Cars & Motorcycles

Octane November 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 famously good summer

AS I WRITE THIS, rain is tipping down and the sky is dark. But what a summer it’s been. And what a month in particular, book-ended for me by a trip to the USA for Monterey Car Week and the (sodden) Goodwood Revival. Talking about Monterey makes me sound like a show-off, but nowhere else provides such immersion in car culture. Yes, it’s packed with events that star the greatest cars in the world – where else except Pebble Beach would you find Gene Winfield’s Reactor, plus a special Ferrari class and rarities such as Peter Neumark’s Pinin Farina Jaguar XK120 and the Abarth 1000 Record Prototype? But it’s the people too. Amazing enough to bump into Octane regulars Derek Bell and Jay Leno, but then there were Sir Jackie Stewart (above,…

1 min.

IVAN KLIIN ‘Meeting the late George Barris was like hanging out with Elvis. He was king of his era of low-tech sci-fi movies and TV shows in which cars were the heroes. George and his contemporaries influenced our love for cars.’ Evan’s interview with Barris and the XR-6 is on pages 156 to 164 – plus see his Monterey photography from page 116. GUY BIRD ‘Discussing the extraordinary six-decade career of French car design legend Robert Opron with his charming wife Genevieve at their home over a lunchtime Scotch or two, plus a generous helping of Pringles on the side, counts as one of my all-time favourite interview moments.’ What more inspiration do you need? Turn to page 90. SIMON DI BURTON ‘I had my first motorcycle crash at the age of six on a…

2 min.
tvr: back from the dead!

AND SO IT’S HERE at last. TVR, under the passionate leadership of British enthusiast Les Edgar since the marque was wrested from Nikolai Smolenski in 2013, is back with a bang. And a highly credible sports car. It moves on TVR’s tradition of brutal V8 power and the promise of a visceral driving experience by drawing on the sophisticated engineering ideas of none other than Gordon Murray, the man who brought the world the McLaren F1. The new TVR Griffith starred in the Earls Court Motor Show display at Goodwood Revival, with a press call first thing in the morning on the opening day of the event. It was unveiled close to the first TVR ever built, back in 1948, and received with rapturous applause, even if some might have expected…

2 min.
mr tvr speaks

‘FOUR YEARS AGO I bought TVR. How hard could it be? On day two I found out. We held on tight to everything that went before but developed a brand new car, facing a lack of finance and development time. We needed aerodynamics, and we knew a man who could do that. We needed a bombproof engine, and we knew who could do that. This car represents a triumvirate of British names: TVR, Gordon Murray Design and Cosworth. The journey since has taken all our waking hours. ‘The most difficult aspect was to define what TVR means. Physical traits. An awful lot of emotion. Big Brit spirit. It’s rebellious. Shorter than a 911; you can drive it on British B-roads. Then we added tech, though not electronics but the ground-effect aerodynamics…

1 min.
griffith: what’s in the genes

NO TVR model name is better known than the surname of Jack Griffith, the New York importer who in 1964 fitted a Ford V8 in place of the usual MGB motor to make a mad, stub-tailed road rocket. It still looked much the same as the original TVR Grantura launched by company founder Trevor Wilkinson (from whose name came ‘TVR’) in 1957. From that basic shape, via the ‘wedge’ cars of the Martin Lilley era, we see the roots of today’s TVR look in the first new car created under iconoclastic chairman Peter Wheeler. That curvy, thunderously engaging machine, launched in 1991, was also named Griffith. It used a Rover V8 in ever-higher states of tune, though within a few years TVR was building its own engines, potent but not always…

2 min.
news feed

0-400-0km/h in 41.96sec record for Bugatti Chiron Aston Martin once made much of the new DB4’s ability to go from a standstill to 100mph and back to a standstill in half a minute. Now Bugatti’s Chiron has set a world record by hitting a round 400km/h (248.6mph) and braking to a halt in 41.96sec. Racing driver Juan Pablo Montoya did the deed: ‘It was all quite easy,’ he said. ‘Just get in and drive off. Incredible.’ Jaguar XKs to celebrate 70th at Shelsley Walsh The International XK Club is planning ahead for next year’s celebration of the XK’s 70th anniversary. Club founder and author Philip Porter hopes that 700 cars will converge on the Worcestershire hillclimb on 9-10 June. Famous Jaguar racers, the Peters Sutcliffe, Lumsden and Sargent, will be there, as will…