machine to 126.32mph at Lake Maggiore on the Swiss-Italian border. A day later he upped his speed to 129.5mph and the following year breached the 130mph barrier on Lake Hallwyl. K3 was then retired for good and went on display at Thorpe…

1 min.
jaguar’s ski record is snow joke

JAGUAR and Olympic skier Graham Bell beat Bloodhound to thoroughly British speed record glory on 3 October. The pairing bagged the ‘fastest towed speed record on skis’ title. aes, you read that correctly. Following only a couple of practice attempts, Bell and the XF Sportbrake proved to be up to the challenge and achieved an average speed of 117mph at Jaguar Land Rover’s Arctic Revi Test Centre in Arjeplog, Sweden. In doing so, they bested the existing record by 47mph. The firm’s MD Jeremy Hicks said: ‘We’re extremely proud to have supported Graham. It’s this kind of trailblazing activity that really tests our cars to their limit.’…

2 min.
news feed

Goodwood and Pebble Beach dates announced The 2018 Festival of Speed will take place on 12-15 July, the Revival on 7-9 September – subject in both cases to the Formula 1 calendar. The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance will be held on 26 August, a week later than normal to accommodate the US Amateur Golf Championship. Jim Clark Museum reaches its fundraising target Scottish Borders Council has raised £300,000 through its own fundraising activities, to which the Heritage Lottery Fund has added £635,000. With these funds and the council’s own contribution, the £1.6m redevelopment of the Jim Clark Room into a full museum can go ahead. ‘I am thrilled that the dream has come true,’ said Sir Jackie Stewart, honorary president of the Jim Clark Trust. Aston goes underwater Florida-based Triton Submarines has joined with Aston…