Moving Motor Show at Goodwood Festival of Speed – June 2016

The Goodwood Festival of Speed is surely one of the best known car events in the whole world, having grown in size and popularity every year since its inception in 1993. Even the first event was bigger than expected, with thousands coming through the gates when Lord March had anticipated that he might get a couple of hundred people turn up to share his passion for things automotive. Now, as the event nears its quarter century anniversary, it has blossomed to become the biggest car event in the world, with over 200,000 visitors passing through the gates of the 4 day event. In a way, that is Great News, as it shows that enthusiasm for motor vehicles is as strong as ever, and indeed it has been estimated that this one event alone generates something like £25 million of revenue for the area within a 20 km radius, a further £35 million for the wider area and even a cool £8.5 million in VAT for HMRC’s coffers, but it also brings some challenges. Goodwood is located down a narrow country lane a couple of miles off the A27, a busy road even when this event is not taking place, so tales of traffic jams from people trying to get to the event and away from it are legendary, and with such huge numbers of people attending, once in this all-ticket event, it can be hard to see what you really want to get close to. Realising that three days is still not enough for everyone to get a good look, and spotting the opportunity created in 2009 when there was no national Motor Show any more, the organisers extended the event forwards a day, creating what they called the Moving Motor Show. Here the emphasis is on the new cars, with both static displays by many manufacturers and also the opportunity to take a short test drive up the hill in a number of models (if you are lucky enough to be able to book them). Most of the Festival of Speed content is in place, ready for the main three day weekend meeting as well, so there is also a chance to get see this, albeit as static exhibits rather than in action. The Moving Motor Show itself became very popular quite quickly, encouraged no doubt by the vast number of free tickets that were made available not just by the manufacturers and dealers present but also through other means. This latter was cut off in 2015, with no generally available free tickets that I, or anyone else, could find, so whilst there were still discounted offers around, it did seem that this deterred some from attending, and my unscientific perception is that the event was not quite as busy as it had been in 2014 or 2013. The same applied in 2016, so this is no longer quite the cheap day out that it had been, but as you read through this report, it would be hard to conclude that it was not worth the ticket price, as there proved to be far more to see than you can easily fit into one day. Realising that if I were to try to get behind the wheel of any of the test cars, this would eat still further into the limited time, I chose not to do so and even then there were still areas of the event that I did not get to. Here, then, are the highlights of what I did see, and what – despite the rather unwelcome rain that set in during the day – proved to be a great day out.

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The focus on the Thursday is new cars, and this is achieved by a combination of lines of mostly large display stand constructions as well as the Moving Motor Show itself. The idea here is that those interested can actually get behind the wheel of a car and take it up the hill. A great theory, though of course demand massively exceeds both supply and capacity, and I am somewhat disappointed to see once again that journalists manage to bag a vast percentage of the available slots, completely depriving the public who are nothing like as readily going to get another chance to test the cars as the full-timers are. Cars that are used for the these test runs are parked up in and around a vast long marquee-like construction which also contains rater smaller displays of cars as well as being the place to go to make any last minute bookings and to get car and driver united at the allotted time. It does mean that many of the manufacturers present – and most, but far from all, of those who sell cars in the UK are here – have two separate display areas. With no formal Motor Show in the UK any more, this is the nearest we get, and as such, many use this as the launch platform for their latest product. There were plenty of cars making their debut here and as well as this, a lot of those outdoor stands contain all the sorts of additional displays and attractions that you could expect to find at a conventional Motor Show. You could easily spend all day just looking around at the new cars, but were you to do so, then you would miss so much else that is on show. Accordingly, I allocated the first part of my day to seeing what was on show in the outdoor area, only reaching the marquee piece right at the end of the day, as this is also right by the main public entrance and exit and was this en route back out to the car. By the time I got to this part, most of the stand staff had gone, some of the cars were under covers and the lighting had been reduced as will be evident in the pictures.


Alphabetically first, but in fact this was the very last stand I visited, as Abarth were right by the entrance and exit to the marquee. It was a completely deserted display when I got there. Even so, it was good to see the brand back here, as they not attended in 2015. Reason for doing so, clearly was because they had new product to showcase. Both the Series 4 version of the 595 and the new 124 Spider were making their UK debuts here, and hence there were examples of both on show and indeed –  for the lucky few – available to drive.

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After rumours had circulated all winter following the launch of the facelifted Fiat 500 last year, Abarth finally unveiled the Series 4 at the end of May. Initially, we were told that the cars would not be available in the UK until September, but that seems to have come forward somewhat. Three versions of both the closed car and the open-topped C will be available, all badged 595, and called Custom, Turismo and Competizione, as before. The most significant changes with the Series 4 are visual, with a couple of new colours, including the much asked for Modena Yellow and a different red, called Abarth Red, which replaces both the non-metallic Officina and – slightly surprisingly – the tri-coat pearlescent Cordolo Red. as well as styling changes front and rear. The jury is still out on these, with many, me included, remaining to be convinced. At the front, the new air intake does apparently allow around 15 – 20 % more air in and out, which will be welcome, as these cars do generate quite a lot of heat under the bonnet. Competizione models for the UK retain the old style headlights, as they have Xenon lights as standard, whereas the Custom and Turismo cars have reshaped units. At the back, there are new light clusters and a new rear bumper and diffuser. Inside, the most notable change is the replacement of the Blue & Me system with a more modern uConnect Audio set up, which brings a new colour screen to the dash. Mechanically, there is an additional 5 bhp on the Custom (now 145) and Turismo (now 165 bhp) and the option of a Limited Slip Diff for the Competizione, which is likely to prove a popular option. Details of the interior trim have changed, with a filled-in glovebox like the US market cars have always had, and electric windows switches that are like the US ones, as well as a part Alcantara trim to the steering wheel in Competizione cars. I have to say that I am still getting used to the new look.

There are just three 124 Spiders in the country at present, a white one in right hand drive and two red ones with left hand drive, None are road-registered, but Abarth UK are making them available to various of the dealers for presentation at events around the country in the coming weeks, to stimulate interest and demand in this new addition to the range. Not that they necessarily need to do much of that, as almost all of the launch allocation of cars, which should start to arrive in the UK around the end of September are sold, and it is likely that there will be quite a waiting list after that, as demand will exceed initial supply. That means no discounts, so anyone who wants one of these cars will be paying  from £30k for the privilege of a car which in the metal, I think, looks better than the Mazda MX5 with which it shares much under the skin. Initial reaction from the UK press has been that the changes that make an Abarth as opposed to the regular Fiat version are significant and make the car an absolute blast to drive. Autocar gave it 4.5 stars out of 5, a verdict they rarely bestow on any Italian car unless it comes from Maranello. The Abarth 124 Spider was developed in parallel with the Fiat model. It does cost a lot more, and there are those who think you don’t get enough extra for your money, but those who have driven it will tell you otherwise. You do get more power. The 1.4 MultiAir turbo unit jumps up from 138bhp to 168bhp, while torque also increases by a modest 10Nm to 250Nm, which gives it a  0-62mph time of  6.8 seconds, which is half a second quicker than the 2.0-litre Mazda MX-5. The top speed is 143mph. It weighs just 1060kg meaning a power-to-weight ratio of 158bhp-per-tonne, and with the new Record Monza exhaust system it sounds great even at idle. The Abarth version gets a stiffer suspension setup than the regular Fiat 124 Spider, with Bilstein dampers and beefed-up anti-roll bars. Bigger Brembo brakes also feature, with aluminium calipers. It can be had with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission with paddles, and the latter gets a Sport mode for quicker shifts. The car seen here was sporting the ‘Heritage Look’ pack, which is a no-cost option. It brings a matt black bonnet and bootlid, plus red exterior trim detailing and is likely to be popular. The £29,565 starting price gets you standard equipment such as cruise control, climate control, Bluetooth, a DAB radio and satnav, plus Alcantara black and red (or pure black) seat trim. The automatic gearbox is a £2,035 extra, while an optional visibility pack brings LED DRLs, auto lights and wipers and rear parking sensors. There will be more powerful versions to come, including a monstrous 300bhp Abarth 124 Rally which was shown at Geneva earlier this year.

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After years of waiting, Alfa Romeo finally have a new model, the Giulia. It is not on sale in the UK yet, there are probably another six months to go before customers can finally get their hands on one, but there was one here, along with its namesake from 1963, and not surprisingly, it proved to be a car that everyone did want to inspect close-up. Alfa have focused much of the initial publicity on the very potent Quadrifoglio model, and this will be available from the start, as well as the less powerful but more affordable petrol and diesel models. It has come too late for me, as I have already ordered a replacement for mu Audi S5 Sportback, but let’s hope that this is the car that finally restores Alfa’s fortunes and that lives up to all the promise of its ingredients, every single of which looks tantalisingly good.

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The stand also contained examples of the cars you can buy right now: the MiTo and Giulietta are both firmly established and have only undergone relatively minor changes since launch. They were joined by a 4C Spider.

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A representative selection of Aston Martin models were to be found in the marquee area, with the V12 Vantage, Roadster and Rapide on show here.

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As in previous years, Audi had one of the biggest stands of them all. Right at one end of the long line of other manufacturers, I was hopeful that as well as having lots of cars to look at, and admire – which of course they did – there would also be an area serving drinks, as in previous years. And there was. Open only to owners, a quick flash of an Audi key was enough to enable me to gain access and get a first respite of the day, with refreshing cold libations and cups of coffee. Having completely changed the stand construction for the 2015 event, the same was used this year.  As in the past, it was a massive construction, which would have taken a lot of people quite a long time to erect, with most of the cars on show on what looked like “upstairs”. There was a grandstand area at one end, which gave a good view of some of the test hill, and I have no doubt that for the rest of the weekend, this would have been packed. However, it was the cars that I really came here to see, before that first morning drink, and there were plenty of them.

First Audi I noticed was this second generation R8, one of a number that I would come across around the event during the day. There was another coupe model on the main stand as well as the new Spyder version.

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The approach to the stand area contained a sextet of different Audi models, ranging from the TT Coupe and RS3 to an SQ5, all marked up with “Audi Driving Experience”.

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With such a vast range on offer, there was only space for representative examples of each of the different available model types. Representing the entry level model was this S1, a car whose performance and abilities belies its rather staid looks.

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There were plenty of the big-selling A3 range here including the recently added Saloon version.

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New since this event last year is the latest B9 generation of the A4 and saloon and Avant models were on show and it was joined by the newly released S5 Coupe which will go on sale later in 2016, with a full range of Coupe and Sportback cars.

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Established models on show included the A6 saloon and AllRoad version as well as an S8 Plus.

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The “Q” range of cars has grown to encompass four different models now, with the addition of the Q2 at the bottom of the range. It was joined by examples of the SQ5 Plus, and the larger SQ7 and eTron version.

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Final Audi of note was the hottest version of the TT, the new RS version. The hardcore TT RS has a power output of 395bhp, 50bhp more than the Porsche Boxster S. Features include carbon-ceramic brakes, launch control software and a large fixed spoiler, as well as dual exhausts. Prices will start from around £50k.

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BAC, or more formally, the Briggs Automotive Company, is a British sports car manufacturing company based in Speke, Liverpool, founded in 2009 by brothers Neill and Ian Briggs to produce specialist sports cars targeted at enthusiasts. The company’s first – and  so far, only – vehicle is the Mono, a single seater road-legal sports car. Conceived with the objective of creating a pure driving experience with a central-seat format, it was launched in 2011, the result of a team effort with engineers from Cosworth, Hewland, Sachs, AP and Kumho Tyres all partnered with designers at BAC. The Mono uses carbon fibre composite construction over a steel chassis (with FIA compliant rollover structure) inspired by the construction principles employed in DTM race cars. The nose of the vehicle provides a storage compartment and doubles as impact protection. The Mono is powered by a 2.3-litre four-cylinder Cosworth engine producing 285 bhp and 206 lb·ft a heavily modified Ford Duratec The engine is mounted longitudinally to maintain the centralised balance of the car. The car runs a F3-specification six-speed sequential gearbox developed by Hewland. This gearbox operates a semi-automatic transmission tuned to complete gear shifts in 35 milliseconds. These specifications result in a 0–62 mph time of 2.8 seconds and a top speed of 170 mph. Weight-distribution in the Mono is focused on maintaining a low centre of gravity. The system includes a fully adjustable pushrod suspension system with damping elements made by SACHS Racing. AP Racing developed the retardation and stopping ability of the car. The Mono runs on specifically designed Kumho V70A road tyres. During production, each vehicle is custom-built around the purchaser’s body shape. The size of the seat, pedal reach and steering wheel position are modified in order to suit the individual’s ergonomic requirements. The Mono ran 1:14.3 at the Top Gear test track. This makes it the one of the fastest cars to go around the Top Gear track on road legal tyres. In late 2012, the BAC Mono was featured in Need for Speed: Most Wanted. The BAC Mono also appeared in GRID 2, Driveclub in 2014, and Project CARS and Forza Motorsport 6 in 2015. The car is not cheap, but it is beautifully built. Not surprisingly, it remains exclusive, with fewer than 30 having been built and so far.

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The Bentley stand contained the new and rather controversial Bentayga SUV as well as the Mulsanne Speed.

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From the Continental family were the GT Coupe, the open-topped GTC in Black Edition guise and the latest Flying Spur.

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There were four separate BMW displays. The main stand was in the group of other large manufacturer constructions and there were also some cars parked up in the courtyard, and then a few aisles away from the main stand was another larger focused entirely on M cars, and there was also a small display in the marquee near to where test drivers would start their drive.

The large outdoor stand had quite a focus on BMW’s hybrid and electric technology, with the established but still futuristic looking i8 sports car joined by new plug-in hybrid versions of some familiar cars, including the 330e and the X5 iPerformance.

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Also on show were the 4 Series Gran Coupe and the 2 Gran Tourer as well as the recently refreshed second generation X1.

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The courtyard display concentrated on high-end models and contained a car labelled “Future Iteration” which is a clear hint at the much rumoured forthcoming i8 Roadster as well as the flagship 7  Series and the M6 Gran Coupe and Convertible.

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Also here were a couple of race cars from the 1970s, a Group 5 320i and 3.0 CSLs

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What was called M Avenue contained a mixture of historic and current M cars. The old cars included a 2002 Turbo, an M1, 2002 Turbo, an E30 M3, the M635 CSi, E60 M5,  a Z3 M Coupe and the much revered E46 M3 CSL.

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Current M cars included the recently available M2, the much larger M5 and M6.

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Also here a trio of the middle-sized models, M3 and M4 with the limited production M4 GTS. BMW introduced the M4 GTS concept in August 2015 at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, and then in 2016, released this “production” track-focused version of the standard M4 coupe,  limited to 700 units with a US price tag of $133,205 (and about the same in £ sterling!0  It is powered by the same 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six engine as in the normal M4, but the power has been raised to 500 PS (493 bhp), largely due to a novel water injection system that is the first to be used on a production car in almost twenty years. In addition to the increased engine power, the M4 GTS is 27 kg (60 lb) lighter than the standard M4 Coupé with the DCT transmission, so the weight now stands at 1,585 kg (3,494 lb). The 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) is reduced to just 3.8 seconds, while the top speed is 305 km/h (190 mph). The M4 GTS has, according to BMW, lapped the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 7min 28sec, 24 seconds faster than the base M4, 20 seconds faster than the M3 GTS and the same time as a Porsche Carrera GT.

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Eagerly awaited for some time, the Chiron made its production debut at the Geneva Show back in March, so this was one of the first appearances of the car in the UK and would certainly be the first example that many of the event’s visitors would have seen.  Taking its name from the 1920s and 1930s Grand Prix racer Louis Chiron, whose notable results included victory in the 1931 French Grand Prix at the wheel of a Bugatti Type 51, the new car was previewed by the Vision Gran Turismo concept car at last year’s Frankfurt Show, and seen in public a few times after that, such as at the recent Retromobile, the immensely powerful Chiron aims to occupy the position its highly celebrated predecessor held at the very top of the supercar ladder, one rung above the McLaren P1, Ferrari LaFerrari and Porsche 918 Spyder – all of which have now ceased production. Bugatti describes the second of its modern day models as the most powerful road car to ever reach series production, and it does indeed produce a colossal 1479bhp which means it can reach 62mph in less than 2.5sec – despite weighing 1995kg – and has a maximum top speed of 261mph.. The phrase “series production” is all relative, though, with volumes set to be limited to 500 and a price to match its extreme performance at an eye watering €2.4 million (about £1.9 million) it will remain out of reach for all but the seriously rich. Bugatti boss Wolfgang Dürheimer portrays the quad-turbocharged 8.0-litre W16 powered Chiron as an all-new car that uses little from the Veyron. But while the new Bugatti has been comprehensively re-engineered and now features a full carbonfibre construction, it adopts a similar mechanical package to its record-breaking predecessor. At its heart is a heavily revised version of the quad-turbocharged 8.0-litre W16 configured petrol engine used by the Veyron. With a faintly absurd 1479bhp developed at 6750rpm, the mid-mounted unit delivers 492bhp more than the engine used by the Veyron – in the process providing the Chiron with a power-to-weight ratio of 741bhp per tonne. Torque has also risen by a substantial 257lb ft, peaking at 1179lb ft on a band of revs between 2000 and 6000rpm. Among the more significant developments brought to the Bugatti powerplant is a redesigned carbonfibre inlet manifold, heavily reworked injection system featuring 32 individual injectors, larger and more powerful turbochargers, a revised intercooler system and new titanium exhaust system with a total of six catalysers that is claimed to provide a substantial reduction in back pressure over the old system. In a bid to provide the new Chiron with what Bugatti describes as a more linear delivery of power than the Veyron, the new turbochargers are operated in a two-stage process; during step off just two turbochargers function initially, with the remaining two joining in to boost performance when the engine speed rises above 3800rpm. The colossal reserves are channelled through a reworked version of the Veyron’s seven-speed dual clutch gearbox and multi-plate clutch four-wheel-drive system; the latter has an electronically controlled differential that provides a torque-vectoring function to vary the amount of drive apportioned to each of the rear wheels and the basis for what Bugatti dubs an “easy to drift” function. While it is yet to undergo final certification testing, Bugatti has released preliminary performance figures suggesting it has achieved its stated aim of making the Chiron faster than the Veyron with claims of 0-to-62mph in under 2.5sec, 0 to 124mph in less than 6.5sec and 0 to 186mph below 13.6sec. By comparison, the Veyron posted official times of 2.5sec, 7.3sec and 16.7sec respectively. As before, top speed is limited in two stages; the so-called handling mode allows 236mph before the electrics step in, and the top-speed mode provides a maximum of 261mph, eclipsing the Veyron by 7mph. The chassis of the Chiron is a clear development of the Veyron’s. In a bid to improve ride quality without compromising body control, it adopts an adaptive suspension system, providing variable ride height and damping control. In combination with variable characteristics for a new electro-mechanical steering system and the four-wheel-drive system, the driver can choose between five driving modes: Lift, Auto, Autobahn, Handling and Top Speed. The Lift mode increases the ride height for speed bumps, while in Auto, Autobahn and Handling modes the top speed is limited to 236mph. To engage Top Speed mode, the Chiron requires a ‘Speed Key’, which alters the engine management system to provide the claimed 261mph maximum. Reining in the vast performance are 420mm front and 400mm rear carbon-ceramic discs grabbed by eight-pot and six-pot calipers respectively. They provide the Chiron with a claimed 62 to 0mph in 31.3m, 124 to 0mph in 125m and 186 to 0mph in 275m – in each case eclipsing the various claimed braking distances of its predecessor. Borrowing strong visual cues from the earlier Veyron, the new Chiron features an even more dramatic design with tauter surfacing, bolder details and added aerodynamic efficiency than that of the car it replaces. The man credited with the new appearance, Bugatti design boss Achim Anscheidt, says it was developed in close collaboration with Bugatti’s engineering team to ensure greater functionality without any loss in overall impact. Key design elements include a race-grade front splitter, large horizontal air ducts, a traditional horseshoe-shaped grille sporting a Bugatti badge fashioned from silver and enamel, distinctive LED headlamps – each with four individual lenses and integrated air ducts that feed cooling air to the front brakes, shapely front wings and a flamboyant semicircular sweep of bodywork extending from the trailing edge of its front wheelarches back towards the rear and into the A-pillars – the latter flourish clearly inspired by the look originally established by Jean Bugatti on the iconic Type 57. As on the Type 57, there is also a prominent centre fin running from the top of the grille across the bonnet and into the heavily rounded roof, providing an important contribution to the Chiron’s longitudinal stability, according to Bugatti. A NACA duct formed by shapely rear pillars replaces the individual air scoops used by the Veyron, channelling air into the engine bay more efficiently and with less turbulence than on its predecessor. It is at the rear where the more significant differences in appearance between the Veyron and Chiron are apparent, with a strong trailing edge, fully integrated rear spoiler, full width LED light band housing the tail lamps, indicators and reserving lamp, sizeable air ducts, large central mounted exhaust and race grade diffuser providing the new Bugatti with a particularly purposeful appearance from behind. Dimensionally, the Chiron remains close to its predecessor. At 4544mm long, 2038mm wide and 1212mm tall, it is 82mm longer, 40mm wider and 53mm higher than the Veyron. The similarities also extend to the wheelbase, which is just 1mm longer, at 2711mm. The Chiron sits on 285/30 R20 ZR tyres at the front, with 355/25 R21 ZR rubber at the rear. The basis for the new Bugatti is provided by a newly developed carbonfibre monocoque structure of the same standard as that used in Audi and Porsche’s LMP1 cars. In a departure from that used by the Veyron, it adopts a sandwich construction for the floor and a carbonfibre-reinforced plastic engine cradle at the rear for added stiffness and lower structure weight. Yet achieving the sort of stiffness achieved by the latest LMP1 race cars, the Chiron is155kg heavier than its predecessor at 1995kg. The increase in width has brought greater space to the two-seat interior and in particular the front wheel wells of the Chiron, according to Bugatti. Greater height has also liberated 12mm extra headroom compared with the Veyron. The cabin is trimmed in a combination of leather, carbonfibre and brushed aluminium. Among the new developments is a passenger airbag that deploys through carbonfibre – a first for a production vehicle. The Chiron will be assembled at Bugatti’s headquarters in Mosheim, France. So far, Bugatti has received more than 150 orders for the new car, and deliveries will begin in October, with existing Veyron owners being given priority in the queue. Further variants of the Chiron are planned to be launched, including successor models to the Veyron Grand Sport, Veyron SuperSport and Veyron Grand Vitesse. It is likely that the car will be in “production” until about 2024.

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Although GM pulled the majority of the Chevrolet models that had been available in Europe, in favour of the locally designed and produced Vauxhall/Opel models, the “bow tie” brand has not completely disappeared, as if you still want one of the performance models, they are available to order through the one remaining dealer. You will get a left hand drive car, but that’s unlikely to be a particular deterrent for someone who wants something as specialised as a Corvette C7. Several examples of the latest C7 cars were on show here, including the more potent ZO6 cars.

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There was also an example of the original Camaro.

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Sales of bargain-priced Romanian brand Dacia continue to grow as more and more people find favour with the idea of a car that is not over-burdened by technology and features which few even really want. There was a small stand area in the marquee with examples of the three different body styles sold in the UK, the Duster, Sandero and Logan MCW.

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Some of the Ferrari models were in fact the very first cars that I saw, as they were parked up outside the marquee, still dripping with condensation. At the end of the day I came across the indoor display in the marquee, and noted that there were examples of all the regular V8 models in the range: California T,  488 GTB and Spider. The California T was making its debut here with the new  Handling Speciale – or HS – pack. It uses the same turbocharged 3.9-litre V8 as the regular California T, adding a bespoke chassis set-up, exhaust and standard carbon-ceramic brakes to make it a louder and harsher-riding sports car but one that’s far apparently more satisfying to drive on the limit.

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Ford had a very large outdoor stand once again, and had resisted the temptation to cram too many cars on to the multi-storey construction, placing many of their exhibits on the grass surrounding the stand.

Truly sporting Ford models on show were the Focus RS and ST as well as the smaller and highly rated Fiesta ST.

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Making their debut were ST-Line versions of a number of different models. This is a new trim, which replaces Zetec S and is offered across many of the models in the range. Seen here were ST-Line versions of the Mondeo Estate and Focus.

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Also displayed were some of the crossover models from the range, with the S-Max, Kuga, EcoSport all on show. These were joined by three models with their roots in America, but under the One Ford program are now being sold in Europe. These are the Mustang, the Edge crossover and the Ranger pickup.

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The new GT was making another appearance, having done so at this event in 2015.

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Ford’s rallying heritage was brought to our attention with a Focus RS rally car.

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In the marquee, it was sporting Fiesta models which I noticed with the regular Fiesta ST joined by the new Fiesta ST200. Ford’s hottest production Fiesta made its world debut at the Geneva Show earlier in the year, but Goodwood was the first chance for the British public to lay their eyes on it. The new ST200 builds on the performance of the regular ST to produce up to 212bhp and uses revised chassis settings to offer sharper performance.

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Star of the Honda stand was the new, and long and eagerly awaited NSX, deliveries of which to UK customer should get underway in the coming months.

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There were plenty of examples of the Civic here, with a focus on the sporting end of the range marked by the presence of the highly rated Type R and also one of the BTCC cars.

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Also present were the other models in Honda’s relatively limited range of cars, the Jazz and the HR-V and the stand contained Honda bikes and racing cars.

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Lots to see, and lots of people to see it, on the Jaguar half of the JLR stand. Centre of attention was the long awaited F Pace, which carried forward the much-praised looks of the C-X17 concept almost unchanged.

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Jaguar have also refreshed their saloon car range in the last couple of years, with the second generation XF joined by the smaller XE and the larger XJ which was shown here in top-spec XJ -R guise.

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The F Type was far from forgotten and the “regular” car was joined by the new top of the range SVR model, which was making its debut here. A product of Jaguar Land Rover’s SVO (Special Vehicle Operations) division, the new range-topping F-Type SVR is capable of reaching 200mph. The 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine produces 567bhp and sends this F-Type from standstill to 62mph in less than four seconds. It’s available as both a convertible and a coupe.

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Among the attractions available from the stand was a short ride in an F Type, where passengers would be shown just some of what the car can do in terms of explosive acceleration, cornering prowess and the ability to stop rather abruptly. Late in the day the queues for this had diminished somewhat, but I decided to press on as there was so much else I had not seen and time was running out.

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The Lamborghini stand was on the opposite side of the main alleyway to the other manufacturers, backing onto the track. It was not open to the public, but there were cars on show that everyone could enjoy from the other side of the fencing. These were a racing Huracan Super Trofeo as well as road-going versions of the Huracan in the new limited edition Avio form and the Aventador S.

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Land Rover’s ever growing range was well represented here on the stand that they shared with Jaguar, with examples of each of the 5 basic different models that constitute the current portfolio. Newest addition is the Range Rover Evoque Convertible, a car probably built more for other markets than our own, but which will doubtless find some sales here, as it is without direct rival. How well it fares will be interesting to see, as the last attempt at a crossover cabrio, the ill-fated Nissan Murano CC, was a sales disaster.

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Joining it were examples of the regular, Evoque, the Discovery Sport, Discovery 4, Range Rover Sport and the full-on Range Rover.

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Land Rover had also set up a special obstacle course, with all manner of different ways of demonstrating the amazing capabilities of their entire range when subjected to extreme gradients up and down, or situations where only some of the wheels were in touch with the ground. It was impressive just to watch. Sadly there was not time to be taken round as a passenger.

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In recent years, Lego has undergone something of a transformation, finding appeal with an older audience as well as being purely something for kids, with their replicas of iconic cars proving popular. Whilst these are something that you can assemble in a few hours and display quite readily at him, they have applied the idea to building full-size replicas for show purposes, and at this event there was a  Porsche 911 constructed from these plastic bricks in display.

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There were plenty of Lexus models here, split between the main stand outside and a display in the marquee area. The first of their cars I actually came across parked up outside as I walked into their site, and these were the GS-F saloon and related RC-F coupe.

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This was the first time that the flagship new LC500 was being seen in Britain, following its production debut a few months back and after a not-dissimilar looking car had been presented at various Motor Shows around the world. More of a GT than an sports car in concept, the styling will not appeal to everyone – as is the case with ever current Lexus – but there is no doubting the quality of execution and the sumptuousness of the interior. It is bound to sell well in America, where Lexus performs strongly in the market, but how many buyers it will find in Europe remains to be seen.

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Lexus’ European sales are heavily dominated by their crossover models which means that the latest generation RX seen here is an important car.

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The stand also contained the dramatic LF-A. Lexus’ first, and only supercar had a very long gestation. The story goes back to February 2000 when development work started on a supercar project codenamed P280, which was intended to showcase the performance capabilities of Toyota Motor Corporation and its Lexus marque. The first prototype was completed during June 2003, and early prototypes were spotted regularly undergoing testing at Nürburgring, from October 2004. Numerous test vehicles had been equipped with automatic retractable rear wings, and carbon ceramic brake discs. In January 2005, the first LF-A concept premiered at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, as a design study with no plans for production. This first LF-A concept had an overall length of 4,399 mm (173.2 in), 13 cm (5 in) shorter than the Porsche 911 Turbo (996) while its wheelbase measured 2,581 mm (101.6 in), or about 23 cm (9 in) longer. The concept was nearly 1,219 mm (48 in) in height, with a width of 1,859 mm (73.2 in). Some reported that the concept name referred to Lexus Future-Advance, a claim later dismissed by Chief Engineer Tanahashi. The first LF-A concept featured a glass roof and side cameras mounted in the side mirrors. Twin rear radiators were installed behind the rear wheels, and visible behind large screens. The rear bumper featured a triple exhaust placed in an inverted triangle formation. The wheels were shaped like turbines, and air-scoops were placed on the C-pillars. Following enthusiastic public reaction for the LF-A concept on the autoshow circuit, development continued with a greater emphasis on a possible production model. Concurrently, Lexus was preparing for the launch of its long-rumuored F marque series of performance vehicles, with a production LF-A being a possible future member of this lineup. Reports in 2006 suggested that the LF-A concept car had received the green-light for production, however these reports were not officially confirmed. Following the original LF-A concept, development time was lengthened by the switch from an aluminium frame to a carbon fibre tub, the result of engineering efforts aimed at improving the LF-A’s power-to-weight ratio. The LF-A was reported to draw engineering resources from Toyota’s Formula One team. In January 2007, a restyled LF-A concept car premiered alongside the first production F marque vehicle, the IS F sports sedan. The second LF-A concept featured a more aerodynamic exterior, a near-production interior, and F marque emblems. Later that year, Lexus GB director Steve Settle indicated plans for a V10 and hybrid version of the LF-A. The hybrid version, combining a petrol engine with electric motors, would likely feature a V8 powertrain similar to that designed for the Lexus LS 600h L. LF-A test mules continued to be spotted at the Nürburgring, including early models with a large, fixed rear wing. In December 2007, Auto Express reported that the LF-A had set an unofficial 7:24 lap record at the Nürburgring.In January 2008, Lexus displayed a roadster version of the LF-A concept car designated LF-A Roadster or LF-AR at the North American International Auto Show. Initial specifications for the roadster were a V10 engine under 5.0 litre with over 500 hp and a top speed of over 320 km/h (200 mph). Automotive photographers capturing the LF-A in various test guises had photographed a disguised drop-top test model, dubbed LF-A Spyder, on the Nürburgring as early as October 2005. After its debut at the 2008 North American International Auto Show, the LF-A Roadster was also shown at the 2008 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the 2008 Geneva Motor Show, the United States Open Championship tournament, and at Lexus exhibits in Japan. A single LF-A racing prototype was also entered into Veranstaltergemeinschaft Langstreckenpokal Nürburgring endurance races at the Nürburgring in May 2008, competing in the SP8 class of VLN events. Media reports uncovered an LFA trademark filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in December 2008, with the concept LF-A name dropping its hyphen to become LFA for a possible production model. The second LF-A concepts had an overall length of 4,460 mm (175.6 in), and a wheelbase of 2,598 mm (102.3 in); height remained the same as the prior concept, while width grew to 1,895 mm (74.6 in).While the original LF-A had been strictly a concept model, the second concept’s design reflecting engineering analysis for possible production. The exterior design had been restyled to take advantage of the flexibility offered by carbon fibre construction, with improved aerodynamics and surface features aimed at improving the coupe’s overall top speed The reshaped exterior featured smoother lines with additional detailing, and more curved surfaces. The aft radiator cooling vents were retained, but integrated into the rear fascia, and the lower side and front air intakes were restyled, along with the forward fascia and headlamps. Designers reportedly drew inspiration from the 1965 Toyota 2000GT sports coupe, which was also produced in a front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout, and represented the combination of Japanese technology and design ethics in an supercar However, no design features on the LF-A were directly derived from the 2000GT. The second LF-A concept and accompanying LF-A Roadster were also equipped with a retractable rear wing for improved handling at speed and a two-seat interior with a two-tone colour scheme. On August 5, 2009, Toyota’s new CEO, Akio Toyoda, publicly confirmed production of the LF-A in his speech at a conference held at the Center for Automotive Research in the United States.  The production vehicles were expected to carry V10 engines, putting the car in market competition with the Lamborghini Gallardo, Ferrari F430, the Porsche 911 (997), and the Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1. Pricing was estimated at close to US$400,000. Two LF-A prototypes had also competed at Nürburgring VLN endurance races in mid-2009. In September 2009, reports in Japanese automotive magazines indicated that the 4.8 L V10 engine for the LF-A would carry a 1LR designation. A subsequent television ad for the Japanese market showed the pre-production LFA testing at the Fuji Speedway.On October 21, 2009, the production Lexus LFA was unveiled on the first press day of the 41st biennial Tokyo Motor Show. The vehicle was introduced by Akio Toyoda at a press conference, in which it was disclosed that the vehicle would be limited to 500 production copies. The vehicle carried the same designation as the concepts, LFA, but without the hyphen. The production designation reportedly stood for Lexus Fuji Apex, another claim dismissed by Chief Engineer Tanahashi. The LFA was shown as the final vehicle of the press conference, following the LF-Ch hybrid concept. Pricing details at the show was estimated at US$375,000. The production announcement for the LFA supercar marked the 20th anniversary of the launch of Lexus. Given the high cost of construction and development, analysts did not expect LFA sales to be profitable. However, the coupe was intended to serve as a testbed for new car technologies, including carbon fibre mass-production, and related performance vehicle development. At its debut, a circuit-ready model was also indicated for 2012 release. Lexus began taking orders for the LFA supercar on October 23, 2009. Buyers were selectively chosen by Lexus in the second quarter of 2010.  Production began in December 2010 as a 2011 model. Only 500 total LFA models were scheduled to be made worldwide, with only 20 produced each month. Each car had to be custom ordered to the customer’s specifications, and cost approximately US$375,000, depending on options and customisation. Following the LFA’s release at the Tokyo Motor Show, Lexus unveiled a website with a ‘LFA configurator’ which allowed users to select exterior and interior colours, brake caliper colours, seats, steering wheel leather, and other interior designs. In total, there were over 30 billion possible configurations. Each LFA was hand-built by a dedicated production team of engineers and specialists at Toyota’s Motomatchi plant in Aichi, Japan. In the North American market 150 LFAs were initially sold through a two-year lease program much like the Ferrari F50. This was to prevent owners from reselling the vehicle for a profit. Racing driver Scott Pruett was hired to give test drives to interested buyers, demonstrating the vehicle’s capabilities at Auto Club Speedway. The Lexus division of Toyota Motor USA stopped taking orders at the end of 2009, at which time they planned to open discussions about a purchase plan for the lessees. Lexus later changed their stance and allowed outright purchase, but only on the condition that they sign an agreement giving the dealer first right of refusal to buy back the LFA if the owner wanted to sell it within the first two years. The dealer would have the option to buy back the used LFA for either fair market value or the original sticker price, whichever is lower. In the European market buyers ordered their LFA through a single Lexus dealer located in Park Lane, London where they were purchased outright. During LFA production, each vehicle received an individually numbered plaque, indicating the unit’s place in the production run. Each LFA V10 engine carried the signature of the specialist who assembled it. With 20 units produced monthly, production of the entire LFA extended from December 2010 to December 2012. Production ended on December 14, 2012, with LFA #500, in white, Nürburgring package. When production ended, no successor was scheduled.

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Lexus had an area in the marquee as well, with the mid-sized NX crossover and the RC 300H on show here.

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Lotus cars were represented not by the manufacturer, but by one of their long established and renowned dealers, Bell & Colvill, who had a comprehensive display which encompassed the latest versions of the Elise, Exige and Evora. Although there has been no completely new design from Lotus for several years, there have been plenty of updates, which have almost always added power, as well as making the cars better to drive in other respects. Keeping track of all the different versions of each model range now is no mean feat!

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A small display of Maserati models was contained in the marquee, with lone examples of the Ghibli and Quattroporte saloons as well as the recently launched Levante SUV, which will become available in the country later in the year and which is expected to become the best-seller in the range.

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Mazda’s large stand contained examples of all the current range, but it was the MX-5 which took pride of place, with the new MX-5 RF making its European debut here. The 2016 model features a retractable hard-top to create a coupé-esque roofline and better insulation. Despite all that extra metal, the RF adds only 40kg to the regular MX-5’s kerb weight, and given the practical benefits, it’s expected to be the strongest seller of the current MX-5 line-up in Britain.

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Joining the MX-5 RF was the new MX-5 Icon, also making its debut. With only 600 Icon MX-5s due to be made, it represents another limited-edition MX-5 alongside the Sport Recaro. It has the same engine as the base MX-5 but comes with a raft of extras and exclusive exterior design.

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Also here were the Mazda 2 and CX-3.

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More examples of the MX-5 were in the marquee area.

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Once again, McLaren had a huge stand-alone display area, with plenty of space to show off both their current cars as well as great examples from the back catalogue.  Roadcars included the new 570S and 570GT, as well as the 650S and the 675 LT Spider and a GT3 version of the 650S.

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A number of McLaren’s race cars were here, too, marking 50 years since the company first entered Formula 1. The MP4-2C was the championship winning car from 1986. The MP4/2 was virtually unchanged in 1986, with the exclusion of some tweaking in aerodynamics which saw it dubbed the “MP4/2C”, while Prost was joined by Finn Keke Rosberg, the 1982 World Champion when driving for Williams. Rosberg was expected to not only be faster than Prost, but also to push for Prost’s championship. However, the Finn’s style of driving was not suited to the MP4/2C and his task was made difficult by John Barnard’s refusal before mid-season to allow him to change the set up to suit (coincidentally, by the time Barnard relented, he had announced he was leaving McLaren for Ferrari at the end of the year). It was only after Rosberg announced his retirement from F1 prior to the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim that Barnard allowed Rosberg to change how his car was set up, the only race of the year Rosberg’s qualified on pole position. Rosberg’s main problem with the car, other than his heavy right foot which saw him run out of fuel in a few early season races, was that Barnard had originally designed the car to suit the smoother driving styles of Prost and Niki Lauda, while Rosberg had never shaken the ground effects style of late braking and throwing the car into a corner. Before Barnard relented on setup, the Finn was always quick, but was mostly outshone by his team mate and unfortunately for Rosberg, by the time he was able to set up the MP4/2C to his liking the championship for him was lost. By 1986 the Williams FW11 had overtaken McLaren as the best car; notably, the MP4/2’s mileage was not as good as it was in 1984, with the fuel tank reduced in size from 220 litres to 195 litres (the TAG’s fuel mileage was hurt by the increased speeds). Nelson Piquet had left Brabham to join Nigel Mansell at Williams and the two fought a fierce internal battle, while Prost cleverly built up his points total and snatched 4 wins from under the Williams teammates’ noses. His second world championship was won more by stealth than speed as by now it was clear the TAG Porsche engine was past its best. The TAG-Porsche V6 engine was producing some 850 bhpin race trim by 1986 compared to 900 bhp of the Honda, Renault and BMW engines. In qualifying BMW was rated the most powerful at 1,400 bhp, Renault and Honda engines had approximately 1,200 bhp. Ferrari allegedly had the same amount of power as the Honda’s, but their Ferrari F1/86 was uncompetitive on all but the smoothest of tracks and was generally not a threat. Prost won his second championship in dramatic circumstances at the season ending Australian Grand Prix. Going into the race, Prost trailed Mansell by 7 points with Piquet a further 2 behind Prost. Rosberg, in his last ever F1 Grand Prix, cleared out early and built up a 30-second lead before suffering a tyre failure on lap 62 (he later admitted he would not have won anyway as if it was needed he planned to give best to Prost in his attempt to win his second championship). Just one lap later on the same piece of road, Mansell suffered the same, but a much more spectacular tyre failure at some 180 mph (290 km/h) on the high-speed Brabham Straight which ended his race. Piquet, who had inherited Rosberg’s lead then pitted for tyres to avoid a repeat of Mansell’s problem and handed the lead to Prost (himself having stopped on lap 30 to replace a puncture). Prost went on to win from Piquet and Ferrari’s Stefan Johansson (who would replace Rosberg at McLaren for 1987) to secure his second World Championship and become the first driver to win back-to-back championships since Jack Brabham had won in 1959 and 1960. The MP4/2 won 22 Grands Prix (Prost, 16; Lauda, 6), took 7 pole positions (Prost, 6; Rosberg, 1), and scored 327.5 points throughout its three-year career. It contributed to 2 Constructors’ and 3 Drivers’ championships, and remains the most successful chassis in F1 history.

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This is an M15 Offenhauser. From the mid-1960s, McLaren quickly emerged as a leading racing car manufacturer. The Colnbrook based company had increasing success in Formula 1 and absolutely dominated the lucrative Can-Am series in North America. A logical next step was to go for glory in the Indy 500. The final decision to build a McLaren Indy car came in 1969 after team driver Denny Hulme was forced to retire while running as high as 2nd in a works Eagle. Although there were some similarities between the two types of racing, the task ahead was not quite as simple as converting the existing F1 design. Designer Gordon Coppuck, actually broadly based the new ‘M15’ on the successful Can-Am racers. He drew a relatively wide aluminium monocoque chassis, which provided ample space on both sides of the driver for the fuel tanks. Three sheet-steel bulkheads spread over the monocoque added much needed strength for the heavy loads experienced on the high-speed oval tracks. Bolted directly onto the rear bulkhead was an Offenhauser four cylinder engine. The nearly forty-year old design had been given a new lease of life through the addition of a Garrett turbocharger. It had replaced the much more recent quad-cam Ford V8 as the engine of choice in the USAC championship, which included the Indy 500. Displacing 2.65 litre, the twin-cam unit produced a hefty 650 bhp at 9,000 rpm. The engine was not mounted fully stressed as two a-frames connected the tub to the bell-housing. Most suspension components were sourced from the parts bin normally used for the McLaren M8 Can-Am cars. At the front the M15 was suspended by lower wishbones, top links and single radius arms. The rear end featured a four-speed version of the Hewland LG500 gearbox to which reversed lower wishbones and single top links were connected. Twin radius arms held the suspension in place. A square nose housed the radiator while the engine cover sported a small wing. The M15 was finished in McLaren’s trademark papaya orange. McLaren’s first Indy-racer was completed late in 1969 and shipped to Indianapolis for testing immediately. Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme both tested the car and they even received some advice from highly experienced Indy racer Bobby Unser. Denny averaged 168 mph on his fastest lap while Bruce got up to speed quickly and ran a 162 mph lap. For the race in May 1970, two new chassis were built for Denny and Chris Amon to drive. Splendidly finished the McLaren M15s were admired by all in the paddock. Amon struggled at his Indy debut and requested to be replaced before qualifying. Soon after McLaren was down to no drivers as Denny was badly burned. One of the quick-release caps used to release air from the tanks while refueling had come loose. The ‘Bear’ was quickly soaked in methanol and braking only worsened the situation. Once the fuel hit the hot turbocharger, the car was engulfed in invisible flames. Hulme eventually jumped out at 70 mph. He suffered severe burns to the hands and for a while it was feared he’d loose some fingers. Drafted in to replace the two men from New Zeeland were the young and upcoming Peter Revson and fellow American Carl Williams. Revson ran an impressive race until he was forced to retire and Williams did manage to cross the line, in ninth. The cars were rebuilt and entered in the inaugural California 500 at Ontario Motor Speedway. Revson inherited the lead late in the race but lost valuable time when his engine failed to start during he final pit stop. He finished fifth, one place behind Gordon Johncock in a privately entered M15. With the death of Bruce McLaren the week after the difficult Indy 500 debut, it was an altogether devastating season for the McLaren team. They dealt with it all admirably well and Hulme provided some consolation by winning the Can-Am title despite his badly burned hands. The first year of Indy racing had taught the team valuable lessons, which were applied in the McLaren M16 that was readied for the 1971 season. It would go on to win the big race three times in the following years.

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This one is an M8D Chevrolet, a car developed for the 1970 Can-Am season.  The M8 series started out  as the McLaren M8A, a race car developed by driver Bruce McLaren and his Bruce McLaren Motor Racing team for their entry in 1968 Can-Am season. The M8A and its successors dominated Can-Am racing for four consecutive Can-Am seasons, until the arrival of the Porsche 917. The M8D was the fourth iteration of the car. The high strut-mounted rear wing of the M8B had been banned by Can-Am, so the M8D’s rear wing was mounted low on fins, earning the car the nickname “Batmobile”. The Chevrolet V8 was again built by Bolthoff, who enlarged the engine to 7,620 cc. It now developed 670bhp at 6800rpm with 600 lb⋅ft (810 N⋅m) of torque.

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The Mercedes stand is set apart from the others. If you come out of the end of the Moving Motor Show marquee and head across the bridge that takes you over the track and to where all the other attractions are, it is the first stand you get to, set back to the left. With the strategy of leaving the Moving Motor Show element til later in the day, that meant this was the first stand I reached, and just like last year, it was not open, as I was quickly, and rather rudely told by a couple of the stand staff, so my initial sightings of what was on display were confined to what could be seen from the one open edge of the large and otherwise enclosed display area. It was clear that there was plenty that was worth coming back for which I duly did, though of course by that time, there were plenty of other people also on he stand, so it was rather harder to get a look at the cars and to get photos.

First car which I could see and photo from outside the stand was the S Class Cabriolet, the latest addition to what is now a family of different models at the top of the range. This one is aimed more at luxury boulevard cruiser than the more overtly sporting SL. There was one of those here, too, in AMG SL63 guise.

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Also bearing SL badging was a car from the start of the series, the legendary 300SL Roadster.

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Other cars that I did manage to photo were the new AMG E43 Estate and the latest version of the SLC sports car.

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So if you are a tyre manufacturer, how do you entice people on to your stand to look at your products? Easy: assemble a mouth-watering array of supercars, preferably ones that are not on show anywhere else in the event, and the crowds will surely come. And that is exactly what Michelin did. They had a stand at least as big as many of the car manufacturers, and sure enough there was plenty of information about their own products available and displayed, but surrounding the perimeter, and indeed filling much of the middle, were some fabulous and rather rare machines such as the Ginetta G57 and the Arash AF8 supercar as well as the more everyday such as an Audi A4.

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There were examples of each of the different body styles offered in the MINI range. Among them were a couple of cars making their debuts. First of these was the Mini Seven. Priced from  £18,545, the Seven comes with a 6.5in screen housing Mini’s latest infotainment system, with smartphone connectivity and automatic dual-zone climate control. Add the optional Chili Pack and the Seven also comes with leather seats and sat-nav.

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Making its debut here was the MINI JCW Challenge, MINI’s fastest production car yet, and one confined to UK markets and limited to 100 units. This is a track-focused car and takes its inspiration from the MINI Challenge race series. As well as slightly more power, with the car now boasting 210 bhp, there are plenty of mechanical upgrades, which include a quartet of four blue coil springs with camber-adjustable top mounts, a pair of these Nitron coilovers, all four of them height-adjustable and a Quaife automatic torque-biasing limited-slip differential. There is a carbonfibre-tipped JCW Pro sports exhaust whose straight-through valve is operated by remote Bluetooth controller, a set of drilled and grooved disc brakes and four lightweight Team Dynamics 17in gloss black-coated alloy wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres. Partly the brainchild of Mini UK brand boss Nikolaus Griebner, this MINI derivative is unusual for having been developed entirely in the UK, in a workshop called Building 71 that also prepares some of the Mini racers several employees campaign in the Challenge series. As you might gather from the tally of components, this is a Mini aimed directly at the (very) keen driver. “I want John Cooper Works to be the first address for enthusiasts of hot hatches,” says Griebner, a racer himself and a man who clearly has his sights set on winning away some Renault Sport and hot Ford business. The basic idea was to build a JCW Mini that’s closer in character to the Mini Challenge race car developed in 2014, which is, according to Griebner, like a small touring car. “So why not link the two?” he says. “I drove both and thought we could do something.” That something involved a conversation with Oxford-based Mini development engineers Jim Loukes and Chris Fryer, resulting in the trio hatching a plan to sharpen a Mini JCW hatch with Challenge racer parts, although with the difference being that this car would be usable every day despite its track ambitions. Which is why the rear seat remains despite the absence of such furniture in the limited-edition Mini JCW GP, the 17in wheels are not the biggest a Mini can wear and the non-run-flat tyres have surprisingly tall sidewalls, these last two selections aimed at delivering an acceptably pliant ride. The spring rates are unchanged for the same reason, with an required extra firmness achieved via the adjustable – and refurbishable – Nitron dampers. The front pair couldn’t be easier to adjust once you’ve opened the bonnet, but to alter the rears you must grub about under the Mini’s rear end and remove a protective sleeve before doing your twisting. It’s easy once your fingers know where to go, though. Saving weight has also been a minor mission, which is why the Challenge only comes in one specification. So there’s air conditioning, but it’s the lighter, manually adjusted variety, and there’s no sat nav (it’s a 4-5kg add-on, apparently). The result is that the Challenge weighs 1215kg, but it comes with Bluetooth, pleasingly grippy front seats, a bespoke handbook, tools for adjusting the front shockers and, rather unexpectedly, a spare set of narrower Pirelli P-Zero-shod alloys for winter. Mini Challenge décor includes various JCW Pro accessories, including an aero pack and carbonfibre elements, and the body is decorated with stripes over the white silver metallic paint that is the only colour available. All this lot does not come cheap, as the price premium is a not inconsiderable £9000 over a car which was hardly a bargain to start with.

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Also here was the Superleggera concept. This was first seen back in 2014 at Villa d’Este and then again later in the year at the Paris Show. At the time, there were hints that this could be evolve into a production model, though the rumour mill has gone very quiet about that intent since then. So for now, it remains a one-off model, much in the likes of the BMW Group’s previous Concorso d’Eleganza concepts made in collaboration with design firms such as the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso V12 and BMW Z4 Zagato. When presented, BMW Group design chief Adrian van Hooydonk said the concept is an “elegant automobile which interprets a British roadster under the influence of Italian style and hand craftsmanship.” The exterior of the car blends typical Mini design elements with traditional styling cues from Britain’ illustrious roadster and speedster past along with some Italian flair, while inside, it’s back to basics with a minimalistic approach that allows the owner to focus on driving. “MINI and Touring both believe that proportions are the key factor of beauty, and share the same values of essentiality and innovation” said Louis de Fabribeckers, Head of design of Touring Superleggera. “In this car all unnecessary equipment or decoration is sacrificed, as performance is gained through lightness and efficiency of the bodywork and interior. The Italian touch is in the proportions and the typical waistline.”

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Focus on Nissan’s stand  was the GT-R. The current R35 model has been around since 2007 and for 2016 it underwent a fairly comprehensive update, although the visual changes are relatively subtle and may take a trained eye to spot them.  Both the regular and Nismo models were on show.

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A reminder of how the GT-R all started came from one of those initial cars dating from 1969. There had been Skylines for some time before this, initially from Prince Motors, before the firm was acquired by Nissan. The first to bear the now legendary GT-R badging appeared in February 1969.  Called the PGC-10 (KPGC-10 for later coupé version) internally and Hakosuka (ハコスカ) by fans. Hako (ハコ) means Box in Japanese, and suka(スカ) is short for Skyline (スカイライン; Sukairain). It used a new new 2 litre DOHC engine (which was designed by the former Prince engineers) producing 160 bhp and 180 Nm (133 lb/ft) of torque, and was similar to the GR8 engine used in the Prince R380 racing car. The GT-R began as a sedan, but a 2-door coupé version was debuted in October 1970 and introduced in March 1971. The cars were stripped of unnecessary equipment to be as light as possible for racing, and performed well at the track. The sedan racked up 33 victories in less than two years, and the coupé stretched this to 50 through 1972. The C10 raced against many cars including the Toyota Corona 1600GT (RT55), Isuzu Bellett GTR, Mazda Familia (R100) & Capella (RX-2) – even Porsche. In late 1971 the new Mazda RX-3 became the GT-R’s main rival. The GT-R managed a few more victories before the RX-3 ended the GT-R’s winning streak.

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Joining it was an R33 model. Like its predecessor, this was based on the coupe version of the Skyline, which was introduced in 1993 as both a saloon and coupe. The previous R32 model was a well proven build, but the R32 wasn’t without faults and suffered with uplift and balance issues. Along with that, Nissan was, as other Japanese companies were, under strict restrictions on power gains. So Nissan had to combat all these areas so the sophisticated strength Programme was made. Nissan increased the width by about one inch on the R33 to the R32 and made it about 4 inches longer. This gave the R33 a longer wheelbase overall and lower stance mixed with new technology now from the computer aerodynamic age. Each line on the R33 was intended to give the car ultimate aerodynamics with wider gaps in the bumper and angles of air movement which allowed better cooling, in addition to the fuel tank lifted; the battery moved to the boot. Rigidity points were added mixed with improvements on the Attessa and Hicas all now offered the R33 with the best aerodynamics, balance, and handling. Nissan engineers also found other ways to reduce weight, even by a few grams. This includes: Hollowing out the side door beams. Using high tensile steel on body panels. Reduction in sound deadening materials. Super HICAS becoming electric. Hollowing out of rear stabilizer bar. Use of high tensile springs front and rear. Shrinking the ABS actuator. Light aluminum wheels with higher rigidity The front and rear axles were made of aluminum (as in the BNR32), but so were engine mount insulators and brackets. New plastics were used for: fuel tank, head lamps, super high strength “PP” bumpers, air cleaner, changing the headlining material, changing material of rear spoiler. All this put together meant we saw an improved time against the R32 of 21 seconds faster around the Nürburgring and 23 seconds faster in V spec trim, still making the R33 the fastest Skyline around the Nürburgring. The BCNR33 GT-R version also had the same RB26DETT engine that the BNR32 was equipped with, although torque had been improved, due to changes in the turbo compressor aerodynamics, turbo dump pipe, and intercooler. The turbo core changed from a sleeve bearing to a ball bearing, but the turbine itself remained ceramic, except on N1 turbos (steel turbine, sleeve bearing). From the R33 onward, all GT-Rs received Brembo brakes. In 1995 the GT-R received an improved version of the RB26DETT, the ATTESA-ETS four-wheel-drive system, and Super HICAS 4-wheel steering. A limited edition model was created in 1996, called the NISMO 400R, that produced 400 hp from a road-tuned version of Nissan’s Le Mans engine. A stronger six-speed Getrag gearbox was used. An R33 GT-R driven by Dirk Schoysman lapped the Nordschleife in less than 8 minutes. The Skyline GT-R R33 is reported to be the first production car to break 8 minutes, at 7 minutes and 59 seconds. Other manufacturers had caught up since the R32 was released, and the R33 never dominated motorsport to the extent of the R32. The R33 saw victory in the JGTC GT500 dominating the class and taking victory each year until its final racing year in which it was finally beaten by the Mclaren F1 GTR. The R33 saw huge favour in the tuning world with it being a popular model on the Wangan and top tuning companies building heavily tuned version from Top Secret ran by Smokey Nagata to Jun etc. and later by companies like Sumo. HKS GT-R would hold a drag series record for several years in there drag series making a record win of 7.671-second pass at Sendai Hi-Land Raceway with Tetsuya Kawasaki behind the wheel and taking it to be the World’s fastest AWD car.

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Making it first appearance in the UK was this H2 concept car, described as being “halfway between a competition prototype and a production supercar,” and powered by two race-specification electric motors, fed by a lightweight hydrogen fuel cell with power quoted as 503 bhp. The concept also features a brake energy recuperation system. Pininfarina says the powertrain has taken two years to develop and test, and claims that the H2 Speed is “the first hydrogen high-performance track car in the world.” Along with its efficiency-focussed powertrain, the H2 Speed features bodywork styled to increase aerodynamic efficiency. Designed specifically around the hydrogen technology, Pininfarina took inspiration from racing cars, aiming to produce something that displayed beauty, as well as extreme performance. Design cues include a racy roof design, joining the top of the car to the large rear spoiler just like an LMP racer, with sporty touches such as the sleek front splitter and angular rear diffuser. According to the company, the sound of the vehicle is completely unique and has a different tone from that of current conventional electric cars. The unique sound has been put down to the use of its compressor technology, creating an almost silent drive, with futuristic-sounding whistles. The company behind the hydrogen power unit, GreenGT, has specialised in the design, production and development of sustainable propulsion systems and high power performances since 2008. Pininfarina says the concept “will appeal to customers who love speed, performance and innovation and who are, at the same time, attracted by the typical exclusivity of a Pininfarina-designed vehicle produced in limited series”.  The car appeared at the recent 24 heures du Mans, where it became the first hydrogen powered car to complete laps of the circuit.

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The Porsche hospitality area, vast in size, was adjacent to the Lamborghini one. Lacking an invite to enter, like most people visiting the event, I had to content myself with looking at the 919 Le Mans car that was parked on the corner of the enclosure. This turned out to be the 919 Porsche Hybrid number 19 with which Nico Hülkenberg and co-drivers Earl Bamber and Nick Tandy drove to victory at the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans.

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In and around the marquee, I came across a rather grubby Cayenne and then inside there was the new 718 Boxster S and a 911 Targa.

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Star of the expansive Renault stand was the new Scenic. The market has largely moved on from this genre of car in favour of the crossover, so whilst its predecessors would have been eagerly awaited, this one may well struggle to find the same level of interest among buyers. We shall see.

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Also prominently displayed was the latest version of the Clio RS200. Previous hot Clio models have been among the very best in their class, but the general view is that Renault missed the mark with this one, not least thanks not the fact that it is only available with a rather dim-witted automatic gearbox.

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Renault’s new Mégane Sport Tourer made its UK debut here. The range-topping GT205 will be propelled by Renault’s Energy TCe 205 unit, which produces more than 200bhp and is paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. The Sport Tourer will also benefit from the French manufacturer’s four-wheel steering system to improve agility and manoeuvrability. The Sport Tourer range starts from £19,070.

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The hottest version of Renault’s rear-wheel-drive, rear-engined city car, the Twingo GT, gets 108bhp from an uprated version of the Twingo’s 898cc turbocharged three-cylinder engine. A revised air intake and new engine mapping has boosted power by 19bhp and raised torque by 25lb ft to a total of 125lb ft. It is expected to be priced above the current range-topping Dynamic S TCe’s £13,445.

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The display included established models as well, with the Captur and Kadjar crossover cars now selling in decent quantities. These were joined by the two all-electric models that Renault currently sells, the miniscule Twizy and the supermini-sized Zoe.

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In the marquee there were further examples of the current range with the Megane, Twingo GT and Clio RS 200 all present here.

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Reminder of Renault’s continued commitment to motor sport came from the presence of their latest Formula E race car.

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Subaru only had a presence in the indoor marquee, hardly surprising as the small sales volume that they achieve in the UK means that marketing budgets have to be spent wisely. There were several cars inside, though, including the Levorg GT BTCC car, as well as the BRZ sports coupe and the ferocious WRX STi saloon.

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Tesla had a larger stand this year, which was probably just as well given the interest that their cars generate. The Model S is now established and becoming an increasingly common sight on our roads.

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This was the first chance for many to see the next model to be produced, the rather bulky Model X.  It shares the same drivetrains as the Model S saloon and the largest and most powerful battery configuration, the P90D, will launch the SUV to 60mph in less than four seconds, but it is all clothed in a larger crossover style body complete with the very distinctive gull-wing doors. Starting at £72,280 for an entry level 75D, extending up to north of £100,000 for a P90D model capable of 0-62mph in as little as 3.2 seconds, the Falcon-winged electric SUV will be available in 5, 6 or 7 seat configurations, and UK deliveries are expected to start in early 2017.

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Seen here was the technologically interesting hydrogen-powered Mirai, with its very distinctive (and rather polarisng) styling, a car which will only be available in very limited numbers owing both to its cost and to the very restricted number of places where you will be able to refuel it.

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Aimed at far more customers are cars like the new C-HR and the GT86 coupe. The former will also not appeal to everyone with its bold styling and I do pity anyone who has to travel in the back and who wants to see out of the car!

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Toyota also had a presence in the marquee where I spotted the GT86.

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The Vauxhall area was some way away from the other new cars, and I can well believe that some people might have missed it altogether. I nearly did, but am glad that I did find it, relatively late in the afternoon as the display contained not just examples of the current range, but also some classic models and a couple of concept cars, making it one of the more interesting of the manufacturer displays.
Current cars on show included the Corsa, Adam, Astra and Cascada.

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But it was the rarely seen concept cars that really interested me. Older of the pair shown here was the  XVR built in 1966. The name stands for eXperimental Vauxhall Research prototype. It debuted at the March 1966 Geneva Motor Show, receiving favourable reviews from press, but never went into production. 3 XVR prototypes were built in total. 2 were glassfibre rolling mockups with no engine, while 1 was a fully functional example with a metal body built by Motor Panels of Coventry. The fully functional car was the one displayed at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1966. In total, the concept took 5 months to design and build. Only one of the mockups survives today, as Vauxhall crushed both the running prototype and the other mockup. The surviving car currently resides at the Vauxhall Heritage Centre. The single fully functional XVR is powered by a front-mid mounted 2.0 L Slant-4 engine producing around 100 bhp. The suspension is fully independent in the front and rear and there are disc brakes at all four corners. At the time, this engine was a pre-production model and was later used in the Vauxhall VX4/90. The XVR was able to reach a top speed of over 100 mph. The design team for the XVR was directed by David Jones and included Wayne Cherry, John Taylor, Leo Pruneau and Judd Holcombe. The looks are inspired by the Mako Shark II concept car introduced in 1965, and the design features a split windscreen, pop-up headlamps and gull-wing doors.

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The Vauxhall SRV (Styling Research Vehicle) was a 1970 concept car designed by Wayne Cherry and Chris Field for Vauxhall in the UK. Never intended for production, the car was an attempt to raise Vauxhall’s profile and image, while providing a platform for researching some unusual design concepts. The car’s exterior design was inspired by the short-nosed, long-tailed Le Mans racers of the time, but was able to seat four adults in comfort, despite being just 41 inches (104 cm) high. Unusually, the design featured fixed front seats, but with all of the driver controls adjustable for position, angle and reach. The car also featured four doors, with the rear doors being handle-less and largely disguised – this feature is only now being incorporated into real production cars over thirty years later. The car could change its aerodynamic profile using an adjustable aerofoil located in the nose section. The SRV also had electrically adjusted suspension leveling at the rear, and the car could redistribute fuel to different tanks to adjust handling. The instruments were fixed to a pod hinged to the drivers door. The engine was a 2.3 litre mid-mounted transverse version of the Slant Four, but featuring fuel injection. The engine fitted to the SRV was a mock-up, and the car was unable to run under its own power, and the necessary transverse transmission was never developed for the vehicle.

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This a styling buck for the Opel GT with slightly different potential styles of the car on each side of the clay buck.

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There was also a nice display of the sporting Astra, with a representative example from each of the 7 generations that have been available. It was not until 1983, nearly 4 years since the debut of the front wheel drive Kadett and the associated Astra that a truly sporting version, the GTE arrived. With 115 bhp from its 1.8 litre injected engine, it took the fight to Ford’s Escort XR3i and VW’s Golf GTi as well as number of other rivals, but the model was only produced for a mere 15 months before an all new Astra, the much more aerodynamic second generation car arrived. This time there was a GTE right from the outset. More power came when a 16 valve version of the engine was added to the range, something that most manufacturers offered during the second half of the 80s. Badging switched to GSi with the third generation car. By the time of the fourth generation, there was a Coupe bodystyle as well as the hatch. The fifth generation car shown here was in the VXR 888 guise, and the sixth and the new seventh generation models also featured in this lineup.

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Other classics were well represented too. Oldest of these was a 30/98, one of several that would be seen at the event, as we will come to.

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In 1973, Vauxhall acknowledged that their rather dull model range needed a makeover, and developed a radical version of the Firenza, known officially as the High Performance (HP) Firenza, but known colloquially as the “droopsnoot” after its dramatically styled aerodynamic nose. The nose was moulded from GRP, and featured two pairs of Cibié headlamps behind toughened glass covers. The overall look was somewhat reminiscent of the Renault Alpine A310, and used the same headlamp units. Several prototypes of the HP Firenza were considered with different types of front end treatment, requiring different degrees of change from the standard production front end, including cars known as Black Knight and Daytona, the latter for its resemblance to the Ferrari Daytona, a favourite of Wayne Cherry. At that time, the original flat-fronted Firenza model was rebadged as the Magnum coupé, and the name Firenza was used exclusively for the HP version. This car was an exciting styling departure for Vauxhall, and certainly created something of a buzz. The engine was the 2.3-litre variant of the OHC Slant Four engine, uprated to a very torquey 131 bhp using a variety of parts developed by Blydenstein Racing. It had twin 175 Stromberg carburettors, high-lift camshaft and free-flow tubular exhaust manifold. The car was restyled on the David Jones original by American designer Wayne Cherry and the result was an exceptionally low drag coefficient for its time. Suspension was uprated and lowered, brakes uprated, and a 5-speed ZF dog leg gearbox was installed, a much stronger unit than fitted to the standard model (though rather noisy). Another unusual and unique feature of the car was the alloy Avon Safety Wheels, which were designed to retain the tyre safely in the event of a puncture. This was the first car to use these wheels in production. All production cars were painted in the same colour – Silver Starfire, and featured a largely black interior with silver-grey cloth seats. An unusual interior feature of dubious utility was the passenger grab handle on the dash in place of the standard glovebox. The car was a design triumph for Vauxhall, but a marketing failure. The car was launched to much publicity in a special one-off race at Thruxton circuit in Hampshire, with top drivers of the day taking part including Gerry Marshall and Barry “Whizzo” Williams, who won the race. However, the fuel crisis of the time meant that suddenly it became very hard to sell gas-guzzling cars like this (even though the aerodynamics increased fuel economy greatly, reducing the power needed to attain its top speed by some 30 hp), and coupled with some production line difficulties in actually building the car meant that sales and delivery were slow, and eventually just 204 examples were built, far short of the 30,000 projected. This very low volume was obviously a disaster for Vauxhall, but ironically it has led to the car becoming a very collectible classic, thus ensuring its survival—some of the much more common production cars produced alongside it can be now harder to find. Celebrity owners of droopsnoot Firenzas are footballer Luther Blissett and former sports commentator Stuart Hall. The Firenza was also very successful in saloon car racing in the 1970s, especially in its Old Nail and Baby Bertha versions, piloted to great effect by Gerry Marshall. Seen here were a couple of examples of the HP Firenza, one of which had been painted red.

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Also an image booster was the Lotus Carlton, a 177 mph sports saloon with acceleration that was the equal of contemporary supercars. Based on the regular Vauxhall Carlon/Opel Omega A which had been luanched in the autumn of 1986, this car was upgraded by Lotus Cars. Like all Lotus vehicles, it was given a type designation — Type 104 in this case. The external differences were minimal with the addition of a rear spoiler, vents on the bonnet, Lotus badges on the front wings and bootlid, a bodykit and considerably wider wheel arches distinguishing it from a standard Carlton/Omega. The car was only sold in one colour, a shade called Imperial Green, a very dark green that in anything but direct light appears black. Performance modifications started with an upgraded engine, which was enhanced by Lotus from the standard Opel 2969 cc 24v straight six unit used in the GSi. The engine was enlarged to a capacity of 3615 cc.Lotus then added twin Garrett T25 turbochargers, which provide up to 0.7 bar of boost from about 1500 rpm. The original distributor ignition system of the engine was replaced with a three-coil wasted spark system. The distributor drive was re-purposed as a water pump drive for the water-air intercooler circuit. The intercooler itself is manufactured by Behr and is capable of reducing the temperature of the compressed charge from 120 °C to 60 °C. In addition to fitting two turbochargers and an intercooler system, Lotus directed a number of engineering changes to the engine so that it would perform reliably with the higher power output. To cope with the higher cylinder pressures (about 95 bar), the external webbing on the engine block was reinforced. The crankshaft was replaced as well; early development crankshafts were machined from billet steel in Italy, but the production units were forged by Opel and sent to Maschinenfabrik Alfing Kessler for machining. The cylinder head was left mostly the same as the 24-valve head from the Opel Omega, although the combustion chamber was milled to reduce the static compression ratio to 8.2:1 (from 10.0:1). The engine is fitted with forged slipper pistons produced by Mahle. Piston connecting rods were replaced with new units made to an original Lotus design. The same six-speed manual ZF transmission as fitted to a contemporary Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 was used to transfer this power to the rear wheels via a rear limited-slip differential from the V8 Holden Commodore. The multi-link suspension of the Omega, already praised by the automotive press, was modified by Lotus for better high-speed stability and improved handling dynamics. To combat the problem of significant camber change (seen with the car at high speed and when fully laden), the self-levelling suspension from the Opel Senator was fitted. Also borrowed from the Senator was the Servotronic power steering system, which provides full power assist at parking speeds, and reduces the power assist as the road speed increases. The Lotus engineers would have preferring using a rack and pinion steering arrangement, but cost and space constraints limited them to the worm-and-roller arrangement. Initial sketches for the wheels showed a split-rim composite design, but this was ultimately abandoned in favor of a monoblock wheel design, with cited concerns over the durability of the wheels in poor road conditions. The final design for the 17″ wheels was manufactured by Ronal, along with wider tyres than those used on the Opel Omega, with the tyre compound used being the same as that on the Lotus Esprit Turbo SE, with a combination of oils and low hysteresis. This allowed for improved high-speed stability and better performance in wet conditions. The car was fitted with 12.9 in brake discs with four-piston AP calipers at the front and 11.8 in discs with two-piston calipers at the rear. The Lotus Carlton produced 377 bhp and 419 lb/ft of which 350 lb/ft was available from 2000 rpm. The car was capable of 0–60 mph in 5.2 seconds and achieve 0–100-0 mph in less than 17 seconds. Tall gearing allowed it to achieve approximately 55 mph in first gear. The Lotus Carlton/Omega held the title of the fastest four-door saloon car for some years. Production of the Lotus Carlton/Omega began in 1990, four years after the original Omega went on sale. Opel had hoped to build 1,100 cars in total, but owing to the recession of the early 1990s, the £48,000 cars did not sell as well as anticipated and production at Lotus was halted in December 1992. Only 950 cars were completed: 320 Carltons and 630 Omegas, 150 short of the original target.

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Final classic here, and more recent was a Monaro from around ten years ago.

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The Tiguan is a significant car and as the world shifts ever more decisively to crossovers, is likely to become VW’s global best seller. The second generation model debuted last year with UK sales starting a few weeks ago.

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A special display marked 40 years of the Golf GTi and there examples of this genre-defining car on show, dating back to that first model of 1976. Among them was the new Clubsport S, a limited production, just 150 examples of which are ear-marked for the UK, and which recently broke its class record at the Nurburgring.

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The Golf GTE Sport concept was first shown at the Frankfurt Show in September 2015, and it is a 400PS (395hp) plug-in hybrid concept car. Largely made of carbon, the high-tech Golf study is powered by three motors with a combined system power of 400PS (295hp). The plug-in hybrid system is combined with all-wheel drive, a lightweight body, optimum aerodynamic downforce, a new racing cockpit and an unusual seating concept (two monocoque-like interior areas). The plug-in hybrid system’s main power source is a 1.6-litre TSI adapted from the Polo R WRC which delivers 299PS (295hp) and 400Nm (295lb-ft) of torque. The petrol engine is assisted by two electric motors, one at the front (in the housing of the 6-speed dual-clutch gearbox) and the second at the rear. Each electric motor produces 85kW (115PS or 114hp). Peak torque is 330Nm (243lb-ft) of torque for the front electric motor and 270Nm (199lb-ft) for the rear motor. The total torque of the drive system is 670Nm (494lb-ft). The VW Golf GTE Sport can run on electric power alone for 50 km (31 miles). In the sporty GTE mode all three motors work together, allowing the all-wheel-drive Golf GTE Sport to cover the 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) sprint in 4.3 seconds and to reach a top speed of 280 km/h (174 mph). Since we’re talking about a plug-in hybrid, VW says the Golf GTE Sport averages just 2.0 l/100 km (141.2 mpg) according to the NEDC cycle for PHEVs. The concept’s interior reveals just two seats which are accessible through doors that swing right up in the style of the XL 1. The carbon and microfibre interior has two completely separate areas for the driver and passenger. Like in racing cars, the passengers sit quite a long way to the back on racing bucket seats with five-point belts. The concept showcases a completely new design for the instruments – three transparent displays arranged behind one another on which all relevant information is displayed. As for the design, VW says the front section of the Golf GTE Sport illustrates “how the Golf GT models could develop in future.”

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Final car on the stand was the Polo WRC machine.

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As well as all those manufacturer stands, there are plenty of other traders present here, with everything from after-market accessories and tuning specialists, to purveyors of food and clothing. These cars all caught my attention from this area of the event.


A recent addition to the range of cars that are hand-built by Simon Saunders’ company based in Crewkerne in Somerset, the Nomad is designed to offer driver the same levels of fun off the road as the Atom does out on the track. By all accounts, they’ve hit the proverbial bull’s eye as the car had rave reviews on its release.

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The display also included bikes.

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This is a GT8 race car.

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Needing little in the way of introduction was this lovely 2CV.

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Elemental had an example of their RP1 track car here.  There have been several different cars of this type produced and although few of them come cheap (this one started out at around £75,000 for the first ten cars built), there is a steady market for them. Some of them are memorable, others are not. GeneraI opinion is that one a little bit special. In its technical make-up the RP1 is similar to, but not exactly like, several other lightweight roadsters. The tub is a carbonfibre one – of the good sort, not the cheaper sort  – with steel subframes hung from either end. The front subframe supports the cooling systems and front suspension, which comprises double wishbones and inboard spring and damper units. Behind the two-seat cabin sits the rear suspension – double wishbones but not inboard dampers – and the powertrain. This is one of two key areas where Elemental is a touch unusual. Instead of a transverse engine and the gearbox it would get on a road car – as you’d find in an Ariel Atom, KTM X-Bow or Zenos E10 – the Elemental’s engine, a 2.0-litre Ford Ecoboost unit, is mounted longitudinally and drives the rear wheels through a six-speed Hewland gearbox that’s mounted behind it. Which all means that the engine can be set lower in the chassis. The BAC Mono is similar, although it is only a single-seater. Where the Elemental differs again from the light car norm is in the amount of underbody aerodynamics it offers. There’s a long diffuser at the front of the car and another one at the rear, and the claim is that at 100mph the RP1 will generate 200kg of downforce. Weight is claimed at 580kg, with a 47 percent front, 53 percent rear balance. And given that the Ecoboost engine is tuned to produce 320bhp, the car should get along fairly well. Elemental is yet to produce a full set of numbers because this is a prototype, but it estimates a 0-60mph time of 2.8sec and a 0-100mph time of 6.4sec, which is what you’d hope it should do. The car was first shown in 2015 and although it was generally well received, there were a number of issues picked by the ever critical press, ranging from doubts about aspects of the build quality as well as a need to set the seats lower and increase the range of adjustment. All the important things were deemed to be right from the outset, though. It will be interesting to see how well it succeeds in a market not short of rivals.

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This is a Mansory Siracusa 488XX. It is actually the second generation, the first being based on the Ferrari 458. So when its successor, the Ferrari 488, appeared, Mansory produced this version. Centrepiece of the complete customisation is what they call the “spectacular” body design. But the engine, wheels and interior have also all been given an impressive redesign in the best manufacturing quality. As is to be expected for a genuine Mansory, they did not spare the use of carbon. No company name on the market is so closely associated with carbon as Mansory’s. In our own autoclaves, specialists manufacture and process the ultra-light and high-strength material from motorsport and are, as a result, not dependent on suppliers. This gives absolute freedom in the scope, fit and design of the components. Best proof of this is the completely newly designed body: Besides the optics, the technology also has its highlights, for example the striking air intakes on the front spoiler optimise the flow of fresh air to the radiator. Together with the specially developed front lip this gives a better downforce and more grip when driving at the limit. New, extremely bright daytime running lights give additional passive safety. Ultra-light wheels make their own contribution to the optics and the performance. The forged light alloy wheel rims unite highest stability with exceptionally low weight. By reducing the unsprung mass the wheels react even more agilely and realise every steering command, even under the most extreme conditions. At the front the 9×20 inch rims carry 255/30 high performance tyres, while the rear axle with 325/25 tyres transfer the power of the engine onto the road. The 3.9 litre engine in the 4XX runs with an optimised motor management and a specially designed exhaust system. This combination results in a power output of 790 bhp at 8,000 rpm. Thanks to a torque of 870 Nm (561 lb ft) at 3,000 rpm the eight cylinder accelerates in just 2.9 seconds (vs the standard car’s 3.0 secs) from zero to one hundred (62 mph). The top speed of 341 km/h (standard: 330 km/h) is also higher than the standard vehicle. The chassis components fitted to the Siracusa have been specially designed for the increased power. These consist of four progressively wound lowering springs. As a result the car’s centre of gravity is 20 mm lower compared to the standard car.  In the interior, Mansory have created a command and control centre which perfectly combines functionality and comfort. The steering wheel specially designed for the 4XX in a combination of leather and carbon and the redesigned central console operating panel guarantee optimum control of the vehicle. At the same time, the interior of the super sports car oozes pure luxury. All components of the interior cladding are leather coated, offset with coloured seams. 4XX logos on the seats, the foot-mats and the doorsills round off the refinement.  The result is certainly striking, though whether you like it or not will be a case of personal taste.

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Historic vans have become an increasingly popular way of promoting a modern business, and it never ceases to amaze how many of these former workhorses have been found and restored, an awful lot of them in service as mobile food and beverage outlets. The Ford Thames 300E was a car derived van, produced from 1954 to 1961. The Thames (or Thames Trader) name was given to all available sizes of commercial vehicle produced by Ford in Britain during the 1950s and until the arrival in 1965 of the UK built Ford Transit. The 300E was introduced in July 1954, based on the Ford Anglia / Prefect 100E saloon range. It shared its bodyshell and 1172 cc sidevalve four-cylinder engine with the Ford Squire estate car versions of the line. Oddly, the bodyshell was optimised for use as a panel van rather than an estate with its two, short passenger doors and shorter overall length than the saloons. Initially produced only as a single model with 5 long cwt carrying capacity, the range was later expanded with the introduction of Standard and Deluxe 7 long cwt variants. All three offered the same 66-cubic-foot load volume. Production totalled 196,885 examples comprising 139,267 5 cwt, 10,056 Standard 7 cwt and 47,562 Deluxe 7 cwt units. 300E production ended in April 1961 and the van’s replacement, the Anglia 105E based Thames 307E, was introduced in June of the same year.

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Very different were this quartet: an F150 truck seeing service for an energy drink’s company, a Focus RS now liveried as the Hooniganm earlier firs generation Focus rally car and a Fiesta rally car.

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Bill Shepherd is an established and well known specialist in all things Mustang. Although their business has probably changed a little now that Ford themselves are importing the latest car, there is still plenty for them to offer with the last 50 years worth of the model to sell and support. A surprising number of old Mustangs are in the UK, as was proved for the 50th anniversary celebrations in 2014, and although the first series cars are the most popular, there are examples of all generations over here. Bill Shepherd had a varied display of models on their stand, which ranged from the latest GT350 to some early Coupe, Fastback and Convertible cars.

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If you want to promote the service you offer of providing a paint-protecting clear film, then what better car to have on your stand than a McLaren P1? And even better if it is in a bold and distinctive colour. That is exactly what Xpel did. And it worked, as here are my photos from a stand which otherwise I would have probably walked right by.

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Early Range Rover models have become very collectible indeed, especially the cars from the first couple of years production, and there was a nice display of these here. The Rover Company had been experimenting with a larger model than the Land Rover Series as far back as 1951, when the Rover P4-based two-wheel-drive “Road Rover” project was developed by Gordon Bashford. This was shelved in 1958, and the idea lay dormant until 1966, when engineers Spen King and Bashford set to work on a new model. In 1967, the first Range Rover prototype was built (number plate SYE 157F), with the classic Range Rover shape clearly discernible, but with a different front grille and headlight configuration. The design of the Range Rover was finalised in 1969. Twenty-six Velar engineering development vehicles were built between 1969 and 1970 and were road registered with the number plates YVB151H through to YVB177H. Though being chassis no. 3, the vehicle YVB 153H is believed to have been the first off the production line as a vehicle in that colour was urgently required for marketing. The Velar name was derived from the Italian “velare” meaning to veil or to cover. Range Rover development engineer Geoff Miller used the name as a decoy for registering pre-production Range Rovers. The Velar company was registered in London and produced 40 pre-production vehicles that were built between 1967 and 1970. Most of these Velar pre-production vehicles are accounted for and have survived into preservation, and one of them was presented here. These models fetch very strong money when sold, between £60 -80,000 for the handful that have appeared for sale in the last couple of years. The production Range Rover was launched in 1970, and it was produced until 1994, undergoing quite a transition into a luxury product en route.

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Gone, but far from forgotten. Rally ace Richard Burns was taken from us at a very early age, thanks to an untreatable brain tumour. But his memory lives on, and there was a collection of some of the cars in which he found success, such as these Subaru models.

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One of the most popular features of the event, and something which has been included since 1995 is the Cartier Style et Luxe Concours. Around 50 very special cars, grouped together in a number of distinct themes are assembled on the lawn, in the best traditions of the Concours style competition. A panel of celebrities have the almost impossible task of trying to pick a winner. No matter what criteria you could come up with, this would seem to be a more or less impossible task, but certainly a lot of fun scrutinising these amazing machines even more closely than the paying public are likely to do.


First class to catch my eye was one of the Vauxhall 30/98. This long running car was produced from 1913 to 1927, although it is believed that only 13 30/98s were made before war intervened  and these were all for  selected drivers, the last of these pre war cars, built in 1915 for Percy Kidner a joint Managing Director of Vauxhall. Actual production began in 1919. Also known as the E Type, the 30/98 name is believed to have been coined because the car had an output of 30 bhp at 1,000 rpm and 98 bhp at 3,000 rpm, though another explanation is that it had an RAC horsepower rating of 30 and a cylinder bore of 98 mm. Perhaps the most likely of all is that there was then a popular but heavier slower Mercedes 38/90. However it was found, the name 30-98 looked and sounded so well and the car proved popular. The 30/98s used the earlier Prince Henry chassis, but were distinguished by having more-or-less flat rather than V-shaped radiators. Laurence Pomeroy took the Prince Henry L-head side-valve engine, bored it out 3 mm, then cold-stretched the crankshaft throws 5 mm using a steam power hammer to lengthen the stroke. The camshaft was given a new chain drive at the front of the engine, high lift cams and new tappet clearances. The Prince Henry chassis was slightly modified and the whole given a narrow alloy four-seater body, a pair of alloy wings (front mudguards) and no doors. The first 30/98 was constructed at the behest of car dealer and motor sport competitor, Joseph Higginson—inventor of the Autovac fuel lifter—who won the Shelsley Walsh hill-climb motoring competition on 7 June 1913 in his new Vauxhall, setting a hill record in the process, having in previous weeks made fastest time of the day at Waddington Pike and Aston Clinton, but these were not racing machines but fast touring cars. The exhaust made a tranquillising rumble, there was no howl, no shriek, no wail, but there was the quiet satisfaction of knowing that if stripped for action, the car could lap Brooklands at 100 mph, and its makers guaranteed that. Most of them were built with a 4 seater open tourer body, though other body styles were produced as well. 4 different bodies were in evidence here: the Grosvenor, the Derham, a Wensum and a Clinton.

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There was more variety in this class of British cars with large capacity American engines and in most cases Italian=style bodies.

This elegant car is an AC 428, sometimes referred to as the AC Frua. These were built by AC Cars from 1965 to 1973. Production was 81 cars built in total: 49 coupés (known as fastbacks), 29 convertibles, and 3 special bodied. The Frua is built on an AC Cobra 427 Mark III chassis extended by 6 inches. Chassis construction was similar to most Italian supercars of that era, with square and rectangular tubing connecting the steel body to the frame. Though the 4-inch (100 mm) tubular chassis allowed both coupé and convertible versions to be rigid, the design was intricate and prone to rust. The bonnets and boot lids were fabricated from aluminium.Chassis were built at the AC plant in England then shipped to Frua’s workshop in Italy where the body was fitted and then sent back to England to have the power train and trim added. The cost was high and the cars could not be sold at a competitive price. Unlike similar cars such as the Iso Grifo, Iso Rivolta, Monteverdi, and De Tomaso models of the period, the AC Frua features fully independent racing based coil spring suspension. The AC Frua was never fully developed because AC Cars lacked the financial means. The car’s main drawback is a tendency of the V8’s heat to bleed into the cabin. The AC Frua competed with Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Maserati models. Built over a stretched AC Cobra 427 chassis, the car had immense performance; the big-block Ford FE engine had larger capacity, more torque and more power than similar Italian cars, but in a car of similar weight.

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The Bristol 410 was the fourth series of Chrysler V8-engined models from Bristol Cars and the last to use the 5.2-litre engine originally found in the Bristol 407. With the 410, Bristol aimed for a more aerodynamic approach than that found on their previous five series dating back to the 405. The styling improvements were relatively minor but every one of them was aimed to make for a more curved appearance. The most noteworthy change was that the front headlamps were fully faired into the wings of the car rather than protruding outwards as on previous models. As in every Bristol saloon since the 404, a compartment accessed via a hinged panel between the front of the driver’s door and the rear of the front wheel arch housed the battery, fuse panel, windscreen wiper motor and brake servos. A similar panel on the other side of the car housed the spare wheel and jack. There were also 15 inch wheels as against the 16 inch size found on previous Bristols, and the disc braking system dating back to the 406 was revised for the first time since then, with a greatly updated system of braking circuits being introduced. Internally, Bristol, like Chrysler before them, by then had felt that the safety problems of push-button automatic transmission were too difficult to counter and thus they shifted to a more conventional lever mounted between the two front seats. 82 examples were produced in 1968 and 1969 before the car was replaced by the 411.

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This is a Gordon Keeble, a British car made first in Slough, then Eastleigh, and finally in Southampton between 1964 and 1967. The marque’s badge was unusual in featuring a tortoise — a pet tortoise walked into the frame of an inaugural photo-shoot, taken in the grounds of the makers. Because of the irony (the slowness of tortoises) the animal was chosen as the emblem. The Gordon-Keeble came about when John Gordon, formerly of the struggling Peerless company, and Jim Keeble got together in 1959 to make the Gordon GT car, initially by fitting a Chevrolet Corvette V8 engine, into a chassis by Peerless, for a USAF pilot named Nielsen. Impressed with the concept, a 4.6 litre Chevrolet V8 was fitted into a specially designed square-tube steel spaceframe chassis, with independent front suspension and all-round disc brakes. The complete chassis was then taken to Turin, Italy, where a body made of steel panels designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro was built by Bertone. The car’s four five-inch headlights were in the rare, slightly angled “Chinese eye” arrangement also used by a few other European marques, generally for high-speed cars such as Lagonda Rapide, Lancia Flaminia and Triumphs, as well as Rolls-Royce. The interior had an old luxury jet feel, with white on black gauges, toggle switches, and quilted aircraft PVC. The car appeared on the Bertone stand in March 1960, branded simply as a Gordon, at the Geneva Motor Show. At that time problems with component deliveries had delayed construction of the prototype, which had accordingly been built at breakneck speed by Bertone in precisely 27 days. After extensive road testing the car was shipped to Detroit and shown to Chevrolet management, who agreed to supply Corvette engines and gearboxes for a production run of the car. The car was readied for production with some alterations, the main ones being a larger 5.4-litre 300 hp Chevrolet V8 engine and a change from steel to a glass fibre body made by Williams & Pritchard Limited. Problems with suppliers occurred and before many cars were made the money ran out and the company went into liquidation. About 90 cars had been sold at what turned out to be an unrealistic price of £2798. In 1965 the company was bought by Harold Smith and Geoffrey West and was re-registered as Keeble Cars Ltd. Production resumed, but only for a short time, the last car of the main manufacturing run being made in 1966. A final example was actually produced in 1967 from spares, bringing the total made to exactly 100. An attempt was made to restart production in 1968 when the rights to the car were bought by an American, John de Bruyne, but this came to nothing, although two cars badged as De Bruynes were shown at that year’s New York Motor Show along with a new mid-engined coupé. The Gordon-Keeble Owners’ Club claim that over 90 examples still exist.

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There were two different Jensen Interceptor models here, one much better known than the other. The rare one is the P66, a model range planned by Jensen Motors in the 1960s, which was aborted after two examples were made and one was exhibited at the 1965 London Motor Show. It was planned as a replacement for the Austin-Healey 3000, which at that time Jensen were assembling at their factory in West Bromwich. BMC were planning to drop the Healey and Jensen asked Eric Neale, their house stylist, to design a replacement for the US market. In a break from their recent tradition of using glassfibre, he used an aluminium body on a steel platform and tube chassis. The optional engine continued to be a 6.2 litre Chrysler V8 similar to that used in the contemporary CV8, or a 4.5 litre in stock form. The car was priced at £2,200 in the UK against £3,500 for the CV8, and would possibly have been renamed as Interceptor if put into production. Reception to the convertible car was generally favourable, although the strakes over the wheel arch were criticised in the press as outdated. A hardtop version was also produced with plain wheel arches. The company founders, Richard and Alan Jensen, favoured putting the model into production. The Norcros group had been controlling the company for some years and preferred to adopt an Italian styled body, a view shared by Managing Director Brian Owen and Deputy Chief Engineer Kevin Beattie. They approached Touring of Milan who produced a rival design that was put into production by Vignale as the Interceptor. After making some changes to the Touring design to make it suitable for tooling, Eric Neale felt that he had no role left in the company and resigned. He was followed by the Jensen brothers. The convertible P66 was soon broken up, the parts and the other hardtop model being sold on. The second, hardtop, model has survived in original condition and has been used regularly.

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This is the familiar one.launched as a replacement for the rather gawky looking CV8 of the early 1960s, after the false start of the car seen above. Jensen went to Italy to find a new stylist for another attempt. They ended up with Carozzeria Touring, who produced a stunning looking grand tourer which, although sharing some styling cues with other models that they had designed, had a style all of its own, and they then approached another,  Vignale,  to build the bodies before they would be shipped back to West Bromwich for final assembly. As with the CV8, motive power came from a large Chrysler V8 engine, which gave the car effortless performance, and a somewhat prodigious thirst. The original specification included electric windows, reclining front seats, a wood rimmed steering wheel, radio with twin speakers, reversing lights and an electric clock. Power steering was included as standard from September 1968. The Mark II was announced in October 1969, with slightly revised styling around the headlamps, front grille and bumper and revised rear lights. The interior was substantially revised in order to meet US regulations, and air conditioning was an option. The Mark III, introduced in 1971, revised the front grille, headlamp finishers and bumper treatment again. It had GKN alloy wheels and air conditioning as standard, and revised seats. It was divided into G-, H-, and J-series depending on the production year. The 6.3 litre engine was superseded by the 7.2 litre in 1971. A Convertible version was premiered in 1974,. but just 267 were built, and then in 1975 a Coupe model was shown, effectively a fixed roof version of the Convertible, just 60 of which were made as by this time, the company had fallen on hard times due to the then world-wide recession, and massive and costly reliability problems with its Jensen-Healey sports car. It was placed into receivership and the receivers allowed production to be wrapped up using the available cache of parts. Production of the Interceptor ended in 1976. Enthusiasm for the car remained, though, so in the late 1980s, a group of investors stepped in and re-launched production of the Interceptor, as the Series 4, back as a low-volume hand built and bespoke affair, marketed in a similar way to Bristol, with a price (£70,000 and more) to match. Though the body remained essentially the same as the last of the main production run of series 3; the engine was a much smaller Chrysler supplied 5.9 litre unit which used more modern controls to reduce emissions comparatively and still produce about 230 hp. In addition, the interior was slightly re-designed with the addition of modern “sports” front seats as opposed to the armchair style of the earlier models, as well as a revised dashboard and electronics. The then owner sold up in 1990 to an engineering company believed to be in a stronger position to manufacture the car which lasted until 1993 with approximately 36 cars built, and while work commenced on development of a Series 5 Interceptor, once again receivers were called in and the company was liquidated. Even that was not quite the end of the story, as the Jensen specialist based at Cropredy Bridge has made a business out of rebuilding original Interceptors using modern components, with a General Motors supplied 6.2 litre LS3 engine and transmission from a Chevrolet Corvette. In May 2010, Jensen International Automotive was set up, with the financial backing and know-how of Carphone Warehouse founder and chairman Charles Dunstone who joined its board of directors. A small number of Jensen Interceptor Ss, which had started production under a previous company, are being completed by Jensen International Automotive (JIA), in parallel with JIA’s own production of the new Jensen Interceptor R; deliveries of the latter started at the beginning of 2011.

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Final car in the group was a TVR Trident. Trident Cars Ltd was a British car manufacturer based originally in Woodbridge, then in Ipswich, Suffolk between 1966 and 1974, and again after being restarted in 1976 from premises in Ipswich. Their first car, the prototype Clipper convertible, was based on a prototype TVR model which had two seater coupe steel and aluminium bodywork styled by Englishman Trevor Frost (also known as Trevor Fiore, and also responsible for the Elva GT160) and built in Italy by Carrozzeria Fissore. This TVR Trident Coupe was shown at the 1965 Geneva Motor Show and in addition two more coupes and a single convertible prototype were also made. Due to a financial crisis at the TVR company, the project passed instead to one of their dealers, W.J. (Bill) Last, who created a separate Trident Cars company to manufacture it using the premises previously used by him for making the Peel Viking Sport. The cars were at first fitted with Ford 4.7 litre V8 in a chassis that was a near copy of the one used on the Austin-Healey 3000 and had similar styling to the TVR prototypes, but were made instead in fibreglass. The first Trident Clipper Convertible prototype was displayed at the Racing Car Show at Olympia in London in January 1966 but little more was heard until the first Clipper Coupe was shown, again at the Olympia Racing Car Show, in January 1967. The car was claimed to have a maximum speed of 150 mph  and a 0-60 mph time of 5 seconds. It was available as a complete car or in kit form. The cars were expensive, the kit version costing £1923. A second car, the Venturer was announced in 1969 with similar bodywork and powered by a Ford 3 litre V6 but now on a lengthened (to 93 inches) Triumph TR6 chassis giving the car independent suspension all round by coil springs. In 1971 the car cost £2300 in kit form. Following problems with engine supply following a strike at Ford, Chrysler 5.4 litre V8 engines were fitted to the Clipper from 1971 and the Tycoon fitted with a Triumph 2.5 litre straight 6 engine was added to the range. The car now cost £3250 fully built. The engine problems and financial climate in the 1970s resulted in the company closing down in 1974. An attempt was made to restart production in 1976 but few cars were made before final closure in 1977. Between 1967 and 1977 about 39 Clippers, 84 Venturers and 7 Tycoons were produced.

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Next category was a group of Renault-Alpine related cars, with the inspiration for the class coming from the Alpine Vision Concept and the proposed production model which should be available at some time in 2017.

This is where it all started. Jean Rédélé, who founded the company in 1954, was a Dieppe garage proprietor who found success in motorsport driving a series of Renault 4CVs he modified himself. From then on his output was associated with Renault before the company bought Alpine in 1973. Production of Alpines ceased in 1995, although Renault revived the marque last year as a standalone brand, similar to what Citroën has done with DS. This car is the Le Marquis from 1954, a 4CV-based Alpine prototype styled by Giovanni Michellotti, which was lighter and more aerodynamic than the Renault. The prototype was presented as The Marquis at the New York motor show in January 1954 but only three cars were made before Rédélé turned to Chappe & Gessalin for the first production Alpine, the A106. After almost 60 years in the USA, the example here was repatriated to France by Jean-Charles Rédélé, Jean’s son.

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Launched in 1961 the A110, like previous road-going Alpines, used many Renault parts, including engines. While its predecessor the A108 was designed around Dauphine components, the A110 was updated to use R8 parts. Unlike the A108, which was available first as a cabriolet and only later as a coupé, the A110 was available first as a Berlinette and then as a cabriolet. The most obvious external difference with the A108 coupé was restyled rear bodywork. Done to accommodate the A110’s larger engine, this change gave the car a more aggressive look. Like the A108, the A110 featured a steel backbone chassis and a fiberglass body. The A110 was originally offered with 1.1 litre R8 Major or R8 Gordini engines. The Gordini engine delivered 95 hp. The A110 achieved most of its fame in the early 1970s as a successful rally car. After winning several rallies in France in the late 1960s with cast-iron R8 Gordini Cléon-Fonte engines the car was fitted with the aluminium-block Cléon-Alu from the Renault 16 TS. With two two-venturi Weber 45 carburettors, the TS engine delivered 125 hp. This allowed the production 1600S to reach a top speed of 210 km/h (130 mph). The long-wheelbase Alpine A108 2+2 Coupé ended its run and was replaced with a new, restyled 2+2 based on A110 engines and mechanicals called the A110 GT4. The car achieved international fame during the 1970–1972 seasons competing in the newly created International Championship for Manufacturers, winning several events around Europe, earning a reputation as one of the strongest rally cars of its time. Notable performances from the car included a victory in the 1971 Monte Carlo Rally with Swedish driver Ove Andersson. With the buy-out of Alpine by Renault complete, the International Championship was replaced by the World Rally Championship for 1973, at which time Renault elected to compete with the A110. With a team featuring Bernard Darniche, Jean-Pierre Nicolas and Jean-Luc Thérier as permanent drivers and “guest stars” like Jean-Claude Andruet (who won the 1973 Monte Carlo Rally) the A110 won most races where the works team was entered, making Alpine the first World Rally Champion. Later competition-spec A110s received engines of up to 1.8 litres. As well as being built at Alpine’s own Dieppe factory, versions of the A110 were built under license by various other vehicle manufacturers around the world. From 1965 to 1974 the car was produced in Mexico under the name “Dinalpin” by Diesel Nacional (DINA), who also produced Renault vehicles. From 1967 to 1969 the A110 was also produced in Bulgaria under the name “Bulgaralpine” by a partnership formed between SPC Metalhim and ETO Bulet, whose collaboration also resulted in the production of the Bulgarrenault. In 1974 the mid-engined Lancia Stratos, the first car designed specifically for rally racing, was operational and homologated. At the same time it was obvious that the rear-engined A110 was nearing the limits of its development potential. The adoption of fuel injection brought no performance increase. On some cars, a DOHC 16-valve head was fitted to the engine, but it proved unreliable. Chassis modification, like the use of an A310 double wishbone rear suspension, homologated with the A110 1600SC, also failed to increase performance. On the international stage the Stratos proved to be the “ultimate weapon”, making the A110, as well as many other rally cars, soon obsolete. There were two Berlinette versions here, from near the start and end of production, 1964 and 1977.

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As well as the regular Berlinette models there was also a very rare A110 Cabriolet here.

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The A108 was also produced in Brazil, thanks to an agreement with Willys-Overland. Renamed as Willys Interlagos, the model was built in three versions: berlinette, coupé, and convertible. The car also had a successful racing career. From 1962 to 1966, a total of 822 Interlagos were made in Santo Amaro, São Paulo.

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Rarer still is this one-off, the Alpine A110 Meyrignac, whose avant-garde look was sketched in 1969 by a teenage Denis Meyrignac, a bold designer-in-waiting whose mock-up impressed Rédélé so much that he entrusted him with an A110 chassis upon which to build his prototype. Meyrignac had created a 1/5th scale model which he presented to Rédélé in 1969 and, after a number of setbacks, it would be 1977 before the completed car was ready to make its public debut. The Geneva Salon was its springboard and the car created worldwide interest. After the car’s debut, Meyrignac found work with the Renault Formula 1 team on a freelance basis before being hired full-time by the French automotive design studio SERA. His work there touched 35 different cars, including a number of Audi models. When Renault Classic discovered that Meyrignac still had his prototype, they offered to restore it for its appearance here.

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Final car here was that Alpine Vision Concept, a mid-engined two-seat coupé that will made its public debut at the Geneva Motor show back in March, having been unveiled by Renault boss Carlos Ghosn at an event in Monte Carlo, a location chosen as a nod to the original Alpine’s historic early successes on the Monte Carlo Rally. A whole new team and division has been set up within Renault to help launch and develop the Alpine brand. The division has a dedicated boss (Michael van der Sande) and deputy managing director (Bernard Ollivier, a former Renault Sport chief), a head of design (Antony Villain, the man behind recent Alpine concepts) and a head of sales and marketing (Arnaud Delebecque, a Renault veteran who also has rallying experience). Ghosn said the time was right to launch Alpine as the Renault group was a strong and profitable business. He said Alpine represented a long-term investment that would build over time. “We will build and invest patiently,” he said. The plan is not to relaunch Alpine as a single-model entity but as a brand with several sporting models, including an SUV that has been hotly tipped to join the new sports car in 2018. The production version of the new sports car will be unveiled before the end of 2016 and go on sale in the second quarter of 2017. The Alpine relaunch was originally planned as part of a joint venture with Caterham, but this ended in 2014 when Renault bought out Caterham’s 50% stake. Indeed, the whole project was considered in doubt at one point, because it had been seen as a pet project of former Renault chief operating officer Carlos Tavares, who left the firm in 2013 before taking over at PSA Peugeot Citroën. However, that was not the case and the Alpine project has progressed in the background. Renault came close to reviving Alpine in 2008 before the global financial crisis made the project a non-starter. In 2012, the 50th anniversary of Alpine was celebrated with the Mégane racer-based Alpine A110-50 concept car, and later that year the comeback proper for Alpine was announced with the Caterham deal. Further concept cars followed last year, including a virtual one created for the Gran Turismo video game and the Alpine Celebration at Le Mans, a concept that edged the Alpine brand closer to production again and forms the basis of the new Vision. Although officially billed as a show car, the Alpine Vision is a very close preview of the model that will go into production next year. Alpine design director Villain said “80% of the style of our forthcoming car” is reflected in the latest concept. Concept car features not set to make production include the wing mirrors and wheels, but the design is otherwise representative of what Alpine will put into production in 2017. Very few details of the car have been confirmed by Alpine at this stage. It has been revealed that the engine will be a turbocharged four-cylinder unit of an unspecified capacity. However, Autocar understands the engine will be a 1.8-litre unit developed from the turbocharged 1.6-litre engine used in the Clio RS. The engine’s outputs are also undisclosed at this stage, but sources have indicated the Alpine will have around 250bhp as standard and up to 300bhp in a higher-performance version that will use more aggressive turbocharging. It is understood to be hooked up to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission driving the rear wheels, something backed up by the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters in the interior of the concept car. There was no comment on whether or not the Alpine would be offered with a manual gearbox from van der Sande, although he said there are no plans for an electric version at present. Alpine has confirmed a 0-62mph time of less than 4.5sec. A kerb weight of around 1100kg is also expected, with lightness considered to be of greater importance than outright power. Indeed, Ollivier told Autocar last year: “The ratio of light weight versus power is not negotiable; it’s the DNA.” The design references the classic Alpine A110 and other past Alpines with details such as central circular lights at the front with a cross graphic in them. The cabin is very high-tech, and an Audi TT-style digital dashboard is one of its notable features. There’s a rich mix of materials, including leather, aluminium and carbonfibre, as well as plenty of nods to motorsport, with twin bucket seats, harness belts and aluminium fastening buckles. The interior is understood to be very driver-focused, with a low-slung driving position and limited switchgear. Other features of the production car previewed by the Vision concept include a Sport mode, which will most likely sharpen the drive further. The interior is deliberately a much more modern affair, and based around the driver, with particular attention paid to the steering wheel, seats and TFT display. The bespoke chassis is mid-rear engined, is lightweight, made from a mixture of materials, and has been designed and engineered by Renault Sport.The car has no rear spoiler, and the all the main aerodynamic work is underneath the car, where it has a flat floor and a rear diffuser. The Vision is not about aero, however, with the emphasis mainly on simplicity and driving pleasure. A kerb weight target of 1000kg was originally given to the project, although this was abandoned because it would have required the use of expensive carbonfibre bodywork. Renault’s chief competitive officer Thierry Bolloré said the Alpine brand was ideal in becoming a technology leader in the Renault group, and would pioneer with lightweight materials and aerodynamic solutions. As with the earlier Celebration concept, the Vision gets bespoke Alpine badging and branding without any Renault badges. The white-coloured Vision concept is a development of the blue Celebration concept. It has been adapted to be more of a road car, in contrast to the racing brief of the Celebration. The new Alpine will be built at Renault’s factory in Dieppe, which was Alpine’s original production plant. The factory currently builds Renault Sport models, as well as Bluecar electric vehicles for the Bolloré company that runs car sharing schemes in Europe. The factory will be subject to significant investment according to van der Sande, to ensure Alpine cars meet the quality sports car customers expect. A price of around £40,000 is tipped for the Alpine, which would put it in direct competition with the Porsche 718 Cayman, but it is anticipated that it will be less than the €80,000 an old Alpine will cost on the used market.

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The Lancia class contained some of the most beautiful models to bear the marque’s badge from the 1920s to the mid 1960s.

Oldest of these was a Lambda Series 1 Torpedo Tourer. Built in 9 series over a 10 year period from 1922, the Lambda pioneered a number of technologies that soon became commonplace in our cars. For example, it was the first car to feature a load-bearing monocoque-type body, (but without a stressed roof) and it also pioneered the use of an independent suspension (the front sliding pillar with coil springs).Vincenzo Lancia even invented a shock absorber for the car and it had excellent four wheel brakes. The narrow angle V4 engine which powered is not something which was widely copied. Approximately 11,200 Lambdas were produced. Most of them had the open Torpedo style body, but some of the last Series 8 and 9 cars had Weyman saloon bodies.

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Launched in 1937, the Aprilia was one of the first cars to be designed using a wind tunnel. This was in collaboration with Battista Farina and Politecnico di Torino and allowed the car to achieve a record low drag coefficient of 0.47. This was the last of Vincenzo Lancia’s designs, with the car entering production in the very month in which he died.  The first series (model. 238)  of which 10,354 units were built between 1937–39 featured a 1,352 cc V4 motor providing 47 bhp. The second series (model. 438) of which 9,728 were made, was first seen in 1939 and production of which continued after the war, had its engine capacity increased to 1,486 cc which provided 48 bhp. A Lusso model of this second series was also offered as well as a lungo (lengthened) version. 706 of these were made between 1946 and 1949, making a grand total of 20,082 cars, with 7,554 additional chassis for coach built bodies, produced in Turin along with about 700 in France. With the Aprilia, Lancia followed their tradition of offering cars with the steering wheel on the right even in markets seen by other manufacturers as left hand drive markets. Outside the UK and Sweden customers increasingly picked the optional left hand drive versions, however.

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This splendid model is an Astura Pininfarina Cabriolet. The Astura was made between 1931 and 1939. Lancia replaced the Lambda model with two models: the four-cylinder Artena and the larger, V8-powered Astura. Both of these models were introduced at the Paris Motor Show in 1931. The Astura chassis was used by various coachbuilders to create coupes, convertibles and sedans. The Astura evolved over four series: First series, built between 1931 and 1932 with 496 units made; Second series, built between 1932 and 1933 with 750 units made. The engine mountings were modified for this generation to reduce noise and vibration; Third series, built between 1933 and 1937 with 1,243 units made. The third-generation Astura was offered in short-wheelbase and long-wheelbase variants, and was powered by a new, larger engine; Fourth series, built between 1937 and 1939 with 423 units made, and only offered in long-wheelbase form. The first- and second-generation Asturas are powered by a 72 hp 2.6-litre 19° V8 engine, while third- and fourth-generation models came with a 3.0-litre 17° V8 capable of 82 hp.

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There were three examples of the Aurelia here.  Designed by Vittorio Jano, the Lancia Aurelia was launched in 1950 and production lasted until the summer of 1958.The very first Aurelias were the B10 Berlinas. They used the first production V6 engine, a 60° design developed by Francesco de Virgilio who was, between 1943 and 1948 a Lancia engineer, and who worked under Jano. The first cars had a capacity of 1754 cc, and generated 56 hp. During production, capacity grew from 1.8 litres to 2.5 litres across six distinct Series. Prototype engines used a bore and stroke of 68 mm x 72 mm for 1569 cc; these were tested between 1946 and 1948. It was an all-alloy pushrod design with a single camshaft between the cylinder banks. A hemispherical combustion chamber and in-line valves were used. A single Solex or Weber carburettor completed the engine. Some uprated 1991 cc models were fitted with twin carburettors. At the rear was an innovative combination transaxle with the gearbox, clutch, differential, and inboard-mounted drum brakes. The front suspension was a sliding pillar design, with rear semi-trailing arms replaced by a de Dion tube in the Fourth series. The Aurelia was also first car to be fitted with radial tyres as standard equipment. Aurelia was named after Via Aurelia, a Roman road leading from Rome to France. The B21 version was released in 1951 with a larger 1991 cc 70 hp engine and a 2-door B20 GT coupé appeared that same year. It had a shorter wheelbase and a Ghia-designed, Pininfarina-built body. The same 1991 cc engine produced 75 hp in the B20. In all, 500 first series Aurelias were produced. This is generally believed to the first car to use the name GT, or Gran Turismo. The B20 GT Aurelia had a successful career in motorsport, too. In the 1951 Mille Miglia the 2-litre Aurelia, driven by Giovanni Bracco and Umberto Maglioli, finished 2nd beaten only by the Ferrari America. The same year it took first in class and 12th overall at LeMans. Modified Aurelias took the first three places on 1952’s Targa Florio with Felice Bonetto as the winner and another win on Lièges-Rome-Lièges of 1953. Seen here were an Aurelia B12 Berlina, an Aurelia GT 2500 and the very lovely Aurelia B24 Spyder America.

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Replacing the Aurelia was the Flaminia, which although superficially similar to its illustrious predecessor and materially “better” in just about every respect, never managed to capture buyers’ imaginations in the same way when new, and even now, it has to play second fiddle to the older car. The first model in the range was the Berlina, which was launched at the 1957 Geneva Show. It had a Pininfarina styled body which took much inspiration from the Florida concept car that had been shown in the previous year. Much was new under the skin. Its larger 2.5 litre 100 bhp V6 engine was new in detail, and was designed to allow for further increases in capacity, which would come in time. I was smoother than the Aurelia engines and had more torque, and with better cylinder head design and revised cooling, it was more robust, as well. There was synchromesh on all four gears. Lancia’s famous sliding pillar suspension was banished in favour of unequal length wishbones and coil springs which required less maintenance and were more refined. But the car was heavy, and complex, and exceedingly expensive. Lancia thought that their customers would pay a premium for “the best”, but tastes were changing, and the Berlina was never a strong seller, with fewer than 3000 of them being constructed, most of them being the first series cars. Just 549 of the later second series model with 110 bhp and disc brakes were made between 1961 and 1963, hardly surprising when the car cost more than a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud, as it did in the UK. The later cars had a 2.8 litre engine and 125 bhp, and just 599 of these were made between 1963 and 1968. There was more success with the coachbuilt two door variants which joined the range. The most successful of these, the Pininfarina Coupe, was the first to appear. This was made between 1959 and 1967, during which time 5284 of these mostly steel-bodied cars were constructed. In many ways they were very like the Berlina, just a bit smaller, though there was a floor mounted gear lever, and the cars had more power. The first 3200 of them had a 119 bhp single carb engine with a sport camshaft. Later 3Bs had a triple choke Solex from 1962 and the power went up to 136 bhp. It was only a year after the Pininfarina car’s debut when Touring of Milan announced their Flaminia models. These aluminium bodied cars were sold in three distinct variants between 1960 and 1965. The single carburettor GT was followed by a Convertible in 1960, both of them uprated to 140 bhp  triple Weber 3C spec in 1961. The 2.8 litre 3C took over in 1963 and were supplemented by a new 2+2 version called the GTL, with a taller roofline, front-hinged bonnet, longer doors and more substantial seats. It is the rarest of all Flaminia models, with just 300 made. The  styling house to offer a car was Zagato, with their Sports and SuperSports. Only 526 were made and there is a complicated production history which probably shows the sort of chaotic thinking that was going on at Lancia and which would lead to is bankruptcy and take over by Fiat in 1969. The first 99 Sports had faired-in headlights and the 119 bhp engine. From 1960 another 100 cars were built with expose lights until the introduction of the Sport 3C with the 140 bhp triple carb. Zagato made 174 of those in 1962 and 1963, still with the exposed lights. The faired-in lights returned in 1964 on the SuperSport, which also had a Kamm tail, and with DCN Webers this one put out 150 bhp. 150 of these were made between 1964 and 1967. Many of the earlier cars were upgraded early in their life, so if you see one now, you cannot be totally sure of is true origin. Production of the car ceased in 1970, with fewer than 13,000 Flaminia of all types having been built. These days, the cost to restore them properly – and it is a huge job – exceeds the value of most of them, by some margin, as Berlina and Coupe models tend not to sell for more than £30k. The Zagato cars are a different matter, and when they come up for sale, routinely go for over £300k. The Touring cars – considered by most to be the prettiest tend to be around £100k for the GT and another 50 – 80k for a convertible – a long way from the value of an Aston Martin DB4 Volante, which cost roughly the same when new. The car seen here is a Zagato Sport.

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The Rolls-Royce Phantom III was the final large pre-war Rolls-Royce. Introduced in 1936, it replaced the Phantom II and it was the only V12 Rolls-Royce until the 1998 introduction of the Silver Seraph. 727 V12 Phantom III chassis were constructed from 1936 to 1939, and many have survived. Although chassis production ceased in 1939 (with one final chassis being built in 1940), cars were still being bodied and delivered in 1940 and 1941. The very last car, though the rolling chassis was completed in 1941, was not delivered with a body to its owner until 1947. The Phantom III was the last car that Henry Royce worked on – he died, aged 70, a year into the Phantom III’s development. The III is powered by an aluminium-alloy V12 7.3 litre engine, a pushrod unit with overhead valves operated by a single camshaft in the valley between the cylinder banks. Early cars had hydraulic tappets or, rather, a unique system of eccentric bushings in each individual rocker that was actuated by a small hydraulic piston; the eccentric bushing ensuring zero valve-lash at the rocker/valve interface. This system was changed to solid adjustable tappets in 1938. The Phantom III is unusual for its twin ignition systems, with two distributors, two coils and 24 spark plugs. Petrol is provided by a twin SU electric pump. Wire wheels are fitted as standard, but many cars carry Ace wheel discs which were fitted to improve cosmetics and to reduce the time taken to clean the wire wheels after use. The car features on-board jacking and a one-shot chassis lubrication system, operated by a lever inside the driver’s compartment. Independent front suspension by a coil spring-based system is complemented by a carryover semi-elliptical spring unit in the rear. The car has a 4-speed manual transmission with synchromesh on gears 2, 3 and 4. An overdrive gearbox was added in 1938, the ratio change being contained in the gearbox rather than in a separate unit. The car has 4-wheel servo-assisted brakes applied by cable (using a servo made under licence from Hispano-Suiza). The radiator shell is of Staybrite steel. The sheer bulk of the car is reflected in its performance figures. An example tested in 1938 by The Autocar magazine returned a top speed of 87 mph)and a 0 – 60 mph time of 16.8 seconds. The overall fuel consumption quoted from that road test was 10 mpg. Only the chassis and mechanical parts were made by Rolls-Royce. The body was made and fitted by a coachbuilder selected by the owner or a dealer who might have cars built for showroom stock. Some of the most famous coachbuilders who produced bodies for Rolls-Royce cars are Park Ward, Mulliner, Hooper and Thrupp & Maberly. Body types as well as limousines included saloons, coupés, and convertibles. A handful of used cars have been converted to hearses and shooting brakes.The cars showcased a number of those different coachbuilders and comprised: Vanvooren Sports Drophead Coupe; Gurney Nutting Sports Saloon; Gurney Nutting Sedanca de Ville; Freestone and Webb Sports Saloon; and a Park Ward Sedanca de Ville.

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This is a 1971 Miura P400 SV, a car some will say was the first true supercar. For sure, this car, produced between 1966 and 1973, is widely considered to have instigated the trend of high performance, two-seater, mid-engined sports cars. When released, it was the fastest production road car available. The Miura was originally conceived by Lamborghini’s engineering team, Gian Paolo Dallara, Paolo Stanzani, and Bob Wallace who in 1965 put their own time into developing a prototype car known as the P400. The engineers envisioned a road car with racing pedigree – one which could win on the track and be driven on the road by enthusiasts. The three men worked on its design at night, hoping to convince Lamborghini such a vehicle would neither be too expensive nor distract from the company’s focus. When finally brought aboard, Lamborghini gave his engineers a free hand in the belief the P400 was a potentially valuable marketing tool, if nothing more. The car featured a transversely-mounted mid-engine layout, a departure from previous Lamborghini cars. The V12 was also unusual in that it was effectively merged with the transmission and differential, reflecting a lack of space in the tightly-wrapped design. The rolling chassis was displayed at the Turin Salon in 1965. Impressed showgoers placed orders for the car despite the lack of a body to go over the chassis. Bertone was placed in charge of styling the prototype, which was finished just days before its debut at the 1966 Geneva motor show. Curiously, none of the engineers had found time to check if the engine would fit inside its compartment. Committed to showing the car, they decided to fill the engine bay with ballast and keep the car locked throughout the show, as they had three years earlier for the début of the 350GTV. Sales head Sgarzi was forced to turn away members of the motoring press who wanted to see the P400’s power plant. Despite this setback, the car was the highlight of the show, immediately boosting stylist Marcello Gandini’s reputation. The favourable reaction at Geneva meant the P400 was to go into production by the following year. The name “Miura”, a famous type of fighting bull, was chosen, and featured in the company’s newly created badge. The car gained the worldwide attention of automotive enthusiasts when it was chosen for the opening sequence of the original 1969 version of The Italian Job. In press interviews of the time company founder Ferruccio Lamborghini was reticent about his precise birth date, but stressed that he was born under the star sign Taurus the bull. Early Miuras, known as P400s (for Posteriore 4 litri), were powered by a version of the 3.9 litre Lamborghini V12 engine used in the 400GT at the time, only mounted transversely and producing 350 hp. Exactly 275 P400 were produced between 1966 and 1969 – a success for Lamborghini despite its then-steep price. Taking a cue from the Mini, Lamborghini formed the engine and gearbox in one casting. Its shared lubrication continued until the last 96 SVs, when the case was split to allow the correct oils to be used for each element. An unconfirmed claim holds the first 125 Miuras were built of 0.9 mm steel and are therefore lighter than later cars. All cars had steel frames and doors, with aluminium front and rear skinned body sections. When leaving the factory they were originally fitted with Pirelli Cinturato 205VR15 tyres (CN72). The P400S Miura, also known as the Miura S, made its introduction at the Turin Motorshow in November 1968, where the original chassis had been introduced three years earlier. It was slightly revised from the P400, with the addition of power windows, bright chrome trim around external windows and headlights, new overhead inline console with new rocker switches, engine intake manifolds made 2 mm larger, different camshaft profiles, and notched trunk end panels (allowing for slightly more luggage space). Engine changes were reportedly good for an additional 20 hp. Other revisions were limited to creature comforts, such as a locking glovebox lid, a reversed position of the cigarette lighter and windshield wiper switch, and single release handles for front and rear body sections. Other interior improvements included the addition of power windows and optional air conditioning, available for US$800. About 338 P400S Miura were produced between December 1968 and March 1971. One S #4407 was owned by Frank Sinatra. Miles Davis also owned one, which he crashed in October 1972 under the influence of cocaine, breaking both ankles. The last and most famous Miura, the P400SV or Miura SV featured different cam timing and altered carburettors. These gave the engine an additional 15 hp to a total of 380 hp. The last 96 SV engines had a split sump. The gearbox now had its lubrication system separate from the engine, which allowed the use of the appropriate types of oil for the gearbox and the engine. This also alleviated concerns that metal shavings from the gearbox could travel into the engine with disastrous and expensive results and made the application of an optional LSD far easier. The SV can be distinguished from its predecessors from its lack of “eyelashes” around the headlamps, wider rear wings to accommodate the new 9-inch-wide rear wheels and Pirelli Cinturato tyres, and different taillights. 150 SVs were produced.

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The Espada, a 4-seat grand touring coupé, arrived in 1968. The car was designed by Marcello Gandini at Bertone. Gandini drew inspiration and cues from two of his Bertone show cars from 1967, the Lamborghini Marzal and the Jaguar Piraña. The name “Espada” means “sword” in Spanish, referring to the sword that the Torero uses to kill the bull in the Corrida. During its ten years in production the car underwent some changes, and three different series were produced. These were the S1 (1968–1970), the S2 (1970–1972) and the S3 (1972–1978). Each model featured interior redesigns, while only minor details were changed on the exterior. The Espada was launched at the 1968 Geneva Motor Show. The original design of the dashboard was inspired by the Marzal concept car, and featured octagonal housings for the main instruments, topped by an additional binnacle for the secondary gauges. Wheels were Campagnolo alloys on knock-off hubs, of the same design seen on the Miura. The tail lights were the same units mounted on the first series Fiat 124 Sport Coupé. 186 were made up until January 1970. At the 1970 Brussels Motor Show Lamborghini unveiled the Espada S2. Outside the only change was the deletion of the grille covering the vertical glass tail panel. Inside changes were more radical: all-new dashboard, centre console and steering wheel were installed. The instrument binnacle was of a more conventional rectangular shape, with round gauges. A wood-trimmed fascia extended along the entire width of the dashboard. Power output increased to 350 PS (345 bhp) due to a higher 10.7:1 compression ratio; the brakes were upgraded to vented Girling discs. Power steering was offered as an option. 575 Series II Espada were made, making it the most popular and desirable variant. The Espada S3 was launched in 1972. Its 3.9 litre V12 engine produced 325 PS (321 bhp) With the second redesign the dashboard changed to a aluminium-trimmed cockpit that kept all instruments and most controls (including the radio) within easy reach of the driver. Newly designed wheels on five-stud hubs replaces the earlier knock-off wider wheels fiitted with Pirelli Cinturato 215/70WR15 CN12 tyres, making the Espada S3 instantly recognisable; other exterior changes included the square instead of hexagonal mesh grille and tail lights from the Alfa Romeo 2000 replacing the previous Fiat-sourced ones. In 1974 a Borg Warner automatic transmission became available. From 1975 large impact bumpers had to be installed to meet United States safety requirements; some people consider cars produced with them as a separate fourth series, but Lamborghini did not officially change the model designation. In total, 1217 Espadas were made, making it the most successful Lamborghini model until the expansion of Countach production in the mid-1980s. This is a Series 2 car and it belongs to Harry Metcalfe.

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As Lamborghini sales started to gain momentum they wanted to increase their penetration of the US market. The car that they conceived for this task was the Islero of 1968, an example of which sadly was not on show here.  When it came time to update it, instead of just redesigning the Islero, Lamborghini instead made the Jarama, filling the spot which would have been taken by a second generation of the Islero. Introduced in 1970 at the Geneva Motor Show, Lamborghini built the Jarama to meet U.S. standards using a version of the Espada chassis that had had its wheelbase shortened by 10.7 inches. The Jarama was heavier than the Islero, though it claimed the same top speed of 162 mph. The Jarama is powered by the same 3,929 cc Lamborghini V12 engine used in the Islero and Espada. The engine was fitted with Six Weber carburettors and sent power to the rear wheels through a 5-speed manual transmission.  Two different models were made, the original GT (1970–1973) model which produced 350 bhp, and the GTS (also known as Jarama S) (1972–1976) that produced 365 bhp. The GTS featured a few minor body modifications including a bonnet scoop, exhaust vents in the wings and new wheels. A redesigned dashboard, power assisted steering, removable roof panels, and a Chrysler TorqueFlite automatic transmission also became available as options. Early Jaramas featured magnesium alloy wheels from the Miura. A total of 328 Jaramas were built.  This is a Jarama S.

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Lamborghini had been toying for some time with the idea of a smaller and cheaper car, powered by a V8 engine, to rival the smaller Ferraris, and the result, the Urraco, was first seen at the 1970 Turin Show. It was styled by Marcello Gandini, and engineered by Paolo Stanzani. It was launched with a 2.5 litre V8 engine, engineered to be cheaper to build, with belt-driven camshafts, situated within a steel monocoque structure suspended on McPherson struts. It reached the market before the rival Maserati Merak and Ferrari 308 GT4 Dino, which should have given it a big advantage. But it did not. For a start, it was deemed not powerful enough, so even before the difficulties of the late 1973 Fuel Crisis made things difficult, the car did not sell well at all. The solution was to add more power, and this came when the engine was enlarged to 3 litres, with four chain-driven cams, which took power from 220 bhp to 265 bhp. A roll-hoop across the back of the cabin improved rigidity, and more powerful brakes were fitted. It sold better, though never in the sort of volume that had been anticipated, and the addition of an Italian market tax special P200 did not help much, either. Just 66 of these were built, whereas 520 of the original P250 models found buyers, and 190 of the more powerful P300s added to the total before production ceased in 1979. The story did not quite end there, as in 1976 a heavily revised version, with removable targa roof panels, appeared, called the Silhouette, and both were replaced by the Jalpa in the 1980s, though neither of these sold as well as the Urraco. The car seen here was a Silhouette.

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Which small boy (and perhaps car loving girl) did not lust after a Countach back in the 1970s and 1980s. A dramatic looking car, this was the stuff of dreams that you would only ever see at the London or NEC Motor Shows. Countach first made an appearance, as a concept in 1971, but it was 1973 before the production car made its debut, and despite unfortunate timing with fuel shortages and a recession, and a number of financial problems for its maker, the car sold well throughout its production life. The Countach entered production as the LP400 with a 3929 cc engine delivering 370 hp. The first production Countach was delivered to an Australian in 1974. Externally, little had altered from the final form of the prototype except at the rear, where conventional lights replaced the futuristic light clusters of the prototype. The styling had become rather more aggressive than Gandini’s original conception, with the required large air scoops and vents to keep the car from overheating, but the overall shape was still very sleek. The original LP400 rode on the quite narrow tyres of the time, but their narrowness and the slick styling meant that this version had the lowest drag coefficient of any Countach model. The emblems at the rear simply read “Lamborghini” and “Countach”, with no engine displacement or valve arrangement markings as is found on later cars. By the end of 1977, the company had produced 158 Countach LP400s. In 1978, a new LP400 S model was introduced. Though the engine was slightly downgraded from the LP400 model (350 bhp), the most radical changes were in the exterior, where the tyres were replaced with 345/35R15 Pirelli P7 tyres; the widest tyres available on a production car at the time, and fibreglass wheel arch extensions were added, giving the car the fundamental look it kept until the end of its production run. An optional V-shaped spoiler was available over the rear deck, which, while improving high-speed stability, reduced the top speed by at least 16 km/h (10 mph). Most owners ordered the wing. The LP400 S handling was improved by the wider tires, which made the car more stable in cornering. Aesthetically, some prefer the slick lines of the original, while others prefer the more aggressive lines of the later models, beginning with the LP400 S. The standard emblems (“Lamborghini” and “Countach”) were kept at the rear, but an angular “S” emblem was added after the “Countach” on the right side. 1982 saw another improvement, this time giving a bigger, more powerful 4754 cc engine. The bodywork was unaltered, however the interior was given a refresh. This version of the car is sometimes called the 5000 S, which may cause confusion with the later 5000 QV. 321 of these cars were built. Two prototypes of the 1984 Countach Turbo S were built by Lamborghini, of which one is known to exist. The Turbo S weighed 1,515 kg (3,340 lb), while its 4.8 litre twin-turbo V12 had a claimed maximum power output of 758 PS and a torque output of 876 N·m (646 lb·ft), giving the car an acceleration of 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) in 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 335 km/h (208 mph). A turbo adjuster, located beneath the steering wheel, could be used to adjust the boost pressure from 0.7 bar to 1.5 bar at which the engine performed its maximum power output. The Turbo S has 15″ wheels with 255/45 tyres on the front and 345/35 on the rear. In 1985 the engine design evolved again, as it was bored and stroked to 5167 cc and given four valves per cylinder—quattrovalvole in Italian, hence the model’s name, Countach 5000 Quattrovalvole or 5000 QV in short. The carburettors were moved from the sides to the top of the engine for better breathing—unfortunately this created a hump on the engine deck, reducing the already poor rear visibility to almost nothing. Some body panels were also replaced by Kevlar. In later versions of the engine, the carburettors were replaced with fuel injection. Although this change was the most notable on the exterior, the most prominent change under the engine cover was the introduction of fuel injection, with the Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection, providing 414 bhp, rather than the six Weber carburettors providing 455 bhp. As for other markets, 1987 and 1988 model Quattrovalvoles received straked sideskirts. 610 cars were built. Seen here is one of the early Countach LP400  models.

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At a time when the company was financed by the Swiss-based Mimran brothers, Lamborghini began development of what was codenamed Project 132 in June 1985 as a replacement for the Countach model. The brief stated that its top speed had to be at least 315 km/h (196 mph). The design of the car was contracted to Marcello Gandini, who had designed its two predecessors. When Chrysler bought the company in 1987, providing money to complete its development, its management was uncomfortable with Gandini’s designs and commissioned its design team in Detroit to execute a third extensive redesign, smoothing out the trademark’s sharp edges and corners of Gandini’s original design, and leaving him famously unimpressed. In fact, Gandini was so disappointed with the “softened” shape that he would later realise his original design in the Cizeta-Moroder V16T. The car became known as the Diablo, carrying on Lamborghini’s tradition of naming its cars after breeds of fighting bulls. The Diablo was named after a ferocious bull raised by the Duke of Veragua in the 19th century, famous for fighting an epic battle with ‘El Chicorro’ in Madrid on July 11, 1869 In the words of Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson, the Diablo was designed “solely to be the biggest head-turner in the world.” The Diablo was presented to the public for sale on January 21, 1990. Its power came from a 5.7 litre 48-valve version of the existing Lamborghini V12 featuring dual overhead cams and computer-controlled multi-point fuel injection, producing a maximum output of 499 PS and 580 N·m (428 lb/ft) of torque. The vehicle could reach 100 km/h in about 4.5 seconds, with a top speed of 202 mph. The Diablo was rear-wheel drive and the engine was mid-mounted to aid its weight balance. The Diablo came better equipped than the Countach; standard features included fully adjustable seats and steering wheel, electric windows, an Alpine stereo system, and power steering from 1993 onwards. Anti-lock brakes were not initially available, although they would eventually be used. A few options were available, including a custom-moulded driver’s seat, remote CD changer and subwoofer, rear spoiler, factory fitted luggage set and an exclusive Breguet clock for the dash. The Diablo VT was introduced in 1993. Although the VT differed from the standard Diablo in a number of ways, by far the most notable change was the addition of all wheel drive, which made use of a viscous centre differential (a modified version of LM002’s 4WD system). This provided the new nomenclature for the car (VT stands for viscous traction). The new drivetrain could direct up to 25% of the torque to the front wheels to aid traction during rear wheel slip, thus significantly improving the handling characteristics of the car. Other improvements debuting on the VT included front air intakes below the driving lamps to improve brake cooling, larger intakes in the rear arches, a more ergonomic interior with a revised dashboard, electronically adjustable dampers, four-piston brake calipers, power steering, and minor engine refinements. Many of these improvements, save the four-wheel drive system, soon transferred to the base Diablo, making the cars visually nearly identical. Further updates would follow before the car gave way to the Murcielago in 2001. The Diablo sold in greater numbers than its predecessor with 2898 examples being made during its 11 year production life.

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Final class was for very early cars, from the Victorian and Edwardian era. Oldest of these was a Benz Velo.


This is a Peugeot Type 3, the brand’s first model to be produced in significant numbers. The earliest Peugeot models from 1889 were steam-powered tricycles, built in collaboration with Léon Serpollet. In 1890, Armand Peugeot met with car technology innovators Gottlieb Daimler and Émile Levassor and became convinced that reliable, practical, lightweight vehicles would have to be powered by petrol and have four wheels. The Type 2 was the first such model. Peugeot’s one-time partner, Serpollet, continued with steam technology under the brand name Gardner-Serpollet until Serpollet’s death in 1907. The engine was a German design by Daimler but was licensed for production in France by Panhard et Levassor and then sold to Peugeot. It was a 15° V-twin and produced 2 bhp, sufficient for a top speed of approximately 18 km/h (11 mph). Armand Peugeot decided to show the quality of the Type 3 by running a demonstration model alongside the cyclists in the inaugural Paris–Brest–Paris cycle race in September 1891, thus gaining official confirmation of progress from the race marshals and time-keepers. His chief engineer Louis Rigoulot and rising workshop foreman Auguste Doriot proved the robustness of the design, as this demonstration car ran for 2,045 km (1,271 miles), from Peugeot’s factory in Valentigney to Paris, over the race course, and then back to Valentigney, at an average speed of 14.7 km/h (9.1 mph), without major malfunctions. This was the longest run to that time by a petrol-powered vehicle and about four times as far as the previous record set by Léon Serpollet from Paris to Lyon. Later the demonstrator became the first Peugeot sold to the public. A lightened Type 3 was entered into the Paris–Bordeaux–Paris race in June 1895, finishing second and maintaining an average speed of 21.7 km/h (13.5 mph).

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This is an 1899 Fiat 4 HP (also known as the 3½ HP or 3½ CV) and was the first model of car produced by FIAT, from 1899 to 1900 based on a third party design. The 4 HP is related to the Ceirano brothers—Giovanni, Ernesto and Matteo—who were an influential force in kick-starting the Italian automotive industry. In fact, they are variously responsible for creating companies including Ceirano GB & C, Itala, SCAT (Società Ceirano Automobili Torino) and SPA (Società Piemontese Automobili). In 1888, after eight years apprenticeship at his father’s watch-making business, Giovanni Ceirano started building Welleyes bicycles, so named because English names had more sales appeal in Italy. In October 1898, Giovanni then co-founded Ceirano GB & C and started producing the Welleyes motor car in 1899. Its coachwork was by Marcello Alessio. In July 1899, the Welleyes’ plant and patents were sold to Giovanni Agnelli who then produced the 4 HP, which became the first ever FIAT. The car had a water-cooled 679 cc 2-cylinder, rear-mounted engine producing 4.2 hp at 800 rpm, coupled with a three-speed gearbox without reversing gear. Its top speed was 35 km/h (22 mph).and it had a fuel consumption of 35 mpg. Giovanni Ceirano was employed by FIAT as the agent for Italy, however, within a year he left to establish “F.lli Ceirano”, which became STAR (Società Torinese Rapid Cars). In 1904, Matteo Ceirano left Ceirano GB & C to establish Itala, to then leave in 1906 and also establish SPA (Società Piemontese Automobili) with chief designer, Alberto Ballacco. That same year, Giovanni Ceirano founded SCAT (Società Ceirano Automobili Torino). In total, FIAT produced 24 units, 8 of them in the first year. Today, at least four of these first Fiats are in existence, this one usually being found in the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu.

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Two other entrants were a Stephens Dog Cart and a Bergman Orient Express Type 3.

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This is a Daimler 4 HP 8-Seater Wagonette. The first British-made Daimlers took to the road in 1897 and this is thought to be one of the earliest survivors. Unlike many other early Daimlers, this ‘coach with no horse’ retains it’s original tiller steering. Top speed was a blistering 15mph. Still want that horse-drawn vehicle?

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And the overall Concours winner among this lot? The 1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV was the judge’s choice.


Another big attraction, especially popular among the younger visitors, is a large display of supercars and hypercars. This was moved to a new location in 2015, and I nearly failed to find it, but this time as it was in the same place as it had been the previous year, it was an area I made sure I did not miss. Just as with the regular production cars elsewhere on site, several manufacturers use this as a showcase for their latest models, whether these are genuine production cars or limited-edition or even one-off specials, so there was plenty that was of interest and fresh to see. Not all of them were true supercars, with a number of recently launched performance cars also on show. There was a raised dais, and a number of owners, or custodians of the cars, were invited to bring the car over, and then to be interviewed whilst everyone could get a closer look at the car in question. Almost all the cars on display here would be seen in action on the hill during the course of the Festival.


Probably one of the least well known cars in this display was this Arrinera GT, a Polish supercar conceived and made in Warsaw. The company was established in 2008 by brothers Łukasz and Marek Tomkiewicz. In 2011 it announced its first proof-of-concept supercar, using a mid-engine, rear-drive layout. Their second prototype was presented in 2012, initially named the Venocara, later renamed as the Hussarya. Arrinera developed a race variant of the car to GT3 racing specifications, the Hussarya GT. It was first shown at the Autosport International automotive show in Birmingham, UK, in January 2016, an now  it is here to make its debut in the supercar class during the rest of this event. The Arrinera Hussarya GT is a racing car compliant with FIA GT3 rules. It is powered by a General Motors LS7 V8 engine, as used in the Chevrolet Corvette, pushing out 500bhp. with a six-speed sequential racing gearbox operated by paddle shifters. It features a modular steel spaceframe chassis, pushrod suspension, 380mm brake discs, ABS and traction control. The car’s body was designed by Pavlo Burkatskyy with aerodynamics by Janusz Piechna of Warsaw University of Technology, and the mechanicals engineered by Krzysztof Stelmaszczuk.

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There were lots of Aston Matin models to see. A car that will doubtless become familiar is the new DB11, this being one of the first chances for people to see it in the UK, as deliveries have not quite started yet. It made its debut at the Geneva Show back in March. The DB11 features a new engine and body structure, fresh styling, improved packaging and motorsport-derived aerodynamic features. After a series of Aston models which were so visually connected that identifying the model has been getting increasingly difficult for all but the true aficionado, the DB11 does look distinctively different, even it it is still recognisable an Aston. It is an all new car, based on a new platform. Perhaps the stand-out feature in this most significant of new Astons is located under the one-piece clamshell bonnet. Designed and built in-house by a team led by chief powertrain engineer Brian Fitzsimons, the new twin-turbocharged 5204cc V12 is the most powerful unit yet fitted to a DB road car. Its 600bhp and 516lb ft outputs are sufficient to accelerate the DB11 from zero to 62mph in 3.9sec and on to a top speed of 200mph. It’s also the first series-production Aston Martin to use a twin-turbo unit. The DB11 doesn’t have a synthesised system to augment the engine noise. The new engine sends its power to the DB11’s rear axle via a ZF eight-speed paddle-shift torque-converter automatic gearbox. The car features a mechanical limited-slip differential with active torque vectoring, the latter a being first for Aston Martin. Aston hasn’t revealed official figures, but it is targeting a 20% improvement in fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions over the Aston Martin DB9. That should equate to combined economy of about 24mpg and CO2 emissions of roughly 270g/km. Key to that dramatic improvement is a host of technology including variable valve timing, stop-start and intelligent bank activation, which shuts down six cylinders during periods of light throttle usage. The new car’s chassis, suspension, steering and electronics have been completely reworked under the watch of ex-Lotus handling guru Matt Becker, now Aston’s chief of vehicle attribute engineering. Aston’s target was to give the DB11 a broad range of capabilities. Using a steering wheel-mounted button, the driver can select from three dynamic modes — GT, Sport and Sport Plus — which progressively intensify the responses of the engine, transmission, electric power steering and torque vectoring by braking system. A separate button also increases the firmness of the Bilstein adaptive dampers. The DB11 rides on 20in tyres and wheels as standard. Its Bridgestone tyres have a bespoke tread pattern, construction and compound. Electric power-assisted steering has been incorporated to offer greater scope for tuning and improvements in fuel efficiency. Aston set its engineering team the target of creating a body structure that is lighter, stronger and more space-efficient than the one that underpins the DB11’s predecessor, the DB9. Using a mix of new bonded aluminium pressings, extrusions and castings, the structure “sets new standards for mass versus stiffness”. The new DB11 is longer, wider and lower than the DB9, at 4739mm long, 2060mm wide and 1279mm tall. Additionally, the wheelbase is 65mm longer, with Aston emphasising the car’s capabilities as a true 2+2 grand tourer. Compared with the DB9, the front and rear track widths have increased by 75mm and 43mm respectively, and overall width has been extended by 28mm. The front overhang has been reduced by 16mm and the rear overhang increased by 11mm, with an overall gain in length of 50mm. By making the wheelbase 65mm longer than that of the DB9, Aston has been able to mount the V12 further back in the chassis to improve weight distribution to 51% front and 49% rear. The body panels are made from a mix of pressed aluminium (for the clamshell bonnet, roof and doors), composite material (the rear haunches, front wings and rear decklid assembly) and injection-moulded plastic (the front and rear bumpers, sills, front splitter and rear diffuser). The DB11 features two aerodynamic devices inspired by Aston’s racing cars and also integrated onto the track-only Aston Martin Vulcan supercar. The first of these, named ‘Curlicue’, is a gill-like vent incorporated into each front wheel arch lining to reduce front-end aerodynamic lift. It vents high-pressure air from the top of each front wheel arch through recessed apertures behind the side strakes. Additional high-pressure air is extracted from the back of each wheel arch through stirrup vents positioned aft of the front wheels. The second feature, which Aston calls ‘AeroBlade’, uses ducted high-speed airflow to act as a virtual spoiler and enhance rear stability. Intake slots incorporated in the base of the car’s C-pillars are fed with high-speed air, which then passes within the bodywork through specially contoured ducting before venting via slots in the rear deck. This high-pressure jet of disrupted air reduces aerodynamic lift, obviating the need for an upswept ‘flip’ in the tail to be designed into the car’s rear. At higher speeds, a small active spoiler automatically deploys from the rear deck, increasing the effectiveness of the AeroBlade with a negligible increase in drag. Although Aston Martin’s new design language was previewed on the DB10, which was created for the Bond film Spectre last year, the DB11 marks the first time that it has appeared on a full production model. The new look was created by Aston Martin’s design team led by chief creative officer Marek Reichman. Highlights include a bigger, bolder interpretation of Aston’s iconic grille and the pressed aluminium, forward-hinging clamshell bonnet, shrink-wrapped to the engine bay.  The all-LED headlights and tail-lights are another defining element of the DB11’s design. They incorporate daytime running lights and low-speed cornering lights for the first time on an Aston Martin. A roof strake that flows in an unbroken arc from the A-pillar to the C-pillar is another design signature, and the side strake on the car’s flanks, while harking back to past Aston Martins, has been re-imagined and now forms part of the Curlicue air vent. The cabin is a blend of recognisable Aston Martin design, such as the centre console that flows from the dashboard to the transmission tunnel and the familiar gearchange buttons, and new technology, including some sourced from Daimler. A new instrument cluster features a full-colour 12.0in TFT LCD screen, and a second, centrally mounted 8.0in TFT screen is dedicated to infotainment. Operation is via a rotary control, and an optional touchpad offers character recognition, multi-touch and gesture support. The DB11 offers more occupant space and comfort than the outgoing DB9. Redesigned A-pillar structures and a reduction in the height and width of the sill sections mean the door apertures are larger, making it easier to get into and out of the car. Front seat occupants benefit from a 10mm increase in head room and a greater range of seat movement. Meanwhile in the rear, there’s a 54mm increase head room and an 87mm gain in leg room, with the aim of making the DB11’s rear cabin more usable than that of the DB9. There’s also more luggage space, with the DB11’s 270-litre boot offering a 20% increase in capacity over that of the DB9. Other features new to the DB11 include keyless entry/ keyless start, parking control including parallel and bay park assistance, a 360deg bird’s-eye camera and an electrically powered steering column with an ‘up and away’ function for easier ingress and egress. Priced in the UK at £154,900, Aston Martin had more than 1000 orders for the new car, even before the official launch and more have been placed since then.

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The Vantage range has been around since 2005. It has remained popular not least because Aston have continued to add new versions. The first cars came with a 4.3 litre V8 engine, but it was not long before the V12 unit was squeezed under the bonnet, and then more powerful versions of it were produced creating the V12S. More recently, two special versions have been announced, linking the road cars to Aston’s efforts on the track. These are the GT8 and GT12, and examples of both were here. First of them was the Vantage GT12. This started out as the Aston Martin Vantage GT3 special edition when it  was  unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show 2015. The company said that they would only manufacture 100 cars. After a complaint from Porsche over the use of the “GT3” moniker, the car was renamed the Vantage GT12. It features a new iteration of the 6.0-litre V12 that produces 592 bhp and 461 lb/ft  of torque. It has a kerb weight of 1,535 kg (3,384 lb), and can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. There were sufficient external alterations that you would know that you were looking at something very special. For the Vantage GT8, which was launched a year later, Aston decided to make more cars – 150 of them, which was 50 more than the GT12. The GT8 features the same 4.7-litre V8 as found in the base Vantage but with power now increased to 440 bhp, and has a top speed of 190 mph (310 km/h). The GT8 is available with either a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed Sportshift II automated manual transmission, and has a kerb weight of 1,510 kg (3,329 lb), a 100 kg (220 lb) reduction over the V8 Vantage S. Seen here were the GT8 and one of the GT3 race cars.

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The Rapide, Aston’s 4 door 4 seater car has been in production for a while, too, and there was one of these high-speed expresses in the display.

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Final Aston Martin was the most dramatic of the lot, the Vulcan hypercar, a two-door, two-seater, high-performance lightweight track-only car launched in 2015 at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. The Vulcan was designed by Aston Martin’s creative officer Marek Reichman, taking inspiration from the then Aston Martin current models, such as the Vantage, the DB9 and the One-77. Production totalled 24 cars, with each priced at US$2.3 million. The engine, a 7.0-litre naturally-aspirated V12, mounted in an aluminium alloy chassis with a carbon fibre body, has a power output of 831 PS at 7,750 rpm and 575 lb⋅ft (780 N⋅m) of torque at 6,500 rpm. The Vulcan is fitted with a magnesium torque tube which has a carbon fibre propeller shaft, a limited-slip differential and an Xtrac 6-speed sequential transmission. The car has a dry kerb weight of 1,350 kg (2,976 lb).It uses Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, which are fitted on 19 inch APP-TECH wheels that feature centerlock design. Stopping power is aided courtesy of carbon-ceramic brakes, which measure 380 mm (15 in) at the front, 360 mm (14 in) at the rear, and are produced by Brembo.Engine power delivery is selectable using a selector knob in the car, with the first option setting the power to 507 PS, the second option setting the power to 684 PS, and the third and final option allowing the engine to deliver the full 831 PS of power output. The Vulcan generates GT3-car levels of downforce via its prominent front splitter, rear diffuser and adjustable rear wing. Aston Martin states that the car will produce 324 kg (714 lb) at 100 mph (160 km/h) and 1,362 kg (3,003 lb) at its Vmax speed. The car has a race-derived pushrod suspension with anti-dive geometry and is complemented by Multimatic’s Dynamic Suspension Spool Valve (DSSV) adjustable dampers and anti-roll bars, front and rear driver-adjustable anti-lock braking, and variable traction control. Like the Ferrari FXX, 599XX, FXX-K, and the McLaren P1 GTR, the Vulcan must be approved to drive on track day events by the factory. However, unlike those cars, customers can keep the car on their own.

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There was another example of Audi’s supercar. the V10-engined R8 here.

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This is the 2002 Hommage Concept, first seen earlier this year at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. to celebrate both BMW’s 100th birthday as a brand and the 50th anniversary of the first 02 series car. It is based on the M2 Coupe.

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This is the Grand Sport version of the latest C7 generation Corvette, and is a new model for the 2017 model year. The Grand Sport model includes Z06 wide body styling features and suspension tuning along with the Z51 dry sump LT1 engine configuration. Grand Sport models were available in 10 exterior colours and could have the optional Heritage Package which included hash-mark fender graphics (available in six colours. As part of the introduction of the Grand Sport in Geneva, Chevrolet also announced a Grand Sport Collector Edition, which was to be limited to 1,000 vehicles in total and only 850 for the US Market.

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Also here was a Camaro. These are orderable in the UK, though the one supplying dealer. It will come in left hand drive form, but you can choose all the engines including the thunderous 6.2 litre V8. Fewer than 10 people a year do so, so your car would be pretty exclusive!

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There were further examples of the latest road cars here, with the 488 GTB and Spider and California T in evidence.

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Also present was an F12 TdF, a model unveiled in October 2015, as a faster, lighter and more powerful special edition of the regular car. The accompanying press releases informed us that the the car was created in homage to the legendary Tour de France road races, which it dominated in the 1950s and 1960s with the likes of the 1956 250 GT Berlinetta. However, the full Tour de France name cannot be used, as this is registered to the famous annual cycle race held in France, and even the might of Ferrari’s often belligerent and bullying legal department clearly had not managed to get past that obstacle. The F12 TdF,  described by its maker as “the ultimate expression of the concept of an extreme road car that is equally at home on the track”, keeps the same 6.3-litre naturally aspirated V12 engine as the regular F12 Berlinetta, but power has been boosted from 730bhp to 770bhp at 8500rpm, while torque has increased from 509lb ft to 520lb ft at 6750rpm. Ferrari says 80% of the car’s torque is available from 2500rpm. By comparison, McLaren’s 675LT features a 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine and produces 660bhp and 516lb ft – enough to give it a 0-62mph sprint time of 2.9 seconds. The older Ferrari 458 Speciale, meanwhile, made 597bhp from its 4.5-litre naturally aspirated V8. The car  is capable of reaching 62mph in 2.9sec and has a top speed of more than 211mph. Official fuel consumption is rated at 18.3mpg, with CO2 emissions of 360g/km. Ferrari says it has has used various modifications derived from its F1 cars to boost the engine’s efficiency. The F12 TdF uses a new version of the firm’s dual-clutch automatic transmission, which features shorter gear ratios. New one-piece brake calipers – the same as those used on the LaFerrari supercar – are said to provide “outstanding” stopping distances, allowing the F12 TdF to brake from 62-0mph in 30.5 metres. Ferrari says the car’s performance is “second to none”, but that it has also been conceived to be “an extremely agile and powerful car which could also be driven by less expert drivers”. The F12 TdF  has lapped Ferrari’s Fiorano test track in 1min 21sec. The regular F12 Berlinetta completed the lap in 1min 23sec – the same as the new 488. The LaFerrari currently holds the fastest time on the course, with a time of 1min 19.70sec. Among the other changes made to the F12 TdF are larger front tyres, allowing greater lateral acceleration through corners. Ferrari says the car’s “natural tendency” to oversteer has been compensated for by the use of a new rear-wheel steering system. Dubbed Virtual Short Wheelbase, the system – which automatically adjusts the rear wheels for the optimum steering angle – is said to increase stability at high speeds while guaranteeing “the steering wheel response times and turn-in of a competition car”. The F12 TdF’s aggressive bodywork includes a longer and higher rear spoiler, larger air vents to channel air flow along the sides of the car, a redesigned rear diffuser and new wheel arch louvres. It sits on 20in alloy wheels. Overall, the changes combine to give the F12 TdF 30% more downforce compared to the F12. Ferrari says the redesigned bodywork has almost doubled the aerodynamic efficiency of the car compared to the standard F12, while the use of lightweight carbonfibre inside and out has reduced the F12 TdFf’s kerb weight by 110kg over the standard car, which weighs 1630kg. The cabin is deliberately stripped out. The door panels feature carbonfibre trim, while knee padding replaces the traditional glovebox. The majority of the cabin is trimmed with Alcantara instead of real leather. Aluminium plates feature on the floor instead of mats, again hinting at the car’s track-focused nature. Just 799 examples will be built, around 20 of which are ear-marked for the UK, and the asking price is £339,000, which is around £100,000 more than the regular F12 Berlinetta.

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Having seen this trio here last year, there was another chance to see three very special race cars, the FXX, FXX-K and 599XX. The FXX-K is the track-only version of the Ferrari La Ferrari. An astonishing technical achievement, it is Maranello’s most powerful creation to date, being the first Ferrari to produce more than 1000bhp. Power is delivered via a V12 engine producing 860bhp and an electric motor which produces 190bhp. This combination provides torque in excess of 900nm. The car also adopts a kinetic energy recovery system (KERS), the same technology used in today’s F1 cars. The select few who are lucky enough to own an FXX K will undertake an exclusive dynamic test programme with Ferrari.

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In a way, the precursor to the FXX K was the FXX and there was one of these here, too. Revealed in 2005, the FXX used some technology developed from the Enzo Ferrari, and combined it with some new developments from Ferrari and its suppliers. An evolution of the Enzo, in essence, the FXX shares some components with the original car, but numerous, significant developments are unique to the FXX. The FXX’s engine was based on the Enzo’s, but displacement was increased to 6,262 cc from 5,998 cc. The output was boosted from the Enzo’s 670 PS to 820 PS at 8,500 rpm. The gearbox incorporated the latest developments from Ferrari’s F1 program and has a shift time of under 100 ms. The brake pads were also upgraded from the Enzo. It did, however, retain the Carbon fibre-reinforced Silicon Carbide (C/SiC) ceramic composite discs found on the Enzo. The tyres are custom-developed 19″ slicks. The FXX features comprehensive data-monitoring and telemetry that not only allows the driver to improve performance, but also provides Ferrari technicians with valuable data to improve the FXX and future road-going Ferraris. The model was only sold in Europe. Units could be imported, but not owned, in any other continent. 30 of them were built, with one special edition added to the 29 that were originally planned. Those original 29 were all sold to pre-selected past Ferrari customers. The 30th was retained by Ferrari S.p.A. and presented to Ferrari’s F1 World Champion driver, Michael Schumacher, when he retired from Formula One racing at the end of 2006. Schumacher’s FXX differs from others in being black without a stripe, having red trimmed wheels, matte rather than chrome exhaust tips, and his personal logo stitched on the racing seats. However, “acquiring” an FXX was only a part of the overall program. The FXX Evolution package was reported to cost 1.5 million euros (excluding taxes) including the car, the crew and the services provided by Ferrari, and this only allowed them to drive the car on special track days, approved by Ferrari. As part of the FXX programme, the car is maintained by the Ferrari factory, and FXX owners also participate in Ferrari’s testing and brand development programs as well as being entitled to be briefed by Ferrari on the car’s performance after every drive. The purpose of this particular program was to allow Ferrari’s top customers exclusive access to its most up-to-date technology and to utilise their input in the development of future models. Ferrari’s sister company, Maserati, developed a similar car, the MC12 Corsa. It is suspected that one reason Ferrari so closely guarded the FXX at launch was due to the car incorporating various advanced technology from Ferrari’s F1 team that the company did not want being inadvertently released to rivals.

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Also here was a 599XX. Revealed at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show,this was also a track-only iteration of the 599 GTB. Designed by Ferrari’s Formula-one engineers, the car has many changes over the standard car in order to make it more nimble and responsive on a race track. Exterior enhancements included two winglets on the C-pillars for improved downforce, a vented bonnet for improved engine cooling, darkened lexan tail lamps, a carbon fibre ‘ducktail’ rear spoiler aiding further in downforce, a large rear diffuser for improved under body airflow, tow hooks at the front and rear, additional ducts for improved cooling, a minimalist race interior with racing bucket seats along with an LCD display behind the steering wheel replacing all analogue gauges equipped with a roll-cage and lexan sliding windows. The car also has two fans that were located in the trunk and worked to keep the car on the ground and stopped working at speeds up to 249 km/h (155 mph), a speed at which the car needed no additional downforce. With all such components, the car was reported to generate 280 kg (617 lb) of downforce at 200 km/h (124 mph) and 630 kg (1,389 lb) of downforce at 299 km/h (186 mph). The air conditioning system was retained for added driver comfort. The car had nine traction and stability control modes, all controlled from the “manettino” knob on the steering wheel. The car was equipped with F1 inspired carbon ceramic brakes with crossed drilled rotors and a new race exhaust system. The rev limiter was raised to 9,000 rpm, with the engine rated at 730 PS (720 hp) at 9,000 rpm. Weight was reduced by reducing the weight of the engine components such as a new carbon fibre intake manifold and graphite coated pistons along with a lightweight crankshaft, as well as through the use of composite materials and the use of carbon fibre body parts. A new gearbox was introduced to cut overall gear change time to 60 milliseconds, holding the upward or downward shift paddle for longer resulted in multiple shifts that improved gearing time. The car also included 29/67 R19 front and 31/71 R19 rear racing slicks with 19 × 11J wheels at the front and 19 × 12J at the rear. The 599XX was capable of accelerating from 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) in 2.9 seconds and attained a top speed of 315 km/h (196 mph) (redline limited top speed).At the 2010 Beijing International Auto Show, Ferrari announced that the 599XX had completed the Nordschleife circuit at the Nürburgring in a time of 6 minutes and 58.16 seconds – the fastest time ever recorded for a production-derived sports car. This lap was later beaten by the Pagani Zonda R in June 2010, which had set a lap time of 6 minutes and 47.50 seconds.

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Perhaps the rarest of the lot, since it is a one-off was this 458MM Speciale. This is based on a Ferrari 458 Speciale and was built for a British customer. The design pays homage to the Ferrari 288 GTO and incorporates handcrafted aluminium and carbon fibre components. Performance figures are rumoured to be the same as the normal 458 Speciale.

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Ferrari have been running a Challenge Series for a number of years, using modified versions of their current 2 seater V8 model, With the 488 GTB having replaced the 458 in recent times, then so a new 488 Challenge car has now been produced and there was an example here.

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Mustang GT500

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Both the latest and the original NSX models were here. There were two of those first generation NSX here, an early car and one of the late ones with the fixed headlights.

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There was another example of the F Type Coupe here, seen in R spec and it was joined by another F Pace.

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This is the GT4 racing version of the familiar X-Bow. The KTM X-Bow (pronounced crossbow) is an ultra-light sports car for road and race use, produced by Austrian motorcycle manufacturer KTM. It represented the first car in their product range and was launched at the Geneva Motor Show in 2008. KTM developed the X-Bow in collaboration with Kiska Design, Audi, and Dallara. The X-Bow uses a turbocharged four-cylinder 2.0 litre Audi engine. The 2008 model produces 237 bhp at 5,500 rpm and 310 Nm (230 lb/ft) of torque between 2,000 and 5,500 rpm, and can accelerate from 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.9 seconds. Its top speed is 217 km/h (134.9 mph). In the 2011 X-Bow R model, the Audi engine is further tuned to produce 300 bhp and 400 Nm (300 lb/ft) of torque at 3,300 rpm. Originally, KTM planned a production of 500 units per year; however, the company increased production to 1,000 cars a year and built a new plant near Graz due to high demand. The car has been raced at the Race of Champions all-star event since 2008. The KTM X-Bow was raced in the Supersport category of the 2008 FIA GT4 Championship. Drivers Catharina Felser, Christopher Haase and Dennis Retera (for Reiter Engineering) took a podium finish at Monza, and pole position in the wet qualifying session at Nogaro. The FIA-homologated KTM X-BOW GT4 is available for racing purposes. Marcus Clutton and Phil Keen won the supersports call of the 2009 British GT season, and Peter Belshaw and Clutton were the GT4 champions in the 2011 season. The KTM X-BOW Battle race series started in 2010 and was a support event for the DTM German Touring Car series at Adria Raceway in 2010 and Lausitzring in 2011. The GT4 X-Bow has been entered by Brett Sandberg in the 2016 Pirelli World Challenge GTS Championship.

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Presented here were a couple of examples of the Huracan, a Spyder and the recently released AVIO. Unveiled at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, the Avio is the first limited edition of the Huracán, bringing new colours, upholstery, exterior decals and interior logos inspired by the Italian fighter jets along with featuring a tricolore cockade in Red, White and Green. On the centre console there is a plaque indicating the limited number from 250 examples offered.

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As well as further examples of the RC-F road car, Lexus were also showing the RC F GT Concept. This track-focused machine gets some mild upgrades from the RC F production car it’s based on. It has the same 5.0-litre V8 powerplant and eight-speed automatic transmission but is 350kg lighter.

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The LC500 was also out here, as was another example of the LF-A.

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Making another appearance here, a year after it made its debut at this event was the Three-Eleven. A new 450bhp, 890kg model, the 3-Eleven is the fastest and most expensive model Lotus has built. The 3-Eleven covered over 1200 miles of the Nürburgring as part of its test programme, with a fastest time of 7min 06sec being recorded. That time was calculated from adding together the fastest sector times from two separate laps of the course, which Lotus did not have to itself. The car will come in two versions – Road and Race – costing between £82,500 and £116,500, depending on specification. Gales has called the 3-Eleven “an uncompromised manifestation of the Lotus idiom” that delivers “legendary handling and blistering speed”. In Race form, it lapped Lotus’s Hethel circuit in just 1min 19.5sec, more than 10sec faster than the next-quickest Lotus. Straight-line performance is just as electrifying. The Race version can cover 0-60mph in 2.9sec, which pitches it straight into McLaren P1 and LaFerrari territory. Flat out, the 3-Eleven can top 174mph in Race trim, and the Road model, on a slightly taller gearing, can do 180mph. The engine is a transverse, midmounted version of Lotus’s 3.5-litre Toyota-sourced V6, with the supercharger, integrated charge cooler and engine management electronics designed at Hethel. Power is 453bhp at 7000rpm, and maximum torque is 332lb ft at 3500rpm. The Road variant has a dry weight of 925kg and maximum power of 404bhp. The road-going 3-Eleven gets a conventional six-speed H-pattern gearbox (with racing clutch) and the Race version has an Xtrac sequential six-speed paddleshift ’box. Both have Torsentype limited-slip differentials. The car has a bonded and riveted aluminium monocoque tub chassis reminiscent of other Lotus models’ but “massively strengthened” for this new application. The Road model’s rollcage incorporates extra side impact bars, and the Race cage has additional bars to meet FIA international race regulations. The 3-Eleven’s dramatic silhouette is formed in a new composite material 40% lighter than standard glassfibre, its first application in a production car. Designed in-house at Lotus, the car has all the cooling scoops and exit vents a powerful car needs while keeping aerodynamic drag and frontal area low. The car’s profile is dominated by an “aerodynamically significant” roll-over bar cover and there are different front splitter and rear spoiler designs for Road and Race models. In Race trim, the aero package delivers about 215kg of downforce at 150mph. The cockpit treatment is minimalistic. There’s an aero screen, the instrument pack is designed around a single TFT screen, and the driver’s seat is a lightweight Lotus-designed bucket. A quick-release steering wheel and four-point harness are both standard. Road car owners have the option of a tonneau panel covering the passenger’s side, or can remove it and fit an optional passenger’s seat. Both the Race and Road models get an all-independent suspension with lightweight coil-sprung double wishbones, special Ohlins dampers and adjustable front anti-roll bars. Both models ride on lightweight forged alloy wheels (18in front, 19in rear) and wear either Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres (Road) or Michelin Cup 2s (Race). Both also get two-piece cross-drilled and vented disc brakes with AP Racing four-piston callipers. It is planned to build 311 examples, selling them both through dealers and from its Racing department. Deliveries began earlier this year and it is likely to take two years before they will all have been built.

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Celebrating the MX-5 were a number of cars including an example of the first generation NA model as well as one of the limited edition ND cars.

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There were also a pair of special versions of the latest ND Series MX-5 which were first seen at the 2015 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. First of these is called the Spyder, It’s not the first time Mazda shows us a ‘Spyder’ concept, but this time the MX-5 Spyder wants to recreate the vintage road character of classic roadsters and came painted in a new Mercury Silver shade, with the cabin dressed in bespoke leather that’s been “painstakingly crafted”. The other car is the Speedster, which pays homage to the minimalistic roadster of the 1950s by showcasing extreme lightweight measures for the best performance possible. Painted in Blue Ether, the MX-5 Speedster will go as far as having its normal windshield replaced by a lighter deflector. There are no production plans.

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McLaren models on show here included the recently announced track-only 570S Sprint, which was making its global dynamic debut here. It was presented alongside the 570S Coupé from the Sports Series, while the 50th anniversary of the Can-Am championship was celebrated by the 650S Can-Am by MSO, joined by the sold-out 675LT Spider representing the Super Series and there was also a P1 GTR here.

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Mercedes used the event to launch a new version of their GT model. the GT R. Powered by a 577bhp twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine, the GT R boasts the label of Mercedes-AMG’s most advanced road car.

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Also here was the new AMG C63S Edition 1 Coupé – unmistakable thanks to its striking yellow decals – as well as a slightly less brash Convertible version.

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There were a couple of examples of the racing versions of the MINI, as used in the MINI Challenge parked up here.

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The latest GT-R was here, a further car to those shown on Nissan’s display stand.

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This is an M600 Speedster. First seen in 2010, the Noble M600 is a handbuilt British sports car manufactured by low volume automobile manufacturer Noble Automotive in Leicestershire. Construction of the car is of stainless steel and carbon fibre. The car uses a twin-turbocharged Volvo/Yamaha V8 engine. The M600 comes in three specifications, the standard; which uses a fibre glass body; the carbon sport which uses a carbon-fibre body and the Speedster which is basically a targa top version. The M600 is hand-built by a team of 20 workers at the company’s Leicestershire facility. The M600 uses a steel backbone and aluminium chassis which is the same chassis used on the stillborn M15. The standard model uses carbon-fibre for vital body parts of the car and this allows it to have a curb weight of 1,250 kg (2,756 lb), although when independently tested, the standard model weighed 1,305 kg (2,877 lb). The M600 uses a 4,414 cc Yamaha-built Volvo B8444S 60º V8 engine which is also used in the Volvo XC90 and S80. The engine used in the M600 is manufactured by Motorkraft in the US from B8444S crate engines with Garrett AiResearch twin-turbochargers equipped with variable boost. This allows the buyer to choose from variable power outputs ranging from 450 bhp (Road setting, 0.6 bar (8.7 psi) pressure), 550 bhp (Track setting, 0.8 bar (12 psi)) and 650 bhp (Race setting,1 bar (15 psi)) through the use of a switch present on the dashboard. The engine also features a MoTeC M190 and Injector Dynamics ID725 electronic fuel injection. It has a compression ratio of 9.50:1. It uses an Oerlikon Graziano transaxle six-speed manual gearbox and has the redline set at 7,000 rpm. The M600 uses steel brake discs with six piston calipers at the front and four piston calipers at the rear. The brakes are designed by Britain based braking specialist Alcon. Owing to the driver focused nature of the car, there is no Anti-lock Braking System installed and the brakes have limited servo assistance. The interior of the car has twin hide upholstery and gloss carbon-fibre trim as standard. Buyers have the choice to choose from leather, suede an advantage upholstery along with knurled wood trim and wool carpeting. The switches and instrumentation are bespoke to the M600, although some components are shared with Jaguar and Aston Martin models. The car is equipped with an adjustable steering column and driver’s seat while the pedals are offset to the left. The pedals are adjusted according to the owner’s preference in order to provide a good driving position. A highlight of the interior is the engine power control knob, similar to Ferrari’s Manettino knob, which allows the driver to choose from variable engine power outputs along with related turbo boost pressure (Road, Track and Race). The knob is present ahead of the gearshift knob on the dashboard. A traction control switch activates the limited traction control which is present to avoid oversteer. The interior is based on simplicity and is driver focused, inspired by the Ferrari F40 and due to this, it does away with climate control and modern infotainment systems. Although extremely reviewed, sales have been very slow, though no-one has ever said how many, or perhaps have few have been built.

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There was quite a variety of Porsche models here. One of the ones attracting a lot of interest was one of the highly rated Singer versions of the classic 911. Singer has made quite a name for themselves in the production of what you might call a resto-mod car, with modern engineering and techniques being applied whilst preserving the overall appearance of the much-loved original. The company brought the latest ‘Newcastle’ restoration to Goodwood, which is its first restoration with a Nubuck suede-style interior. It’s not all show and no go, though, as the company has upgraded the 4.0-litre engine and fitted a six-speed transmission.

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Cars that you can simply buy from your local Porsche dealer include the 911 Turbo S and the latest 718 Boxster S.

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Also here was the 918 Spyder.

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Another unfamiliar name, but one with a surprising amount of history. Praga is a manufacturing company based in Prague, Czech Republic, producing automobiles, karts, road supersport cars and planes. Praga V3S was one of the best off-road trucks in its time and was used by the Czechoslovak Army more than half a century. Praga was founded in 1907 to build motor cars as a venture between entrepreneur František Ringhoffer and the company 1. českomoravská továrna na stroje (“First Bohemian-Moravian Machine Works”, later a founding part of the ČKD factories). Ringhoffer only stayed for one year and in 1909 the trade name Praga (“Prague” in Latin) was adopted. One of its early models was built under licence from the Italian company of Isotta Fraschini. Praga also diversified into building engines and gearboxes for other applications such as aircraft and tanks. In 1929 Praga merged with ČKD, one of Czechoslovakia’s largest engineering companies. In 1929 ČKD’s BD motorcycle was re-branded under the Praga marque. This was an advanced four-stroke single-cylinder unit construction double overhead camshaft model of 500cc designed in 1927 by JF Koch. The “BD” designation was retained as its model name. In 1932 Praga added a second motorcycle model, the BC. This had a single overhead camshaft engine of 350cc, shaft drive and a pressed steel frame. Praga ended production of both motorcycle models in 1933. The factory was largely destroyed by air raids in 1945. After the Second World War it was rebuilt and resumed truck and bus construction. The firm was nationalized in October 1945. Passenger cars (only the mid-sized Lady) were also manufactured in small numbers until 1947, for use by government officials. The M53/59 Praga was a self-propelled anti-aircraft gun developed in the late 1950s. It consists of a heavily modified Praga V3S 6 wheel drive truck chassis and twin 30 mm AA autocannon. In 2006, Praga was purchased by British International Truck Alliance with the intention to produce trucks with the name of Praga in Lublin, Poland. In June 2011 the company unveiled at the Dutch Supercar Challenge in Belgium, their new car, the Praga R4 with an eight-cylinder engine of 520 hp, which has not been so far homologated for normal road traffic. According to company owner Petr Ptáček, there will follow gradual steps, so new Praga cars will not be seen only at racetracks, but we could see them in normal traffic. Earlier In 2016, the company announced plans for the first deliveries of supersport road cars, the Praga R1R, in a limited edition of 68 cars, the first road car of Praga since 1947 and that is what was seen here.

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This is the latest RXC model, a line of track-only race cars and street-legal road cars built by British manufacturer Radical Sportscars. The first street-legal RXC was unveiled in January of 2013 at the Autosport International auto show, and it has since been offered in many different engine and racing configurations. The original RXC launched in 2013 for the 2014 model year in two street-legal forms: the RXC V6 and the optional upgraded RXC V8. The standard V6, a modified version of the 3.7 litre Ford Duratec 37 Cyclone, produces 350 hp @ 6,750 rpm and 320 lb/ft (434 Nm) @ 4,250 rpm. The V8 came in two engine configurations, a 2.7 and a 3.0 litre, both in-house designs based on the inline-four engine used in the Suzuki Hayabusa. The 2.7 litre produces 430 hp @ 9,500 rpm and 260 lb/ft (353 Nm) @ 7,200 rpm, while the 3.0 L produces 480 hp @ 9,100 rpm and 280 lb/ft (380 Nm) @ 7,500 rpm. The RXC was based on the design of the previous Radical SR9 Le Mans prototype, and features a body made out of mostly carbon fibre composites. Both engines are mated to 7-speed semi-automatic transmission manufactured by Quaife, mounted transversely and driving the rear wheels. Standard features inside the RXC include air conditioning, power steering, heated windscreen and mirrors, and a multi-function adjustable steering wheel. The RXC Turbo was unveiled at the 2014 Autosport International show, one year after the reveal of the original RXC. The RXC Turbo adds a new powerplant to the RXC lineup in the form of Ford’s 3.5 litre twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 engine, producing 448 hp @ 5,500 rpm and 500 lb/ft (678 Nm) @ 3,500 rpm. The RXC Turbo is also available with additional levels of sound deadening equipment in the interior to eliminate NVH at the cost of weight savings.In January 2015’s Autosport International show, Radical revealed its new track-only model, the RXC Spyder. Intended to replace the Radical SR8 RX as the company’s flagship track car, the RXC Spyder features an open cockpit and significant aerodynamic additions over previous RXC models. The RXC Spyder was initially offered with only the 3.0 L RPE RPX-V8 engine from the RXC V8, producing 440 hp @ 9,100 rpm and 280 lb/ft (380 Nm) @ 7,500 rpm. In 2016 after the release of the RXC Turbo 500R, the RXC Spyder became available with the 500R’s 3.5 litre twin-turbo EcoBoost engine, producing 600 hp @ 6,700 rpm and 465 lb/ft (630 Nm) @ 4,200 rpm–6,200 rpm. At the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, Radical introduced a higher-performance version of the existing turbo road car, the RXC Turbo 500. All internals and externals of the car are carried over from the original Turbo, with the exception of the new uptuned 3.5 L EcoBoost engine. The RXC Turbo 500’s EcoBoost V6 now produces 530 hp @ 6,100 rpm and 481 lb/ft (652 Nm) @ 5,000 rpm. A further development of the RXC Turbo 500 would come at the 2016 Geneva Motor show in the form of the RXC Turbo 500R. The 500R features new weight-saving carbon fibre techniques that Radical claims cuts 50 kg from the original 500 model, as well as larger brakes paired to a new ABS system. The 3.5 L EcoBoost engine in 500R tune now produces 600 hp @ 6,700 rpm and 465 lb/ft (630 Nm) @ 4,200 rpm–6,200 rpm. The RXC 500R was produced on both track-only and road-legal Dunlop Tyres.

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This is the Renault Sport RS 16 Concept which has been produced to celebrate Renault Sport’s 40th anniversary and return to Formula 1. It is based on the regular production RS200 model, and grafts the Renault range’s highest-performing engine into a Renault Clio and features the colours of the 2016 R.S. 6 F1 single-seater. It was unveiled at the Monaco Grand Prix a few weeks prior to this event. “Our aim was to produce a concept car with genuinely outstanding performance credentials,” notes Patrice Ratti, Managing Director of Renault Sport Cars, leader of the project which particularly inspired the development team’s specialists. “On paper, producing a Clio R.S. powered by our most potent engine – namely the 275 bhp two-litre power unit which delivers peak torque of 360Nm – was an extremely appealing idea, but we had to make sure it was feasible.” Thanks to new working procedures involving teams from the worlds of motorsport and road cars, the development of the highest-performance road-going Renault Sport car ever took just five months from start to finish. Finding the ideal way to house the engine, transmission and cooling system of the Mégane R.S. 275 Trophy-R was a significant challenge. The exhaust system was also revised as a function of the engine’s potential, while the suspension was engineered to match the car’s outstanding performance characteristics. Careful attention was paid to the sound produced by the car, too, and an Akrapovic twin exhaust system was selected. The design and development team dealt successfully with the constraints inherent in the Clio R.S. 16 project (body widened by 60mm, 19-inch wheels and optimisation of the engine cooling system) to produce an expressive, sporty stance. The result is enhanced by an LED R.S. VISION chequered-pattern lighting signature featuring exclusive multi-faceted reflector technology. Renault Sport’s trademark Liquid Yellow has been combined with gloss black details to mirror the livery of Renault Sport Formula One Team’s R.S.16 F1 single-seaters. It is not clear whether the car will reach production.

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Representing Rolls Royce was a Wraith Black Badge Edition. The Black Badge Editions – available on Ghost and Wraith models – was announced at the Geneva Show in March, and were conceived in the hope of appealing to a younger generation of buyers, and said to be “truly bespoke”. These are a permanent bespoke series of cars for a group of young, driven, self-made people that will make a bold and edgy lifestyle statement about their lives, and the cars were apparently created in collaboration with some of these new potential customers. Technically and aesthetically, Black Badge is the alter ego of Rolls-Royce Wraith and Ghost: darker, more assertive, more confident and powerful, and more demanding. The first thing that’s noticeably different about the two models is the iconic Spirit of Ecstasy figurine, which is finished in black gloss. Similarly, several pieces of exterior trim, including the Rolls-Royce badges, are black, while the car’s chromed surfaces take on a darker hue. The models sit on new composite carbonfibre alloy wheels with aluminium hubs. Unsurprisingly, both models were painted black. Rolls-Royce says it is taking the colour “to new levels of intensity” by using multiple layers of paint and hand polishing each panel. Both also feature automatic LED headlights. Inside, the cabins of the Black Badge cars feature carbonfibre composite trim, darkened air vents and a bespoke centre-piece clock. While both cars keep their original engines, power from the Ghost’s 6.6-litre twin-turbocharged V12 has been increased by 39bhp to 595bhp, and torque is up to 620lb ft – an increase of 44lb ft. The car’s eight-speed automatic transmission also receives a more sporting set-up that allows the Ghost to hold on to lower gears for longer, and change down more readily than before. Other changes to Ghost Black Badge models include steering and suspension set-up alterations, including new drive shafts. Rolls-Royce says the new model “continues to deliver the most luxurious ride, with just that little bit of extra driver focus.” The Wraith Black Badge keeps its 624bhp V12 engine, but gets an increase in torque to 642lb ft. It gets redesigned air suspension, new drive shafts and the same performance-inspired upgrades to the eight-speed auto’ box. The brakes of both Black Badge models have also been upgraded, with larger front brake discs. If this is what sells, then I suppose, needs must, but Charles and Sir Henry would surely be turning in their graves at the sight of such cars.

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Another example of the Model X was here, for a close-up examination.

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This Toyota Chaser was actually driving around when I saw it, and although I was in the supercar area at the time, I am not sure where it would actually be parked up. The Chaser is one of those cars which was not been exported officially to Europe, but several examples of which have come here as grey imports in recent times, the cars often then being modified by their enthusiastic owners. This is a fifth generation car, premiered in October 1992 when the X90 Chaser replaced the previous X81 Chaser. It had a larger body, better handling and more engine power. The body was curvier and the car was significantly longer. The Chaser lineup was largely carried over from the X81 Chaser except the GT Twin Turbo, which was abolished and replaced by the new Tourer V. The top-of-the-line Avante G model received a 220 PS (162 kW; 217 hp) natural aspirated 2JZ-GE, the next evolution of the JZ series of engines (the most powerful being the 2JZ-GTE twin turbo which powered the JZA80 Supra, released in the same year). The Tourer V was still powered by the 1JZ-GTE engines, carried over from the GT Twin Turbo model. There was also a manual transmission version of the Tourer V, suitable for the car’s sporty driving characteristics, and a Tourer S model, which was basically the Tourer V minus a turbocharger. In September 1992, the Tourer models received equipment upgrades, although not to the level of the Avante G, and their prices were correspondingly higher. With the retirement of the Cressida model after the X81 generation, only the Mark II, Chaser, and Cresta were sold in the Japanese car market. Each of the members of the Cressida family supposedly had different characteristics- the Chaser was geared towards sporty driving, the Cresta towards luxury, and the Mark II was the baseline model, although the cars mostly differed in front and rear ends (plus doors for the Cresta).

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Making a first appearance here was what is almost certainly the fastest commercial vehicle ever, the Maloo LSA Pickup. Technically, of course, this is an Australian-built Holden, but like the VXR saloons that are sold in the UK in small numbers, it gains Vaixhall badges for the UK market. There is a supercharged 6 litre V8 under the bonnet of this Maloo, giving it explosive performance.

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There was another Golf GTi Clubsport S here, and the bonnet graphic provided a reminder of that Nurburgring record time.

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Looking relatively innocuous, this is the Polestar version of the Volvo V60. This was first seen in 2013, as a limited edition car. It is a reworked V60 that was developed by Polestar and went on sale in 2014 in limited markets only. Apart from a retuned engine delivering 350PS the car received a wide range of suspension upgrades which included special dampers made by Öhlins, six piston brakes by Brembo and new anti-rollbars. Cosmetic changes include custom 20″ alloy wheels, a different front and rear splitter and contrasting coloured interior stitching. When first introduced the only available paint colours were black metallic or “Rebel Blue”, later white and silver metallic colours were added. In 2016, the model year 2017 V60 Polestar received an all new four cylinder 2.0 litre turbo engine replacing the old 3.0 litre six cylinder.

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Mexican manufacturer Vuhl revealed its hardcore, track-oriented 05RR, which is based on the 05. The 05RR is likely to dispense with any unnecessary comforts and adopt a more aggressive set-up to shave seconds off lap times. The sub-700kg kerb weight is likely to drop further still and that may help dip the 055R’s 0-60mph time below the 3.5sec of the 05.

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This is a Zenos E10S.  First revealed at the Autosport International show in January 2014, the car proved that it was a reality and not just a statement of intent that had been first suggested when two ex-Caterham gents, Ansar Ali and Mark Edwards, showed off a sketch of the E10. Launched with an asking price of under £30,000., for your money you get a 2.0-litre Ford GDI petrol engine making 200bhp and 155lb ft of torque, mounted in the middle, and powering the rear wheels through a limited slip differential and a six-speed transverse manual gearbox. The launch edition also gets removable front and rear wings coloured red, bespoke Zenos composite seats, four-point race harnesses, an OZ performance wheel pack with ZZR Avon tyres, footwell heating and even a quick release steering wheel. The whole thing weighs in at 650kg – thanks to a hybrid carbon and aluminium monocoque – while suspension is of the double wishbone variety all round (with Bilstein dampers). As such, it’s estimated to accelerate from 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds and rock on to a top speed of 135mph, though both of these figures are yet to be confirmed. Plans were announced to create two further models, the E11 and E12 sports cars (the first a roadster, the second a coupe) by 2018, though as ever with start ups, the reality of what can be done and how quickly was somewhat ambitious. The E10 has had good reviews, but is still struggling in a competitive and small sector in the market place.

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TAG Heuer has been the official timing partner of the Festival since 2010, showcasing its watches at an impressive stand and the sponsored Drivers’ Club as well as presence around the track. I did not get access to the Driver’s Club, but reports I read after the event revealed that this year the Swiss brand introduced several timepieces to commemorate its bond with the Festival and former home to the Grand Prix races of old, as well as limited edition TAG Heuer pieces shown at Baselworld 2016, including the new Formula 1 McLaren watches The approach to the Drivers Club is always lined by a display of interesting cars, and this year the theme was “Rebels on the Track”. One of these was made famous by its starring role as driven by Steve MacQueen. who wore a TAG Heuer watch in his famous 1970 film “Le Mans”. The car was a version of the famous green Mustang that he drove in the 1968 classic Bullitt (one surviving car was sold to an employee after the filming ended). Not only did McQueen do his own driving stunts, but the movie also contained a record for the longest drive chase without any dialogue. Also to be seen here were the Austin A35 van that was owned by the late James Hunt, and which was alleged to be his favourite car, as well as a Honda NS-Xthat belonged to Ayrton Senna.

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Once the Festival of Speed itself starts, then there are cars from every genre of motorsport from the past 120 years being prepared and heading off for the moments in the spot light as they take to the track. But if you want to see the cars up close, then you really need to get to them in the Paddock, and there is no better time to do that than on the Thursday, Although there are a few gaps, where there is going to be a late arrival or, heaven forbid, a no-show, most of the cars are parked up, ready for action. You could spend all day wandering around just this part of the event, looking at literally hundreds of rare, significant and in many cases unique and priceless cars, the ones which Lord March and his organising team invited, some months prior to the event, to attend. It does pay to get to the Paddock reasonably early in the day, as if you arrive towards the end of proceedings, many of the cars are hidden away under protective covers, as I have found out in previous years, but such are the temptations elsewhere on site that despite vowing that I will not make the same mistake this time, I still did not seem to end up with enough time to do justice to what was to be found here, and ended up with a rather rushed walk up and down the aisles, taking as many photos as I could. Truly there is something for everyone here, with cars ranging from the early pioneers of motorsport, to record breakers, le Mans 24 hour racers, Touring Cars from around the world, Group C, Formula 1, CanAm, NASCAR, rallying and indeed every genre and class you can think of.


There were a couple of examples here of the Tipo 33, a sports racing prototype raced by the Alfa Romeo factory-backed team between 1967 and 1977. These cars took part for Sport Cars World Championship, Nordic Challenge Cup, Interserie and CanAm series. A small number of road going cars were derived from it in 1967, called the Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale. Alfa Romeo started development of the Tipo 33 in the early 1960s, with the first car being built in 1965. It was sent to Autodelta to be completed and for additional changes to be made. It used an Alfa Romeo TZ2 straight-4 engine, but Autodelta produced its 2.0 litre V8 soon after. The 2000 cc Tipo 33 mid-engined prototype debuted on 12 March 1967 at the Belgian hillclimbing event at Fléron, with Teodoro Zeccoli winning. The first version was named as “periscope” because it had very characteristic air inlet. It was powered by a 1995 cc 90° V8 of 270 hp, with a large-diameter tube frame. The original T33 proved unreliable and uncompetitive in the 1967 World Sportscar Championship season, its best result a 5th at the Nürburgring 1000, co-driven by Zeccoli and Roberto Bussinell. In 1968, Alfa’s subsidiary, Autodelta, created an evolution model called 33/2, and one of these cars was shown.  At the 24 Hours of Daytona, the Porsche 907 with 2.2 litre engines were dominating the overall race, but Alfa took the 2-litre class win, with Udo Schütz and Nino Vaccarella; after that the car was named as “Daytona”. The win was repeated at the Targa Florio, where Nanni Galli and Ignazio Giunti also took second place overall, followed by teammates Lucien Bianchi and Mario Casoni. Galli and Giunti then won the class at the Nürburgring 1000 km, where the 2.5 litre version finished for the first time, 4th place in the 3.0 litre class with Schütz and Bianchi. However, in most races, the Alfa drivers were outclassed by their Porsche rivals which used bigger engines. In 1968, the car was used mainly by privateers, winning its class in the 1000km Monza, Targa Florio and Nürburgring races. At the end of season Alfa Romeo had finished third in the 1968 International Championship for Makes. A total of 28 cars were built during 1968, allowing the 33/2 to be homologated as a Group 4 Sports Car for 1969. Alfa continued to develop the car, and with the 33TT12 Alfa Romeo won the 1975 World Championship for Makes, and with the 33SC12 the 1977 World Championship for Sports Cars, taking the first place in all eight of the championship races. This Tipo 33/2 entered the Daytona 24 hours in 1968.

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Twenty years its junior was this Alfa 75, a car which was successful in motor sport when new and thanks to its perfect weight distribution and excellent handling remains popular both for motor sport and motor sport schools even now.

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This is a replica of the legendary Auto Union Type C, one of a series of cars built in the 1930s. The Auto Union racing cars types A to D were built as Grand Prix racing cars from 1934 to 1939. They resembled the earlier Benz Tropfenwagen, also built in part by Rumpler engineers, The only Grand Prix racers to wear Auto Union’s four-ringed logo, they were particularly dominant in 1936. From 1935 to 1937, Auto Union cars car won 25 races, driven by Ernst von Delius, Bernd Rosemeyer, Hans Stuck Sr., and Achille Varzi. Much has been written about the difficult handling characteristics of this car, but its tremendous power and acceleration were undeniable – a driver could induce wheelspin at over 100 mph (160 km/h). The cars used supercharged piston engines; eventually producing almost 550 hp, designed to provide optimum torque at low engine speeds. Rosemeyer would later drive one around the Nürburgring in a single gear, to prove the engine was flexible enough to do it. The fuel tank was located in the centre of the car, directly behind the driver (who would be placed well towards the front), so the car’s front-rear weight distribution would remain unchanged as fuel was used – exactly the same location used in modern open-wheel racing cars, and for the same reason. The chassis tubes were initially used as water carriers from the radiator to the engine, but this was eventually abandoned after they often sprung small leaks. The list of drivers for the initial 1934 season was headed by Stuck; he won the German, Swiss, and Czechoslovakian events, along with wins in a number of hill climbs, becoming European Mountain Champion. In 1935, the engine had been enlarged to 5 litre  displacement, producing 370 bhp. Achille Varzi joined the team and won the Tunis Grand Prix and the Coppa Acerbo. Stuck won the Italian Grand Prix, plus his usual collection of hill-climb wins, again taking the European Mountain Championship. The new sensation, Rosemeyer, won the Czech Grand Prix. Stuck also managed to break speed records, reaching 199 mph (320 km/h) on an Italian autostrada in a closed-cockpit streamliner.[12] Lessons learned from this streamlining were later applied to the T80 land speed record car. For 1936, the engine had grown to a full 6 litre, and was now producing 520 bhp; in the hands of Rosemeyer and his teammates, the Auto Union Type C dominated the racing world. Rosemeyer won the Eifelrennen, German, Swiss, and Italian Grands Prix, as well as the Coppa Acerbo. He was crowned European Champion (Auto Union’s only win of the driver’s championship), and also took the European Mountain Championship. Varzi won the Tripoli Grand Prix, while Stuck placed second in the Tripoli and German Grands Prix, and Ernst von Delius took second in the Coppa Acerbo. In 1937, the car was basically unchanged and did surprisingly well against the new Mercedes-Benz W125, winning five races to the seven of Mercedes-Benz. Rosemeyer took the Eifel and Donington Grands Prix, the Coppa Acerbo, and the Vanderbilt Cup. Rudolf Hasse won the Belgian Grand Prix. In addition to the new 3 litre formula, 1938 brought other challenges, principally the death of Rosemeyer early in the year, in an attempt on the land speed record on a German autobahn. Tazio Nuvolari joined the team, and won the Italian and Donington Grands Prix, in what was otherwise a thin year for the team, other than yet another European Mountain Championship for Stuck. In 1939, as war clouds gathered over Europe, Nuvolari won the Yugoslavia Grand Prix in Belgrade, while Hermann P. Müller won the 1939 French Grand Prix.

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The Audi Sport Quattro S1 was a variant of the Quattro developed for homologation for Group B rallying in 1984, and sold as a production car in limited numbers. It featured an all aluminium 2,133 cc Inline-five engine with a bore X stroke of 79.3 mm × 86.4 mm DOHC 4 valves per cylinder, Bosch LH Jetronic fuel injection and a KKK K27 turbocharger. The engine was slightly smaller than that of the standard Audi Quattro in terms of displacement in order to qualify for the 3-litre engine class after the 1.4 multiplication factor applied to turbocharged engines. In road-going form, the engine was capable of generating 306 PS at 6,700 rpm and 350 N⋅m (258 lb⋅ft) at 3,700 rpm, with the engine on the competition cars initially generating around 450 PS. The car in competition form also featured a body shell composed of carbon-kevlar and wider wheel arches, wider wheels (nine inches as compared to the Ur-Quattro’s optional 8-inch-wide (200 mm) wheels), the steeper windscreen rake of the Audi 80 (requested by the Audi Sport rally team drivers to reduce internal reflections from the dashboard for improved visibility) and, most noticeably, a 320 mm (12.6 in) shorter wheelbase. In addition to Group B competition in rallying, the Sport Quattro won the 1985 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with Michèle Mouton in the driving seat, setting a record time in the process. 224 cars in total of this “short version” Sport Quattro were built, and were offered for sale for 203,850 German Marks. The Audi Sport Quattro S1 E2 was introduced at the end of 1985 as an update to the Audi Sport Quattro S1. The car featured an inline 5-cylinder engine that displaced 2,110 cc and generated an officially quoted power output figure of 480 PS. However, the turbocharger utilised a recirculating air system, with the aim of keeping the unit spinning at high rpm, when the driver closed the throttle, either to back off during cornering, or on gearshifts. This allowed the engine to resume full power immediately after the resumption of full throttle, reducing turbo lag. The actual power figure was in excess of 507 PS at 8,000 rpm. In addition to the improved power output, an aggressive aerodynamic kit was added that featured very distinctive wings and spoilers at the front and rear of the car to increase downforce. The weight was reduced to 1,090 kg (2,403 lb). The S1 could accelerate from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.1 seconds. Some of the cars were supplied with a “power-shift gearbox”, a forerunner of the DSG technology. The S1 E2 made its debut at the 1985 Rally Argentina, with Blomqvist driving. This variant was successful in the rally circuit, with Röhrl and Christian Geistdörfer winning the 1985 San Remo Rally. A modified version of the E2, was also driven by Michèle Mouton. The S1 E2 would become the final Group B car produced by Audi, with the works team withdrawing from the Championship following the 1986 rally in Portugal. The final factory cars of 1986 were rated at 600 PS. In 1987, the car won the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb driven by Walter Röhrl.

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Audi developed a Group A competition version of the Audi V8 for entry into the Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft (DTM) (German Touring Car Championship) auto racing series equipped with 414 bhp, later 456 bhp, 3.6 V8 engine and 6-speed manual transmission, and began racing with it in 1990 with Schmidt MotorSport (SMS) running the operation, and Hans-Joachim Stuck, Walter Röhrl and Frank Jelinski driving. In the 1990 DTM season all of the three teams claimed together the entire podium (1st, 2nd and 3rd places) at Hockenheimring race. Stuck won the title, and the following year, Audi added a second team to the mix, Audi Zentrum Reutlingen (AZR). SMS continued with Stuck and Jelinski, while AZR raced with Frank Biela and Hubert Haupt. Biela gave Audi another crown in 1991, but was unable to defend the title in 1992. For the 1992 season, Audi had changed their engines to use a 180° flatplane crankshaft, which they said had been re-forged and bent from the original 90° crossplane part as used in production model. The DTM organisers found this highly modified crankshaft deviated from original homologated standard crankshaft, and therefore deemed it illegal. Audi subsequently withdrew from the championship.During its presence at DTM the Audi V8 competed with much smaller and about 300 kg (661 lb) lighter Mercedes 190, BMW M3, and slightly smaller Opel Omega 3000. None of those cars were equipped with V8 engines or 4-wheel drive.

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Legendary team owner Carl Haas had already competed successfully for nearly two decades in all major American road racing series when he entered Formula 1 towards the end of 1985. He was backed by Beatrice Foods and the Ford Motor Company and hired an all-star team of people that included former McLaren owners Teddy Mayer and Tyler Alexander as well as promising designers Neil Oatley, John Baldwin and Ross Brawn. Former World Champion Alan Jones came back from retirement to drive the new ‘Beatrice-Lola.’ The second part of the name was in reference to Haas being the long time Lola representative in North America. The Huntingdon manufacturer actually had nothing to do with the design, development or construction of the car. Haas had signed an exclusive deal to use the twin-turbo Ford-Cosworth V6 engine but the all-new engine was not ready in time for the 1985 season. So for his maiden F1 season Haas had to settle for the readily available Hart straight four. The all-alloy engine featured a single turbocharger and produced around 750 bhp. It was mated to a six-speed Hewland gearbox. Oatley and his men designed a very conventional carbon fiber and aluminium honeycomb monocoque chassis that used double wishbones and push-rods on both ends. The car was built near London by a newly formed company called FORCE (Formula One Race Car Engineering ltd.). The first THL1 (Team Haas Lola) was ready for testing in the summer of 1985. Jones first drove the Hart engined Beatrice-Lola in August and testing was concluded in time to take part in the final three Grands Prix of the season. The team used these races to learn as much as possible as they were unlikely to challenge for wins or even points with the underpowered Hart engine. For the machine’s debut at Monza, the former World Champion had to start at the back of the grid. The THL1 was nearly 10 seconds off the pace. Jones’ race was over after just six laps when his engine failed. The Australian suffered a similar fate at the subsequent two appearances when a radiator failure and and another blown engine caused him to retire at the 13th and 20th laps of the races respectively. It was however not all bad news as the THL1 had already picked up the pace and there was the promise of a brand new engine in 1986. Over the winter the original Beatrice-Lola was modified to accept the new ultra-wide Ford badged Cosworth GB engine. This was a twin-turbo V6 just like the dominant TAG-Porsche, Honda and Ferrari engines. The Ford-engined Beatrice-Lola was labeled the THL2. The team also took it up a notch by fielding a second car for Patrick Tambay, who had no drive after Renault had pulled out of Formula 1 at the end of 1985. The Frenchman had previously driven for Mayer and Alexander at McLaren and more importantly had won two Can-Am titles for Carl Haas in the late 1970s. Delays with the construction of the new engine forced the team to start the 1986 season with the old cars. Tambay managed to score the team’s first finish in a THL1 by crossing the line in eighth and last in the Spanish Grand Prix. The very first THL2 was made available to Jones for the third race of the season. Remarkably he was out-qualified by his team-mate, who was still in the Hart engined car. The next race saw both drivers out in the new THL2s and there were clear signs of improvement. Jones recorded his first finish at the Canadian Grand Prix, which had seen Tambay crash heavily in practice. Now nearly competitive, the Beatrice-Lolas had the opportunity to score points on several occasions, thwarted time and again by technical problems. The pieces of the puzzle finally fitted together at the Austrian Grand Prix where Jones and Tambay finished fourth and fifth respectively. Jones followed that up by another point scoring finish at Monza but there was no such luck in the final three races of 1986. Although the team had made a lot of progress throughout the 1986 season, a change of management at Beatrice Foods left Carl Haas without a sponsor at the end of the year. He still had the exclusive deal with Ford for the supply of the Cosworth V6 engines but every attempt to attract new backers failed. The team was forced to close the doors at the end of the year. Haas returned to the United States and embarked on a highly successful spell with his Newman-Haas Indy/CART team. Jones and Tambay did not return to the grid in 1987. The exclusive Ford deal was picked up by the Benetton team but they also struggled to turn the promising pace into good results.

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There were a couple of examples of the classic Bentley from the 1920s here.

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There were lots of historic BMW racers here, fitting in a year when BMW was the featured marque. The 328 was the first true sports car produced by a company whose origins were first in making aircraft engines and then motorcycles when the first activity was prohibited after 1918, BMW entered the automobile market in 1928 when it acquired the Dixi factories in Eisenach. The first type produced, an Austin Seven under licence, was followed by increasingly sophisticated models until the 303, the first six-cylinder model of the brand, was launched in 1933. On its tubular, rigid and modern chassis with independent front wheels and hydraulic brakes, BMW installed increasingly powerful engines, culminating in 1936 with the 328 type, of which the six-cylinder two-litre group reached 80 hp. This remarkable yield was due to the adoption of a hemispherical cylinder head designed by the aeronautical engineer Rudolf Schleicher, the inventor of a novel distribution system that made it possible to use the bottom end of the engine and the lateral camshaft of the front 326 type whilst adding a system of return rods and two rocker-arm ramps that controlled two tilted valves per chamber, without having to resort to distribution to one or two overhead camshafts, which was expensive. The short and almost vertical inlets, surmounted by three inverted carburettors, also contributed to the excellent yield of this two-litre group. From 1936 onwards, the competition version of the modern 328 proved unbeatable in its category, dominating the European circuits and road events, Mille Miglia, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Spa 24 Hours, the Tourist Trophy, etc. Its performance continued to be remarkable after 1945 and it was the origin of the Veritas and Bristol automobiles, among others. In total, BMW produced only 426 BMW 328 models between 1936 and 1939, of which only 200 are left. This one is very special. The company Touring in Milan built a particularly lightweight “superleggera” coupé body on the BMW 328 chassis for use in fast long-distance races. The improved aerodynamics were intended to achieve much higher speeds. The car was first used in June 1939 in the 24-hour race at Le Mans. Max Prinz zu Schaumburg-Lippe and Hans Wencher won the 2-litre sports-car class in a new record time and came 5th in the overall placings. In April 1940, the car driven by Fritz Huschke von Hanstein and Walter Bäumer won a commanding overall victory in the Mille Miglia. Successes and the overall concept make this vehicle a unique racing legend.

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The BMW 507 roadster was launched at the 1955 Frankfurt Motor Show. BMW had succeeded in creating one of the most beautiful sports cars of all time. The car was based on the technology of the 3.2 litre 502 saloon but with the power output increased to 150 bhp. The 507 was built to a design created by Albrecht Graf Goertz, a colleague of Raymond Loewy. This sports car, available with three different rear-axle transmission ratios and a range of top speeds between 190 and 220 km/h, worked wonders for the image of Bayerische Motoren Werke. Almost all BMW 507s, and just 251 of them were built, in many cases bought originally by international celebrities, are still on the road today. This car was driven by Lord March to open the event.

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This is a 3.0CSL Batmobile. Introduced in May 1972, the 3.0 CSL was a homologation special built to make the car eligible for racing in the European Touring Car Championship. The “L” in the designation meant leicht (light), unlike in other BMW designations, where it meant lang (long). The lightness was achieved by using thinner steel to build the unit body, deleting the trim and soundproofing, using aluminium alloy doors, bonnet, and boot lid, and using Perspex side windows. The five hundred 3.0 CSLs exported to the United Kingdom were not quite as light as the others, as the importer had insisted on retaining the soundproofing, electric windows, and stock E9 bumpers on these cars. Initially using the same engine as the 3.0 CS, The 3.0 CSL was given a very small increase in displacement to 3,003 cc by increasing the engine bore by one quarter of a millimetre. This was done in August 1972 to allow the CSL to be raced in the “over three litre” racing category, allowing for some increase in displacement in the racing cars. In 1973,  the engine in the 3.0 CSL was given another, more substantial increase in displacement to 3,153 cc by increasing the stroke to 84 mm (3.3 in). This final version of the 3.0 CSL was homologated in July 1973 along with an aerodynamic package including a large air dam, short fins running along the front fenders, a spoiler above and behind the trailing edge of the roof, and a tall rear wing. The rear wings were not installed at the factory, but were left in the boot for installation after purchase. This was done because the wings were illegal for use on German roads. The full aero package earned the racing CSLs the nickname “Batmobile”.  In 1973, Toine Hezemans won the European Touring Car Championship in a 3.0 CSL and co-drove a 3.0 CSL with Dieter Quester to a class victory at Le Mans. Hezemans and Quester had driven to second place at the 1973 German Touring Car Grand Prix at Nürburgring, being beaten only by Chris Amon and Hans-Joachim Stuck in another 3.0 CSL. 3.0 CSLs would win the European Touring Car Championship again in every year from 1975 to 1979. The 3.0 CSL was raced in the IMSA GT Championship in 1975, with Sam Posey, Brian Redman, and Ronnie Peterson winning races during the season.

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Most of the BMW cars here were sourced directly from BMW, but this E21 320i Group 5 race car is privately owned, In just twelve weeks, BMW Motorsport developed a Group 5 version of the all new ‘E21’ 320 saloon. The new GT racer was ready in time for the 1977 season and replaced the ageing 3.0 CSL, which had actually started life as a Touring Car earlier in the decade. What helped to develop the car in such a short timespan was the fact that a suitable engine already existed in the form of the mighty ‘M12’ four-cylinder that had been successfully used by sports cars and F2 racers for several seasons. Producing around 310 bhp from its two-litre displacement, the twin-cam, sixteen-valve engine was mounted inside a heavily modified production car shell. This had been stripped off all unnecessary components and fitted with massive flared wheel-arches and an aggressive aerodynamics package that been honed in the Pininfarina wind-tunnel. The end result was a truly spectacular machine that tipped the scales at just 740 kg including the driver and half a tank of fuel. With a near perfect 50/50 weight distribution, it was also very well balanced. The Group 5 version of the 320 was introduced in December of 1976, ready to hit the track the following season. It was to be raced by BMW’s loyal customers on both sides of the Atlantic while the German manufacturer also fielded works cars for their talented ‘junior’ drivers. In Europe, the cars were raced with considerable success in the World Championship and also in Germany’s highly competitive DRM series. Especially on tight circuits the compact BMW did very well against the more powerful Porsche 934s and 935s. Several wins were scored but the championship titles remained out of reach. In North America, the BMWs struggled to keep up with the big Porsches and the German manufacturer joined forces with engine builder McLaren North America to create a turbocharged version of the M12 engine. Ready in April of 1977, the first two-litre turbo engine produced around 500 bhp, which would quickly rise to over 600 bhp. Back in Munich a similar program was started with a 1.4-litre turbo version of the M12 unit, which would still qualify the car in the two-litre category. While very powerful, the 320 Turbos were also notoriously unreliable. The Group 5 BMW 320 continued to be raced with considerable success both in naturally aspirated and turbocharged guises into the 1978 season. In the United States, the works supported McLaren North America cars won several races but the sheer number of Porsche 935s alone made their task very difficult. The two-litre class of the DRM series was absolutely dominated by the 320 in 1978 with several of BMW customers using a Schnitzer developed turbocharged engine as well. The ultimate development was a further lightened car of which just a handful were built in 1978. The introduction of Group C racing brought an end to Group 5 and the successful career of the BMW 320. In its various guises, the small BMW had won numerous races but ultimately failed to be a season-long contender against the much larger engined Porsche.

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In parallel with development of the BMW M1 production car, racing versions were built for Group 4 and 5 events. The BMW M1 achieved sporting highlights particularly in the Procar Series created especially for this car. It was staged as a warmup race ahead of the European Formula 1 Grand Prix in the years 1979 and 1980. Alongside the five fastest Formula 1 drivers in the Friday training session, drivers specialising in touring cars and ambitious private drivers competed against each other – a mixture with particular appeal to the public. The M1 built in accordance with the Group 4 regulations generated around 470 hp in the Procar and was capable of a top speed of 310 km/h. Famous Formula 1 drivers like Niki Lauda, Nelson Piquet, Carlos Reutemann, Alan Jones and Clay Regazzoni competed in the races. Niki Lauda (1979) and Nelson Piquet (1980) had podium finishes as overall winners.

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In 1983 the BMW 635CSi was entered in races as a Group A touring car, in other words a near-series vehicle. The aim was to defend the European Championship title secured in the previous season. With this in mind, tuner Alpina boosted the coupé’s engine output and the Karmann company was consulted on strengthening the body. BMW Motorsport GmbH’s technicians modified the transmission, brakes and running gear to suit racing conditions. After a fiercely contested season, Dieter Quester won the European Touring Car Championship. Further spectacular successes followed, though it was not until 1986 that Roberto Ravaglia took the title again.

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A racing sports car was created with the BMW M3 Group A which was to achieve more victories in the subsequent years than any other car in its class. As a result of the diverse regulations governing motor sport in different countries, varying capacities were used, for example 2.3 litres for the German Touring Car Championship (DTM) from 1987 to 1989 and 2.5 litres for the DTM from 1990. The M3 became the most successful touring car in the world with victories in the World Championship, two European Championships, two championship titles in the German Touring Car Championship (DTM), 60 national championships, seven European Hillclimb Championships, five Mitropa Rally Cups and eight victories in 24 hour races.

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After an interruption of nearly 20 years, in 2012 BMW entered the German Touring Car Masters (DTM) as the third manufacturer alongside Audi and Mercedes-Benz. In the second race at the Lausitzring, Bruno Spengler already brought the first victory for BMW. This was followed by a tough battle with the competition and BMW took second place. The championship was only decided in the season final. Bruno Spengler won the drivers’ placings with his victory at the Hockenheimring and Team Schnitzer took the team prize. BMW also won the constructors’ placings.

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After the success achieved by the racing version of the McLaren F1 GTR with its BMW V12 engine in the 1995 and 1996 Le Mans 24-hour races, the BMW works team for the first time entered two specially built-up cars for this legendary event in the following year. The driver team of Hélary, Kox and Ravaglia finished third overall, behind the McLaren BMW entered by Gulf Team Davidoff. A defect caused the second factory entry, driven by Lehto, Soper and Piquet, to lose ground when occupying a promising position during the race; it retired later after sliding off the track.

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In 1999, for the third year in succession, BMW entered a works team for the world’s most famous but also most arduous longdistance motor race, the Le Mans 24-hour event. With Charly Lamm, the experienced racing strategist from the Schnitzer team, acting as manager, drivers Kristensen/Lehto/Müller and Dalmas/Martini/Winkelhock went to the start in two new open sports cars competing in the prototype class. Soon after the start, the two cars led the field, and held first and second places until more than three-quarters of the race distance had been run. At this point Lehto’s car was involved in an accident and retired. The second car took over the lead and became the first factory-entered BMW to achieve overall victory in Le Mans.

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There was a whole line of Brabham-BMW Formula 1 cars from the early 1980s. All bar one of these were provided by Bernie Ecclestone from his personal collection. They were joined by a Brabham-BMW BT52 Formula 1 car, dating from 1983 that BMW Classic supplied.  The regulations were changed at short notice and the development team under Gordon Murray had just four months to develop a new racing car for the 1983 season. Nelson Piquet clinched victory in the first race in Brazil. A mid-season revision improved aerodynamics as well as providing more power. Nelson Piquet turned out to be a consummate professional in his careful handling of the sensitive turbo engines. He only ever drew on the amount of power needed to hold a good position. In the final race in Kyalami, third place was sufficient for him to make history as the first world champion in the turbo era.

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The first Chaparral 2-series was designed and built to compete in the United States Road Racing Championship and other races of the time, particularly the West Coast Pro Series that were held each fall. Hall had significant “under the table” assistance from GM, including engineering and technical support in the development of the car and its automatic transmission (this is evidenced by the similarity between the Chevy Corvette GS-II “research and development” model and the Chaparral 2A through 2C models). First raced in late 1963, the Chaparral 2 developed into a highly competitive car in the Can-Am series in 1966 and 1967. Designed for the 200-mile races of the Can-Am series, it was also a winner in longer endurance races. In 1965 it shocked the sports car world by winning the 12 Hours of Sebring in a pouring rain storm, on one of the roughest tracks in North America. The Chaparral 2 featured the innovative use of fibreglass as a chassis material. The Chaparral 2C had a conventional aluminum chassis. It is very difficult to identify all iterations of the car as new ideas were being tested continually. The 2A is the car as originally raced, featuring a very conventional sharp edge to cut through the air. It also featured a concave tail reminiscent of the theories of Wunibald Kamm. The first aerodynamic appendages began to appear on the 2A almost immediately to cure an issue with the front end being very light at speed with a consequent impact on steering accuracy and driver confidence.

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The Corvette Daytona Prototype is a prototype racing car which started competing in the Rolex series in North America in 2012. It marked Chevrolet’s return to Daytona racing as a full constructor and not just as an engine manufacturer. Previously General Motors had competed in Rolex Sports Car Series under the Pontiac brand as well but shelved that program when they discontinued the Pontiac brand for the 2010 season. The car raced in Grand-Am competition from 2012 through 2013 as a Daytona Prototype, and then continued in the P class in the IMSA Tudor SportsCar Championship Series, now called the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. With the change to IMSA racing, the car got several key updates to compete against ex-ALMS P2 cars head to head including carbon brakes, carbon clutch, large rear diffuser (not part of Grand-Am rules), dual element rear wing, and some other bespoke aerodynamic upgrades. For 2015, the car also got an aesthetic upgrade to C7 style grill, headlights, and taillights.
The engine, built by NASCAR engine builder ECR Engines, is a 5.5L port injected LS9 with individual throttle bodies and a dry sump oil system.

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This 1,500cc, straight-eight supercharged Delage is one of four originally built by the Delage factory for the 1926 season, including the very first RAC British Grand Prix, held at Brooklands and won by Robert Sénéchal and Louis Wagner in a sister car with this car coming third. Delage substantially modified the cars over the winter of 1926-27 and, in their revised form, they won the World Constructor Championship in 1927, winning five grands prix. Car No 2, driven by Robert Benoist, won the British Grand Prix at Brooklands, with second and third places also taken by Delages, and it is that winning car which has now been bequeathed to Brooklands Museum. In 1929 the car was purchased from Louis Delage by Malcolm Campbell and shortly after that by W B ‘Bummer’ Scott. In this car Scott achieved a Class F 24 Hour World Record at Montlhéry and a Class F 200 Miles World Record at Brooklands. It was later owned by Prince Chula of Siam (cousin and entrant of “B Bira”) by whom it was dismantled for an ultimately unsuccessful modernisation. Alan Burnard acquired the remains of the car in 1964 and began an heroic lengthy rebuild. As first restored by him, it ran with an ERA engine, but he later reconstructed a correct Delage engine with which it is now fitted, though still driving through an ERA-type ENV pre-selector gearbox.

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This is a 1972 NASCAR Dodge Charger and is significant because of its paint scheme – the first year the traditional “Petty Blue” had been blended with the trademark orange colouration of Petty’s new sponsor, STP. It was also the first non-Plymouth Nascar that Petty had raced, and he’d go on to use a 1973 Charger for the next five years. The 1971-74 Charger based cars were campaigned in NASCAR, with Buddy Baker, Bobby Isaac, Dave Marcis, and Richard Petty scoring several wins. Richard Petty won 35 races with this body style between 1972 and 1977 as NASCAR allowed the Chargers to run a few years longer than normal, as Chrysler did not have anything else to replace it. A 1974 bodied Charger driven by Neil Bonnett scored Dodge’s last NASCAR victory (until 2001) at the December 1977 Los Angeles Times 500. Richard Petty has proclaimed this body style as his favorite car that he ran during his career because it was balanced.

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Oldest Ferrari here was this fabulous 1949 166MM. The Ferrari 166 S was an evolution of Ferrari’s 125 S sports race car that became a sports car for the street in the form of the 166 Inter. Only 12 Ferrari 166 S were produced, nine of them with cycle-fenders as the Spyder Corsa, soon followed by the production of the Ferrari 166 MM (Mille Miglia) which was made in much larger numbers (47) from 1948 to 1953. The 166 MM was an updated 166 S and went on to score many of Ferrari’s early international victories, making the manufacturer a serious competitor in the racing industry.Both were later replaced by the 2.3 litre 195 S. The 166 shared its Aurelio Lampredi-designed tube frame and double wishbone/live axle suspension with the 125. Like the 125, the wheelbase was 2420 mm long. Nine 166 Spyder Corsas and three 166 Sports were built. The first two 166 S models were coachbuilt by Carrozzeria Allemano and the last one by Carlo Anderloni at Carrozzeria Touring. Majority of the 166 MM cars were bodied at Touring in a barchetta form. The 1.5 litre Gioacchino Colombo-designed V12 engine of the 125 was changed, however, with single overhead camshafts specified and a larger 2.0 litre  displacement. This was achieved with both a bore and stroke increase, to 60 by 58.8 mm respectively. Output was 110 PS at 5,600 rpm to 130 PS at 6,500 rpm with three carburetors, giving top speed of 170–215 km/h (106–134 mph). For the 166 MM power output rose to 140 PS at 6,600 rpm and top speed to 220 km/h (137 mph). The oldest Ferrari car with an undisputed pedigree[citation needed] still in existence is s/n 002C, a 166 Spider Corsa which was originally a 159 and is currently owned and driven by James Glickenhaus. s/n 0052M, a 1950 166 MM Touring Barchetta was uncovered in a barn and was shown in public for the first time since 1959 in the August 2006 issue of Cavallino magazine. One 166 MM, 1949 s/n 0018M, was bodied by Zagato in ‘Panoramica’ style very similar to their one-off Maserati A6 1500. It is considered as first Ferrari coachbuilt by Zagato. A year later it was rebodied as Zagato Spyder. Currently Zagato offers Sanction Lost programme to bring lost designs back to life. The aforementioned car was recreated in 2007. The Ferrari 166 S won Targa Florio with Clemente Biondetti and Igor Troubetzkoy in 1948. In 1949, Biondetti also won in the 166 SC with Benedetti as co-driver. The 166 S won 1948 Mille Miglia, also driven by Biondetti, this time with Giuseppe Navone. In 1949 Mille Miglia, the Ferrari 166 MM Barchettas scored 1-2 victory with Biondetti/Salani and Bonetto/Carpani respectively. In 1949, the 166 MM also won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the hands of Luigi Chinetti and Lord Selsdon, and so the 166 was the only car ever to win all three races. The another 166 won the 1949 Spa 24 Hours. A 166 chassis, this time with the bigger 195 S engine, won the Mille Miglia again in 1950 with drivers Giannino Marzotto and Marco Crosara.

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This is a 375 Indy. Its origin are with Formula 1, though. After finding only modest success with the supercharged 125 F1 car in Formula One, Ferrari decided to switch for 1950 to the naturally aspirated 4.5-litre formula for the series. Calling in Aurelio Lampredi to replace Gioacchino Colombo as technical director, Enzo Ferrari directed that the company work in stages to grow and develop an entirely new large-displacement V12 engine for racing. The first outcome of Lampredi’s work was the experimental 275 S. Just two of these racing barchettas were built, based on the 166 MM but using the experimental 3.3-litre V12. These were raced at the Mille Miglia of 1950 on April 23. Although one car held the overall lead for a time, both were forced to retire with mechanical failure before the end. The 275 F1 made its debut at the Grand Prix of Belgium on June 18, sporting the same 3.3-litre version of Lampredi’s new engine. With three Weber 42DCF carburettors, a single overhead camshaft for each bank of cylinders, and two valves per cylinder, the engine produced a capable 300 hp at 7200 rpm. Alberto Ascari drove the car to fifth place, marking the end of the 3.3-litre engine. The 275 was replaced at the Grand Prix of Nations at Geneva on July 30, 1950 by the 340 F1. As the name suggests, the car sported a larger 4.1-litre version of Lampredi’s V12. Other changes included a new de Dion tube rear suspension based on that in the 166 F2 car and four-speed gearbox. It had a longer 2,420 mm (95 in) wheelbase, but other dimensions remained the same. With 335 hp, Ascari was able to keep up with the Alfa Romeo 158 of Juan Manuel Fangio but retired with engine trouble. Although the 340 proved itself capable, it was only the middle step in Ferrari’s 1950 car development. Ferrari achieved the 4.5-litre goal of the formula with the 375 F1, two of which debuted at Monza on September 3, 1950. This 4.5-litre (4493.73 cc/274 in³) engine produced roughly the same power as its 4.1-litre predecessor, but its tractability earned Ascari second place in that debut race. A series of modifications through the 1951 season allowed Ferrari to finally put Alfa Romeo behind it in a Formula One race, with José Froilán González’ victory at Silverstone on July 14 becoming the constructor’s first World Championship win. Ascari’s wins at the Nürburgring and Monza and strong finishes throughout the season cemented the company’s position as a Formula One contender. Changes in the Formula One regulations led the company to shift the big engine to an Indy car, the 1952 375 Indianapolis. Three new Weber 40IF4C carburettors brought power output to 380 hp, the wheelbase was lengthened, and the chassis and suspension were strengthened. Although the car performed well in European testing, it was not able to meet the American challenge, with just one of four 375s even qualifying for the 1952 Indianapolis 500. Ascari was the driver who did qualify the car for the race, starting 25th (out of 33 starters) with a qualifying speed of 134.3 mph (the pole was won by American Chet Miller who pushed his supercharged Kurtis Kraft-Novi to 139.03 mph). Ascari would be classified in 31st place, completing only 40 of the 200 laps before being forced to retire with wheel failure, though he would go on to win the remaining six Grands Prix of the season to easily win his first World Championship from Ferrari teammate Giuseppe Farina.

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Three cars that are more familiar as road cars were presented here in their racing form: the 275 GTB/C, a racing Daytona and a 308 GTB Group 4 racer.

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Oldest of the historic Fiat models taking part was this 1905 Fiat 200HP. Over 17 feet long and weighing nearly 2 tonnes, and sporting a vast Isotta Fraschini-designed 16.5 litre aero engine which occupies almost the entire length of the car, it looks suitably period, with a most wonderful patina. It was originally designed for an attempt on the World Land Speed Record 110 years ago, but Fiat never actually built it, so in fact it has only recently been completed, albeit using all original parts. I’ve seen it in action a number of times in recent years, including at Prescott, where getting it around the tight curves is apparently quite a challenge.

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There were a couple of other historic Fiat racers here.

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There were a number of examples of the legendary GT40 here, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the model. The Ford GT40 is an American high-performance endurance racing car with the Mk I, Mk II, and Mk III model cars being based upon the British Lola Mk6, and were designed and built in England, while the GT40 Mk IV model was designed and built in the United States. The range was powered by a series of American-designed and built engines modified for racing. The GT40 won the 24 Hours of Le Mans four consecutive times, from 1966 to 1969 (1966 being the Mk II, 1967 the Mk IV, and 1968–1969 the oldest chassis design, the Mk I), including a 1-2-3 finish in 1966. In 1966, with Henry Ford II personally in attendance at Le Mans, the Mk II GT40 provided Ford with the first overall Le Mans victory for an American manufacturer, and the first victory for an American manufacturer at a major European race since Jimmy Murphy’s triumph with Duesenberg at the 1921 French Grand Prix. The Mk IV GT40 that won Le Mans in 1967 is the only car designed and built entirely in the United States to achieve the overall win at Le Mans. The GT40 was originally produced to win long-distance sports car races against Ferrari (who won at Le Mans six times in a row from 1960 to 1965). Ford/Shelby chassis #P-1075, which won in 1968 and 1969, is the second car in Le Mans history to win the race more than once, using the same chassis (originally believed to be the first, this was later proven wrong when it was revealed that the Ferrari 275P chassis 0816 that won the 1964 24 Hours of Le Mans was in fact the same chassis that won the 1963 24 Hours of Le Mans, that year in 250P configuration and with a 0814 chassis plate). Using an American Ford V-8 engine, originally of 4.7-litre displacement capacity (289 cubic inches), it was later enlarged to the 4.9-litre engine (302 cubic inches), with custom designed alloy Gurney–Weslake cylinder heads. The car was named the GT (for Grand Touring) with the 40 representing its height of 40 inches, measured at the windshield, as required by the rules. Large-displacement Ford V8 engines (4.2-, 4.7 and 7.0 litre) were used, compared with the Ferrari V12, which displaced 3.0 or 4.0 litres. Early cars were simply named “Ford GT”. The name “GT40” was the name of Ford’s project to prepare the cars for the international endurance racing circuit, and the quest to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The first 12 “prototype” vehicles carried serial numbers GT-101 through GT-112. The “production” began and the subsequent cars—the MkI, MkII, MkIII, and MkV (with the exception of the MkIV, which were numbered J1-J12)—were numbered GT40P/1000 through GT40P/1145, and thus officially “GT40s”. The name of Ford’s project, and the serial numbers dispel the story that “GT40” was “only a nickname.”

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Also here was the more recent Ford GT, in race spec.

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This is the latest creation of Billy Gibbons, known for his success in the band ZZ Top. He created a distinctive icon for that group, based on a ’33 Ford, the Eliminator, which graced an album cover and the pages of Hot Rod magazine in the mid 80s. This one, known as Whiskeyrunner is based on a ’34 Ford.

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There was an interesting assembly of cars from the world of Formula 1. None of them were from the 2016 grid, as using them here would count as additional practice, not allowed under FIA rules, so instead there was an assembly of cars from the back catalogue, some more recent than others, many of which took to the hill during the Festival so that they could be seen in action again.

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Successor to the C Type was the D Type. Although it shared many of its mechanical components with the C-Type, including the basic straight-6 XK engine design, initially of 3.4 litres and later enlarged to 3.8 litres in the late fifties, the structure of the car was radically different. The innovative monocoque construction brought aviation industry technology to competition car design, together with an aeronautical understanding of aerodynamic efficiency. The structural design, revolutionary at the time, applied aeronautical technology. The “tub”, or cockpit section, was of monocoque construction, mostly comprising sheets of aluminium alloy. Its elliptical shape and comparatively small cross-section provided torsional rigidity and reduced drag.[1] To the front bulkhead was attached an aluminium tubing subframe for the engine, steering assembly, and front suspension. Rear suspension and final drive were mounted to the rear bulkhead. Fuel was carried in the tail and the designers followed aviation practice by specifying a deformable Marston Aviation Division bag in place of a conventional tank. The aerodynamic bodywork was largely the work of Malcolm Sayer, who had joined Jaguar following a stint with the Bristol Aeroplane Company during the Second World War and later worked on the C-Type. For the D-Type, he insisted on a minimal frontal area. To reduce the XK engine’s height, Jaguar’s chief engineer, William Haynes, and former Bentley engineer, Walter Hassan, developed dry sump lubrication, and it has been said that the car’s frontal area was also a consideration in canting the engine at 8½° from the vertical (which necessitated the offset bonnet bulge). Philip Porter, in his book Jaguar Sports Racing Cars, says that “[a] more likely reason was to provide extra space for the ram pipes feeding the three twin-choke Weber carburettors.”  Reducing underbody drag contributed to the car’s high top speed; for the long Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans, a fin was mounted behind the driver for aerodynamic stability. For the 1955 season, factory cars were fitted with a longer nose, which lengthened the car by 7½ inches and further increased maximum speed; and the headrest fairing and aerodynamic fin were combined as a single unit that smoothed the aerodynamics and saved weight. Mechanically, many features were shared with the outgoing C-Type. Its front and rear suspension and innovative all-round disc brakes were retained, as was the XK engine. Apart from the new lubrication system, the engine was further revised as development progressed during the D-Type’s competition life. Notably in 1955 larger valves were introduced, together with asymmetrical cylinder heads to accommodate them. Jaguar D-Types fielded by a team under the leadership of Jaguar’s racing manager Lofty England were expected to perform well in their debut at the 1954 24 Hours of Le Mans race. In the event, the cars were hampered by fuel starvation caused by problems with the fuel filters, necessitating pit stops for their removal, after which the entry driven by Duncan Hamilton and Tony Rolt speeded up to finish less than a lap behind the winning Ferrari. The D-Type’s aerodynamic superiority is evident from its maximum speed of 172.8 mph on the Mulsanne Straight compared with the 4.9 litre Ferrari’s 160.1 mph. For 1955 the cars were modified with long-nose bodywork and engines uprated with larger valves. At Le Mans, they proved competitive with the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLRs, which had been expected to win. Mike Hawthorn’s D-Type had a narrow lead over Juan Manuel Fangio’s Mercedes when another Mercedes team car was involved in the most catastrophic accident in motorsport history.Driver Pierre Levegh and more than 80 spectators lost their lives, while many more were injured. Mercedes withdrew from the race. Jaguar opted to continue, and the D-Type driven by Hawthorn and Ivor Bueb went on to win. Mercedes withdrew from motorsport at the end of the 1955 season, and Jaguar again entered Le Mans in 1956. Although only one of the three factory-entered cars finished, in sixth place, the race was won by a D-Type entered by the small Edinburgh-based team Ecurie Ecosse and driven by Ron Flockhart and Ninian Sanderson, beating works teams from Aston Martin and Scuderia Ferrari. In America, the Cunningham team raced several D-Types. In 1955, for example, a 1954 works car on loan to Cunningham won the Sebring 12 Hours in the hands of Mike Hawthorn and Phil Walters, and in May 1956 the team’s entries for Maryland’s Cumberland national championship sports car race included four D-Types in Cunningham’s white and blue racing colours. Driven by John Fitch, John Gordon Benett, Sherwood Johnston and team owner Briggs Cunningham, they finished fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth, respectively. Although Jaguar withdrew from motorsport at the end of the 1956 season, 1957 proved to be the D-Type’s most successful year. Jaguar D-Types took five of the top six places at Le Mans; Ecurie Ecosse, with considerable support from Jaguar, and a 3.8-litre engine, again took the win, and also second place. This was the best result in the D-Type’s racing history. Rules for the 1958 Le Mans race limited engine sizes to three litres for sports racing cars, which ended the domination of the D-Type with its 3.8-litre XK engine. Jaguar developed a three-litre version to power D-Types in the 1958, 1959 and 1960 Le Mans races but it was unreliable, and by 1960 it no longer produced sufficient power to be competitive. The D-Type’s success waned as support from Jaguar decreased and the cars from rival manufacturers became more competitive. Although it continued to be one of the cars to beat in club racing and national events, the D-Type never again achieved a podium finish at Le Mans. By the early 1960s it was obsolete. Total D-Type production is thought to have included 18 factory team cars, 53 customer cars, and 16 XKSS versions. A 1955 car was sold at Sothebys in 2016 for £19,8 million, making it the most valuable British car ever.

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The Jaguar XJ13 was a prototype racing car developed by Jaguar Engineering Director William Heynes to compete at Le Mans in the mid 1960s. It never raced, and only one was produced. The car has not been officially valued, but a £7 million bid for it was declined by the owners in 1996. It was more than 3 times the price of a Ferrari 250 GTO at the time. Jaguar had considered the manufacture of a DOHC V12 engine as far back as 1950, initially for racing purposes, and then developing a SOHC road going version, unlike the XK which was designed as a production engine and later pressed into service for racing. The engine design was essentially two XK 6-cylinder engines on a common crankshaft with an aluminium cylinder block, although there were differences in the inlet porting, valve angles and combustion chamber shape. The first engine ran in July 1964. The design structure of a mid-engined prototype was first mooted in 1960 by William Heynes, but it was not until 1965 that construction began, with the first car running by March 1966. The aluminium body exterior was designed by Malcolm Sayer, the aerodynamicist responsible for aerodynamic air flow work on the Jaguar C-type, D-type, who used his Bristol Aeroplane Company background to build it using techniques borrowed from the aircraft industry. The task of building the car was entrusted by Heynes to Engineer Derick White, Ted Brookes, Mike Kimberley, Bob Blake in the Browns Lane experimental department’s “competition shop” – Blake described by his contemporaries as “An Artist in Metal”. William Heynes recognised as early as 1964 that a car such as the XJ13 needed an experienced race driver to help develop it. Jack Brabham was approached in this regard [5] but the challenge was eventually taken up by ex-Jaguar Apprentice David Hobbs. David Hobbs was recruited as the XJ13’s main test driver. In 1969 Hobbs was included in a FIA list of 27 drivers who were rated the best in the world. Hobbs achieved an unofficial UK closed lap record with the XJ13 which stood for 32 years. The XJ13’s main test and development driver, Hobbs, was joined at Silverstone for the XJ13’s final test at full racing speed by another racing driver (and ex-Jaguar apprentice) Richard Attwood. The XJ13 had mid-engine format with the 5.0 litre V12 engine designed by Heynes and Claude Bailey,mounted behind the driver, used as a stressed chassis member together with the five-speed manual ZF Transaxle driving the rear wheels. The front suspension wishbones were similar to that of the E-Type, however where the E-Type used longitudinal torsion bars, the XJ13 had more conventional coil spring/damper units. At the rear there again remained similarities with the E-Type—the use of driveshafts as upper transverse links—however the rest was quite different, with two long radius arms per side angling back from the central body tub together with a single fabricated transverse lower link. The development of the XJ13, although treated seriously by the designers, was never a priority for company management (despite assistant MD Lofty England’s Le Mans success in the 1950s), and became less so following the 1966 merger with BMC. By that time Ford had developed the 7.0 litre GT40, and so the XJ13 was considered obsolete by the time the prototype was complete. The prototype was tested at MIRA and at Silverstone, which confirmed that it would have required considerable development to make it competitive. The prototype was put into storage and no further examples were made. In 1971 the Series 3 E-type was about to be launched with Jaguar’s first production V12 engine. The publicity team wanted a shot of the XJ13 at speed for the opening sequence of the film launching the V12 E-Type. On 21 January 1971, the XJ13 was taken to MIRA for the filming with Jaguar test driver Norman Dewis at the wheel. Sadly, the car was driven by Dewis at speed on a damaged tyre, against the instructions of Jaguar director England. The resultant crash heavily damaged and nearly destroyed the car, although Dewis was unharmed. The wreck of the car was put back into storage. Some years later, Edward Loades spotted the crashed XJ13 in storage at Jaguar and made the offer to ‘Lofty’ England that his company Abbey Panels should rebuild the car. The car was rebuilt, to a specification similar to the original, using some of the body jigs made for its original construction and at a cost of £1,000 to Jaguar. In Jaguar’s own words, “The car that can be seen today is not an exact reproduction of the original.”  The XJ13 made its public debut in July 1973 when ‘Lofty’ drove it around Silverstone at the British Grand Prix meeting. It is now displayed at the British Motor Museum at Gaydon, UK.

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The story of chassis number 78-44 centres upon Bob Tullius, a U.S. Air Force veteran who began racing in 1961 and really started making a name for himself in the Trans-Am series in 1966. By the time he retired 20 years later, Tullius had competed in 60 Trans-Am races and won 21 of them, making him the second most winning driver in the series’ history. Tullius raced under the banner of Group 44, a team he founded (and named for his number) that straddled the gap between professional sponsorship and amateur talent. Finished in the green and white Quaker State livery, Group 44’s successful cars were a mainstay of Trans-Am and IMSA racing during the 1970s and early 1980s, setting a standard that has rarely been equalled. Group 44’s burgeoning success in Trans-Am during the mid-1970s was recognized as an opportunity by Michael Dale, Jaguar’s vice-president of sales. Jaguar’s parent company, British Leyland, had no interest in sponsoring a race program, but Dale knew that a competition variant of the company’s new XJ-S, the coolly received replacement for the discontinued E-Type, might be just the thing to drum up interest and publicity for the new model. With his strong track record and history of racing various Jaguars, Tullius and his Group 44 were the perfect candidates, and Dale soon contacted the driver about the possibility of entering an XJ-S in Trans-Am. For the 1977 season, Tullius accepted a stock factory XJ-S, which project manager and occasional driver Brian Fuerstenau and crew chief Lawton “Lanky” Foushee modified in preparation for the rigors of Trans-Am racing. Competing in the series’ Category I division, the Group 44 XJ-S took Tullius to the 1977 Driver’s Championship.The following year, it was decided that a lighter, more purpose-built car would be required to remain competitive, and the Coventry factory accordingly acid-dipped an XJ-S body to shave off weight and then delivered the shell to Group 44 in Falls Church, Virginia. Fuerstenau and Foushee built the acid-dipped shell into the car here. Among other pure racing components, they added a 32-gallon fuel cell and installed one of the 5.3-litre Jaguar V-12 engines that they had modified with six Weber carburettors in place of the fuel injectors, lifting power output to approximately 500 bhp. Though 78-44 started slowly in the 1978 ten-race schedule, placing 9th at the first contest at Sears Point, California, on May 21, successive outings saw vast improvement, with a 2nd place finish at Westwood, British Columbia, on June 4, and a 3rd place at Portland, Oregon, on June 11. The Mont Tremblant race at St. Jovite, Quebec, on June 25, proved to be 78-44’s first win, leading a string of seven consecutive victories to close out the season. A checkered flag at Road America on September 4th sealed Tullius’s claim to the 1978 Driver’s Championship, while the Manufacturer’s Championship was clinched with a win at the season’s final contest, the Copa Mexico Trans-Am in Mexico City on November 5. As the newly crowned champion of the 1978 Trans-Am Category I season, 78-44 was entered three weeks later at IMSA’s Camel GT season-ending 250-mile Challenge at Daytona, where the car encountered a power steering issue while running in 3rd place, yet it still managed to finish in 9th place. Following the 1978 season, this champion XJ-S was retired and stored by Mr. Tullius for a period of roughly 30 years, until December 2007, when the car was acquired by one of the United States’ most renowned Jaguar enthusiasts. Recognising the phenomenal car’s potential as a legitimate historic racer, the consignor soon commissioned Chris Keith-Lucas’s esteemed CKL Developments, in East Sussex, England, to conduct a mechanical restoration, including a full engine rebuild and the replacement or renewal of every mechanical component.

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The Jaguar XJR-12 is a sports-prototype race car built by the Jaguar Cars-backed Tom Walkinshaw Racing team for both Group C and IMSA Camel GTP and is famous for winning the 1990 24 Hours of Le Mans race. Weighing 900 kg and powered by a 7.0 litre 60 degree SOHC V12 developing 730 bhp @ 7000 rpm, and 579 lb/ft the XJR-12 could hit 368 km/h / 229 mph. During the 1990 24 Hours of Le Mans, the XJR-12 covered 4882.4 km at an average speed of 204.036 km/h / 126.782 mph with a maximum trap speed of 353 km/h / 219 mph. The car seen here is an XJR 12D, one of the IMSA series cars.

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This F Pace was included as it was the car which was selected to go up the hill on two wheels,  driven by stunt driver Terry Grant. Unfortunately, there was an incident when the balance failed and the car tipped onto its side. That happened after my visit, of course, so it looked pristine when I saw it.

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It was in 1953 that Cyril Kieft’s racing car manufacturing company began design work upon an all-British contender for the FIA’s forthcoming new 2½-litre Formula 1 category qualifying for the Drivers’ World Championship competition. The proprietary engine manufacturer, Coventry Climax, had declared an interest in designing and producing suitable racing engines for purchase by interested chassis constructors. They offered their brand-new ‘Godiva’ Climax V8 power unit in which several established teams, including HWM and Connaught expressed interest. They already had a record of contesting World Championship-level Grand Prix racing with their unsupercharged 2-litre Formula 2 cars from 1950-53. In such company Kieft Cars were a newcomer, but they had established a very good reputation for their products in 500cc motor-cycle engined Formula 3 racing, and had been driven with great success – most notably – by Stirling Moss. The new Formula 1 Kieft-Climax was to use the Armstrong-Siddeley built ‘Wilson’ pre-selector gearbox that was extremely popular amongst specialist British sports and racing car manufacturers of that era. Coventry Climax produced their prospective Formula 1 contender, the ‘Godiva’ FPE V8 power unit, but company chairman Leonard Lee was not happy about unleashing it upon such a public platform if it should prove uncompetitive against the contemporary standard-setters. In particular he had an eye upon double-World Championship team Ferrari and their compatriot rivals, Maserati. It was known that Mercedes-Benz would also be returning to Grand Prix racing, doubtless in overwhelming strength, during the 1954 season, but for Coventry Climax’s prospective customers the prospect was of earning appearance, start and potentially prize money in the myriad non-Championship motor races then prevailing. Therefore, when early tests of the Godiva V8 engine yielded some 240bhp against Italian-sourced press reports announcing as much as 260-270bhp from the rival Ferrari, Maserati (and later Lancia V8) power units, the Midlands manufacturer began to develop intense reservations about continuing with the programme. Primary potential customers John Heath of HWM and Geoffrey Clarke of Connaught developed doubts of their own about the wisdom of investing in the new V8 engine should it prove to be utterly outclassed by “the crack Continental teams”. Against this background little surprise was expressed, therefore, when Coventry Climax abruptly abandoned its immediate Formula 1 racing ambitions, and the V8 project was closed, un-raced, which left Cyril Kieft’s ambitious project high and dry… Indeed, the Kieft company was unusual in having a tailor-designed chassis so far advanced, poised to accept the ‘Godiva’ engine. He had, in fact, produced not just one chassis but two, with a spare sitting ready alongside the prototype. Cyril Kieft decided that his commercial future lay in alternative areas outside the motor racing world, and he sold his car company to Merrick Taylor, the stillborn Formula 1 frames and associated components being included within the sale inventory. Merrick Taylor later sold the F1 project hardware to Birmingham-based hill-climb specialist ‘Podge’ Dealey. He had maintained and prepared the famous ex-works/Raymond Mays ERA ‘R4D’ for owner/driver Tom Norton and had raced Mini saloons with considerable success. Mr Dealey planned to install a large-capacity American V8 engine in the chassis frame for hill-climb use but, again, the project was stillborn. Vintage racing car enthusiast Bill Morris first saw the Kieft project at ‘Podge’ Dealey’s premises in the mid-1960s, when he called there to buy an ERA oil pump. However, Mr Dealey subsequently sold the Kieft components as a project to another Vintage and Historic racing car specialist, Gordon Chapman of Kineton, Warwickshire. He had located another never-raced British Formula 1 V8 engine that was available for purchase, the Brooke-Weston V8, in the Birmingham Museum. That more bulky 2 ½-litre V8 had only been run once and on that occasion it had blown up on the test bed. Gordon Chapman acquired it together with an ENV 150 pre-selector gearbox that he intended to install in the Kieft chassis. Bill Morris called upon Mr Chapman and mentioned that the correct Coventry Climax ‘Godiva’ V8 power unit had long-since been in the ownership of Climax engine specialist Bill Lacey, whose preparation business was based at Silverstone circuit. Gordon Chapman bought the ‘Godiva’ material from Mr Lacey, but the Kieft remained a long-term project as other work upon such cars as the ‘Monzanapolis’ Lister-Jaguar single-seater and E-Type ERAs took precedence. Sadly, Gordon Chapman’s health then failed and after his death, Bill Morris bought the complete Kieft-Climax project from Mr Chapman’s widow, Jeannie. Bill Morris later wrote: “On inspection it was generally thought that all we had to do was to fit the engine and a gearbox but nothing is as simple as that, and therefore a complete rebuild and general assembly was put in hand…” It proved to be a very lengthy project indeed. On September 21, 2002 – as Bill Morris said at the time, “only some 48 years late…” – the revived car was driven by Greg Snape in its first-ever motor race, at the VSCC Silverstone Meeting attended by a delighted 89 year old Cyril Kieft. This Formula 1 Kieft-Climax V8 was rapturously received by Historic racing enthusiasts worldwide, and it has since featured very strongly against its peers in several editions of the Goodwood Revival Meeting, Monaco Historique and several VSCC events and has won in Greg Snape’s hands at Mallala circuit in South Australia.

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Less well known, perhaps, these days, in comparison to the legendary D50 with its twin pannier tanks, is Lancia’s other out and out racer of the 1950s, the D24, and yet when you realise what a phenomenon the car was in its heyday, it is a shame that it not better known now. Lining up alongside a Talbot Lago 26GS, a fleet of Ferrari’s that included five 375’s, with open Barchetta and closed Coupé Berlinetta bodies, a 340 and a 250MM that were in with a shout for the overall honours in the 1953 Carrera Panamericana were five Lancia’s: two D23’s and three D24 models. Lancia’s programme with the D series race cars was kick started after the 2 litre V6 powered Aurelia B20 GT Coupé driven by Giovanni Bracco and Umberto Maglioli finished second to a 4.1 litre Ferrari 340 America Berlinetta Vignale driven by Luigi Villoresi and Piero Cassani in the 1951 Mille Miglia. In order to go for overall honours, Lancia built a series of D20 Coupés with supercharged 2 litre engines and in 1953 one of these cars driven by Umberto Maglioli won on the tight and twisted roads of the Targa Florio. However the 2 litre supercharged V6 D20’s were not powerful enough to keep up with the competition running larger normally aspirated motors on the comparatively wide open roads used for the Le Mans 24 hours, such as the winning C-Type Jaguar. In response to this, Lancia modified the D20 by replacing the supercharged 2 litre V6 with a normally aspirated 3 litre V6 while Pininfarina fitted the cars, renamed D23’s, with new open bodywork. Simultaneously Lancia also built some all new Pininfarina bodied open top sports racers designed by Vittorio Jano fitted with even larger 3.3 litre V6 engines  which became the D24 model. Two D24’s and one D23 were entered for the 1953 Nurburgring 1000kms where Robert Manzon and Piero Taruffi put the D24 on pole, but all three retired. Lancia, like Ferrari, skipped the RAC TT at Dundrod and next lined up for the 1953 Carrera Panamericana road race where the D24 shared by Juan Manuel Fangio and Gino Bronzoni led home D24 mounted team mates Piero Taruffi and Luigi Maggio with the D23 driven by Eugenio Castellotti and Carlo Luoni coming home third ahead of the Ferrari 375MM driven by Guido Mancini and Fabrizio Serena and the Talbot – Lago driven by Louis Rosier. In April 1954 Piero Taruffi and Carlo Luoni drove a D24 to victory on the Giro di Sicilia, in May Alberto Ascari won the 1954 Mille Miglia with a fine solo drive in a Lancia D24, breaking a dominance by Ferrari on the event going back to 1948, and four weeks later Piero Taruffi followed up by driving a D24 to Lancia’s second consecutive win on the Targa Florio. Luigi Villoresi then scored the first of three non championship victories for the D24 at the Circuito do Porto where Eugenio Castellotti came second, Eugenio won at Aosta-Gran San Bernardo before the D24’s final 1954 World Championship appearance at the RAC Tourist Trophy where Juan Manuel Fangio and Piero Taruffi finished 2nd ahead of team mates Robert Manzon and Eugenio. The D24’s final victory was recorded by Eugenio at Firenze-Siena in October 1954 while the model’s final appearance was in the 1960 Buenos Aires 1000kms where Argentinians Camilo Gay and César Rivero qualified their by now well out dated D24 11th before retiring from the race with a transmission problem after competing 4 laps of the 106 lap race. A recreation D24 has been doing the rounds of some of the shows, but this is the real deal, belonging to the Museo Nacionale del’ Automobile, it is chassis #0004, the car which Fangio and Gino Bronzoni drove to victory in the 1953 Carrera Pan Americana and was subsequently used as a training car for by the Lancia team drivers at the Sebring 12 hours in 1954 and is also believed to have been used in some capacity for the 1954 Mille Miglia. Note there are some subtle differences to the offside front wing to when Fangio and Bronzoni drove the car on the Carrera Panamericana. Also note #0004 is showing the rave number 612 which was the number carried by the Meyer / O’Hara Moore Aston Martin DB3 on the Mille Miglia in ’54 for no reason anyone has been able to explain.

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There were a couple of examples of the legendary Stratos here. A Bertone-designed concept car called the Lancia Stratos Zero was shown to the public in 1970, but shares little but the name and mid-engined layout with the Stratos HF version. A new car called the New Stratos was announced in 2010 which was heavily influenced by the design of the original Stratos, but was based on a Ferrari chassis and engine. Bertone had no previous business with Lancia, who were traditionally linked with Pininfarina, and he wanted to come into conversation with them. Bertone knew that Lancia was looking for a replacement for the ageing Fulvia for use in rally sports and so he designed an eye-catcher to show to Lancia. Bertone used the running gear of the Fulvia Coupé of one of his personal friends and built a running showpiece around it. When Bertone himself appeared at the Lancia factory gates with the Stratos Zero he passed underneath the barrier and got great applause from the Lancia workers. After that a co-operation between Lancia and Bertone was formed to develop a new rally car based on ideas of Bertone’s designer Marcello Gandini who already had designed the Lamborghini Miura and Countach. Lancia presented the Bertone-designed Lancia Stratos HF prototype at the 1971 Turin Motor Show, a year after the announcement of the Stratos Zero concept car. The prototype Stratos HF (Chassis 1240) was fluorescent red in colour and featured a distinctive crescent-shaped-wrap-around windshield providing maximum forward visibility with almost no rear visibility. The prototype had three different engines in its early development life: the Lancia Fulvia engine, the Lancia Beta engine and finally for the 1971 public announcement, the mid-mounted Dino Ferrari V6 producing 190 hp. The use of the Dino V6 was planned right from the beginning of the project, but Enzo Ferrari was reluctant to sign off the use of this engine in a car he saw as a competitor to his own Dino V6. After the production of the Dino car had ended the “Commendatore” (a popular nickname for Enzo Ferrari) agreed on delivering the engines for the Stratos, and Lancia then suddenly received 500 units. The Stratos was a very successful rally car during the 1970s and early 1980s. It started a new era in rallying as it was the first car designed from scratch for this kind of competition. The three leading men behind the entire rallying project were Lancia team manager Cesare Fiorio, British racer/engineer Mike Parkes and factory rally driver Sandro Munari with Bertone’s Designer Marcello Gandini taking a very personal interest in designing and producing the bodywork. Lancia did extensive testing with the Stratos and raced the car in several racing events where Group 5 prototypes were allowed during the 1972 and 1973 seasons. Production of the 500 cars required for homologation in Group 4 commenced in 1973 and the Stratos was homologated for the 1974 World Rally Championship season. The Ferrari Dino V6 engine was phased out in 1974, but 500 engines among the last built were delivered to Lancia. Production ended in 1975 when it was thought that only 492 were made (for the 1976 season, the Group 4 production requirement was reduced to 400 in 24 months. Manufacturer of the car was Bertone in Turin, with final assembly by Lancia at the Chivasso plant. Powered by the Dino 2.4 litreV6 engine that was also fitted to the rallying versions, but in a lower state of tune, it resulted in a power output of 190 hp, giving the road car a 0–100 km/h time of 6.8 seconds, and a top speed of 232 km/h (144 mph). The Stratos weighed between 900 and 950 kilograms, depending on configuration. Power output was around 275 hp for the original 12 valve version and 320 hp for the 24 valve version. Beginning with the 1978 season the 24 valve heads were banned from competition by a change to the FIA rules. Even with this perceived power deficit the Stratos was the car to beat in competition and when it did not suffer an accident or premature transmission failure (of the latter there were many) it had great chances to win. Despite the fact that the Stratos was never intended to be a race car, there were two Group 5 racing cars built with 560 hp, using a single KKK turbocharger. The car won the 1974, 1975 and 1976 championship titles in the hands of Sandro Munari and Björn Waldegård, and might have gone on to win more had not internal politics within the Fiat group placed rallying responsibility on the Fiat 131 Abarths. As well as victories on the 1975, 1976 and 1977 Monte Carlo Rally, all courtesy of Munari, the Stratos won the event with the private Chardonnet Team as late as 1979. Without support from Fiat, and despite new regulations that restricted engine power, the car would remain a serious competitor and proved able to beat works cars in several occasions when entered by an experienced private team with a talented driver. The last victory of the Stratos was in 1981, at the Tour de Corse Automobile, another World Rally Championship event, with a victory by longtime Stratos privateer Bernard Darniche. When the Fiat group favoured the Fiat 131 for rallying Lancia also built two Group 5 turbocharged ‘silhouette’ Stratos for closed-track endurance racing. These cars failed against the Porsche 935s on closed tracks but proved successful in hybrid events. While they failed in the Tour de France Automobile, one of these cars won the 1976 Giro d’Italia Automobilistico, an Italian counterpart of the Tour de France Automobile. One of the cars was destroyed in Zeltweg, when it caught fire due to overheating problems.  The last surviving car would win the Giro d’Italia event again before it was shipped to Japan to compete in the Fuji Speedway based Formula Silhouette series, which was never raced. The car would then be sold and reside in the Matsuda Collection before then being sold to the renowned collector of Stratos’, Christian Hrabalek, a car designer and the founder of Fenomenon Ltd, who has the largest Lancia Stratos Collection in the world, 11 unique Lancia Stratos cars, including the fluorescent red 1971 factory prototype and the 1977 Safari Rally car. His interest in the car led to the development of the Fenomenon Stratos in 2005. The Stratos also gained limited success in 24 Hours of Le Mans, with a car, driven by Christine Dacremont and Lella Lombardi, finishing 20th in 1976.

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The Lancia Rally (Tipo 151, also known as the Lancia Rally 037, Lancia 037 or Lancia-Abarth #037 from its Abarth project code 037) was a mid-engine sports car and rally car built by Lancia in the early 1980s to compete in the FIA Group B World Rally Championship. Driven by Markku Alén, Attilio Bettega, and Walter Röhrl, the car won Lancia the manufacturers’ world championship in the 1983 season. It was the last rear-wheel drive car to win the WRC. In 1980 Lancia began designing the 037 to comply with the then new FIA Group B regulations that allowed cars to race with relatively few homologation models being built. Abarth, now a part of the Lancia-Fiat family, did most of the design work, even incorporating styling cues from some of its famous race cars of the 1950s and 1960s such as a double bubble roof line. The car was born from the collaboration between Pininfarina, Abarth, Dallara and the project manager, engineer Sergio Limone. Prior to its first participation in the 1982 World Rally Championship season, 200 road-going models were built to comply with Group B regulations. The Lancia 037 was a silhouette racer; while it was loosely based on the Lancia Montecarlo (also known as Scorpion in the US and Canadian markets) road car, they shared only the centre section with all body panels and mechanical parts being significantly different. Steel subframes were used fore and aft of the production car centre section, while most of the body panels were made from Kevlar. The mid-engined layout of the Montecarlo was retained, but the engine was turned 90 degrees from a transverse position to a longitudinal position. This allowed greater freedom in the design of the suspension and while moving engine weight forward. An independent double wishbone suspension was used on both the front and rear axles, with dual shock absorbers in the rear in order to cope with the stresses of high speed off road driving. The 037 is notable as it retained the rear-wheel drive layout that was nearly universal for rally cars of the pre-Group B period; nearly all subsequent successful rally cars used four-wheel drive, making the 037 the last of its kind. Unlike its predecessor, the first 037s had a 2.0 litre 4-cylinder supercharged engine. Based on the long stroke twin cam which powered earlier Fiat Abarth 131 rally cars, the four valve head was carried over from the 131 Abarth but the original two carburettors were replaced by a single large Weber carburettor in early models and later with fuel injection. It features a ZF transaxle. Lancia also chose a supercharger over a turbocharger to eliminate turbo lag and improve throttle response. Initially power was quoted at 265 hp but with the introduction of the Evolution 1 model power jumped to 300 with the help of water injection. The car made its competition debut at the 1982 Rally Costa Smeralda in Italy, where two cars were entered but both retired due to gearbox issues. The 1982 season was plagued with retirements for the 037, but the new car did manage to achieve several wins including its first win at the Pace Rally in the UK. The 1983 season was considerably more successful for the 037: Lancia took the 1983 World Rally Championship Constructors’ title with Germany’s Walter Röhrl and Finland’s Markku Alen its principal drivers, despite serious competition from the 4WD Audi Quattro. Both drivers, however, missed the final round of the series, despite Röhrl maintaining a mathematical chance of the drivers’ title: such honours instead went to Audi’s veteran Finn, Hannu Mikkola. For the 1984 Constructors’ title defence, Lancia introduced an Evolution 2 version of the 037 with improved engine power, up to 325 bhp, from an enlarged 2111cc engine, but this was not enough to stem the tide of 4WD competition, losing to Audi in both 1984 championships, and again to the 4WD Peugeot 205 T16 in its final works season in 1985. Indeed, Alen collected the final 037 win, and the sole one for the E2 model, on the 1984 Tour De Corse, before it was finally pensioned off in the Martini sponsored Lancia factory rally car line-up in favour of its successor, the uniquely supercharged and turbocharged 4WD Delta S4, for the season-ending RAC Rally in Great Britain. Driver Attilio Bettega died in a 037 crash in 1985.

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Follow on to the 037 was the S4, which competed in the World Rally Championship in 1985 and 1986, until the Group B class was disbanded and the cars were eventually banned from competition completely by European sanctioning body FIA. The S4 took full advantage of the Group B regulations, and featured a midship-mounted engine and all-wheel drive for superior traction on loose surfaces.
The car’s 1,759 cc inline-four engine combined supercharging and turbocharging to reduce turbo lag at low engine speeds (rpm).The car produced a maximum output of 480 hp, but some sources even claim that the Delta S4 was capable of producing 500 hp. In 1985, Lancia engineers tested an S4 engine under extreme conditions, reaching 5 bars boost, developing around 1000 horsepower. An engine capacity multiple of 1.4 was applied to forced induction engines by the FIA and the choice of 1,759 cc put the S4 in the under 2,500 cc class, which allowed for a minimum weight of 890 kg (1,962 lb). The combined super/turbocharger system (often referred to as twincharging) was a development of the 037 engine that produced 350 hp with a supercharger only. The method of turbocharging and supercharging an engine is referred to as twincharging. The Delta S4 was the first such example of this technology. Contemporary turbochargers were inefficient, as they did not produce boost at low RPMs. This phenomenon, known as turbo lag, negatively affects driveability, an important aspect of any car. Superchargers do not suffer from lag as they are powered directly from the engine’s crankshaft, rather than by the exhaust gases. However, because of this direct mechanical connection, the supercharger presents a significant parasitic load to the engine at higher RPMs. Lancia designed their twincharger system so the supercharger provides instantaneous boost in the lower RPM range, switching to the turbocharger for more efficient higher RPM engine operation. Like Peugeot’s earlier 205 T16, the mid-engine Lancia Delta S4 was a Delta in name and body styling only (for marketing purposes), and shared virtually nothing in terms of construction with the production front-engine Delta. The chassis was a tubular space frame construction much like the 037. It featured long travel double wishbone suspension front and rear, with a single large coil over at the front and separate spring and twin shock absorber at the rear. The bodywork was made of a carbon fibre composite with front and rear bodywork fully detachable for fast replacement due to accident damage, allowing ease of access during on-event servicing. The bodywork featured several aerodynamic aids including bonnet opening behind the front-mounted water radiator with Gurney flap, front splitter and winglets moulded into the front bumper panel, flexible front skirt, and rear deck lid wing that featured both a full aerofoil wind section twinned with a deflection spoiler. The door construction style was brought from the 037 with a hollow shell all-Kevlar construction that had no inner door skin, no door handle or window winder. The door was opened with a small loop and the windows were fixed perspex with small sliding panels to allow some ventilation and passing of time cards and suchlike. The all-wheel drive system, developed in cooperation with English Hewland, featured a centre differential which allowed for between 60 and 75% of the torque to go to the rear wheels. Between October 1985 and 1986 Lancia built 200 examples of a road-going version of the Delta S4, officially named Lancia Delta S4 but widely known as “Stradale”, for the purpose of homologation in Group B. In Italy the car was priced at about 100 million Lire: five times the price of the most expensive Delta of the time, the HF Turbo. The Stradale’s chassis was a space frame, similarly to the racing cars, built out of CrMo steel tubes and aluminium alloy for the crash structures; it was covered by epoxy and fibreglass body panels. Like the rally car these cars mounted in a midships position a 1.8-litre engine, equipped with Weber-Marelli IAW integrated electronic ignition and fuel injection, a supercharger, a turbocharger and two intercoolers. In road tune the 1.8 produced 250 PS at 6750 rpm and 215 lb/ft at 4500 rpm. The “Stradale” kept a three differential four-wheel-drive system; the centre differential sent 30% of the engine torque to the front open differential, and 70% to the rear limited slip one. Lancia claimed the car could reach top speed of 225 km/h (140 mph) and accelerate from standstill to 100 km/h (62 mph) in six seconds. In contrast to its bare bones racing sisters, the S4 Stradale featured an Alcantara-upholstered interior, sound deadening, a suede steering wheel, and was equipped with power steering, trip computer and air conditioning.

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The Lancia ECV (standing for Experimental Composite Vehicle) was a prototype Group S rally car developed by the Italian manufacturer Lancia to replace the Lancia Delta S4 in World Rally Championship competition for the 1988 season. However, Group B as well as Group S cars were banned from competition by the FIA in late 1986 due to safety concerns and the ECV never raced. Lancia instead developed the Group A Lancia Delta. The car originally produced over 600 bhp from a 1759 cc twin-turbocharged engine. This engine, christened Triflux, was built in an unusual fashion; the valves were crossed (for each side of the cylinder there was an intake and an exhaust valve), so that the two turbochargers could be fed with two separate manifolds. A single manifold carried the intake air (hence the name, from the three separate air ducts). However, Group S rules would have artificially limited the car’s output to 300 bhp to limit speeds. The car made extensive use of the composite materials Kevlar and carbon fibre to save weight and add strength. Overall the car weighed 930 kg (2,050 lb). The car featured a new Martini colour-scheme, replacing the S4’s white bodywork with red-based scheme. Lancia used the new scheme on its competition cars in 1987.

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This is a T70 Spyder. The Lola T70 was developed by Lola Cars in 1965 in Great Britain for sports car racing. Lola built the chassis, which were typically powered by large American V8s. The T70 was quite popular in the mid to late 1960s, with more than 100 examples being built in three versions: an open-roofed Mk II spyder, followed by a Mk III coupé, and finally a slightly updated Mk IIIB. The T70 was replaced in the Can-Am series by the lighter Lola T160. Early success for the Lola T70 came when Walt Hansgen won the Monterey Grand Prix, at Laguna Seca Raceway, on 17 October 1965, driving John Mecom’s Lola T70-Ford. In 1966, the hot setup for the Can-Am was a T70 Chevrolet, winning five of six races during the year. John Surtees was the champion and Dan Gurney drove the only Ford powered car ever to win a Can-Am race. In 1967, no one could compete with the new M6 McLaren. When the FIA changed the rules for sports car racing for the 1968 season, limiting engine size of prototypes to three liters, sportscars with up to five litre engines were allowed if at least fifty were made. This homologation rule allowed the popular yet outdated Ford GT40 and Lola T70s to continue racing. The Fords won Le Mans again in 1968 and 1969, while the T70’s only big endurance win was a one–two finish in the 1969 24 Hours of Daytona behind the Sunoco Lola T70-Chevrolet of Mark Donohue and Chuck Parsons. When the minimum number was lowered to twenty five for 1969, the more modern Porsche 917 and Ferrari 512 were homologated and outran the older Lolas and Fords. Chevrolet powered coupes tended to suffer reliability problems when racing in Europe, in part due to the grade of fuel allowed. When forced to run on commercially available “pump fuel”, with a lower octane rating than the “Avgas” permitted under American rules, engine failures were common. In modern historic racing, these engines show much improved reliability due to parts unavailable in the 1960s and better fuel quality than the historically poor petrol supplied by the ACO. An Aston Martin powered coupe was entered by Lola for Le Mans in 1967. Even with drivers such as John Surtees, it was a disaster. The Aston Martin V8 engine failed after short runs, attributed to inadequate developmental funds. During the filming of Steve McQueen’s Le Mans, Lola chassis were disguised as the Porsche 917 and Ferrari 512s that crashed in the film. It is claimed chassis T76/141 originally campaigned by Ulf Norinder and Jo Bonnier was used for the wrecked Gulf Porsche. A T70 coupe also appears as a car of the future in George Lucas’ first commercial film, THX 1138. In 2005, Lola Cars announced a revival of the T70 MkIIIb in “an authentic and limited continuation series” of the original racer It is unclear if any were ever produced before Lola Cars went defunct in 2012.

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This car is believed to be the sole survivor of the French team of four cars built in Luneville for the 1912 Dieppe Grand Prix. It was first brought to Brooklands Racetrack in Surrey, England, later in 1912 by Victor Hémery who proceeded to take a number of track and world records with it. Three Brooklands British Class ‘A’ records set by Hémery with ‘Vieux Charles III’ still stand; for 500 miles with an average speed of 86.05 mph, 3 hours at 94.82 mph and 6 hours at 86.36 mph. In the ownership of Malcolm Campbell, after the First World War it was brought to Brooklands as one of his famous Blue Bird racing cars and won the first race when the track re-opened in 1920. Apart from a short visit to Hampshire, the car has been based at, or near, Brooklands ever since. During the 1930s, ‘Vieux Charles III’ was part of RGJ Nash’s International Horseless Carriage Corporation collection of early mechanical transport based at Brooklands Racetrack. “RGJ” drove ‘Vieux Charles III’ at the Lewes Trials in Sussex in the mid-1930s and drove it for the last time at Silverstone in July 1966. Restoration to active service after a period “at rest” was undertaken by Don Lincoln and his colleagues in Weybridge during the 1980s. In 1988 the car was “retired” with a defective big end bearing and since 1993 has resided at Brooklands Museum. In the autumn of 2006 a team of Brooklands Museum volunteers led by David Nicholls dismantled the car down to chassis and gearbox. The engine crankcase and moving parts were then dispatched to F.J. Payne & Son for the main and big end bearings to be renewed. Restoration is now nearing its end with only the upholstery awaiting completion. The car was successfully fired up on part of the historic Banking at Brooklands Museum in June 2010.

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The Lotus 97T was a Formula One racing car designed by Gérard Ducarouge and built by Team Lotus for use in the 1985 Formula One World Championship. A development of the previous year’s 95T, the car was powered by the turbocharged 1.5-litre Renault EF15B V6 engine and ran on Goodyear tyres. John Player Special continued as the team’s title sponsor, with Elf and Olympus as secondary sponsors. The 97T was of a generally simple design, it used elements from the defunct Lotus 96T Indycar project in the aerodynamics with another piece of Lotus design: an early form of bargeboards. These were placed between the front wheels and the side pods improving airflow around the side of the car. Ducarouge also got around the ban on the ‘winglets’ seen on the rear wings of the 1984 cars by placing them instead on the rear edges of the side pods. Lotus’ major coup for 1985 was signing rising star Ayrton Senna from the Toleman team to replace long time team driver Nigel Mansell who had signed with Williams. Senna, the first driver signed to the team since the death of Colin Chapman, partnered Italian Elio de Angelis who had finished third in the previous season’s drivers’ championship and had had many promising results with the 95T. The 97T proved competitive during the season, taking 8 poles, 7 with Senna and 1 with de Angelis, and 3 wins. Senna’s first was a brilliant performance in the Portuguese Grand Prix where he won by over a minute in monsoon conditions. His second came in the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa, held in wet/dry conditions. De Angelis added a third win (his 2nd and last win in F1, both for Lotus) at the San Marino Grand Prix after original winner Alain Prost (McLaren) was disqualified an hour after the race finished due to his out of fuel McLaren-TAG being 2 kg underweight. Lotus finished fourth in the Constructors’ Championship, albeit tied on points with Williams who finished in third place owing to their greater number of race victories. The 97T marked the start of a brief return to the successful days of the 1960s and 1970s for Lotus, which was continued by the 98T of 1986 and the Honda-powered 99T of 1987.

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The Maserati V8RI was a racing car produced by Maserati of Modena in 1936. Just four were built. Designed by Ernesto Maserati, they had a front-mounted 4788 cc  V8 engine, 90 degrees. Roots type supercharger and dual choke Weber carburettor and a  single camshaft which resulted in 320 bhp and a maximum speed of 270 km/h (168 mph). The “RI” denoted Ruote indipendenti, the then innovative independent four-wheel suspension. The cars measurements were wheelbase 2,560 mm (101 in), length 3,865 mm (152.2 in), width 1,490 mm (59 in), height 1,250 mm (49 in). Chassis #4501 debuted at Grand Prix de la Marne 1935, driven by Philippe Étancelin. Its only victory was the Pau Grand Prix in 1936.

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The McLaren F1 GTR was a racing variant of the McLaren F1 sports car first produced in 1995 for grand touring style racing, such as the BPR Global GT Series, FIA GT Championship, JGTC, and British GT Championship. It was powered by the naturally aspirated BMW S70/2 V12 engine. It is most famous for its overall victory at the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans where it won against faster purpose-built prototypes in very wet conditions. The F1 GTR raced internationally until 2005 when the final race chassis was retired. Gordon Murray, creator of the McLaren F1, originally saw his creation as the ultimate road car, with no intention to take the car racing. Although the car used many racing technologies and designs, it was felt that the car should be a road car first, without any intent built into the creation of the car to modify it into a racing car. However soon after the launch of the McLaren F1, the BPR Global GT Series was created. Starting in the 1994 season, the series featured racing modifications of sports cars such as the Venturi 600LM, Ferrari F40, and Porsche 911 Turbo. Viewed as a possible replacement for the defunct World Sportscar Championship, major manufacturers were taking interest in the series. At the same time, teams were also looking for faster and more capable cars for the series top class, GT1. Many teams, such as those run by Ray Bellm and Thomas Bscher, seeing the potential in the McLaren F1 road cars, turned to Gordon Murray in an attempt to convince him to offer factory backing on racing versions for the BPR series. Finally, Murray relented and agreed to modify the F1 into a racing car, agreeing to build several chassis for competition in the 1995 season. An unused F1 chassis which was meant to become #019 was taken by McLaren and extensively modified by the company as a developmental prototype. Because of the similarity to a race car, extensive modification was not needed to actually turn the F1 into a racing car. Bodywork modification saw the addition of various cooling ducts, most noticeably a large one in the center of the nose and two placed in the location of the storage lockers on the side of the car. A large adjustable fixed wing was added to the rear of the car. Even the 1995 versions of F1 GTR generated enough downforce to run along the ceiling at 100 mph. The interior was merely stripped of all luxuries and given a full racing cage. Carbon brakes replaced the stock units. Because of the rules at the time, the BMW S70 V12 engine was required to use an air restrictor to limit horsepower to around 600 PS (592 hp), actually making the racing car less powerful than the road car, yet faster and more nimble due to a lowered overall weight. Features such as the central seating position, butterfly doors, and even the stock gearbox were retained. McLaren co-ordinated a 24-hour test at Magny-Cours to find weaknesses in the car and develop upgrades to supply to the teams. A total of nine chassis would be built for the 1995 season, with #01R being retained by the factory as a test mule, except for a one-off use by Kokusai Kaihatsu Racing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. British team GTC Racing received two F1 GTRs, with a third being used to replace a destroyed car. David Price Racing, BBA Competition, Mach One Racing, and Giroix Racing Team would all receive one chassis each, while the final chassis, #09R, was sold to Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei, for his car collection. At Le Mans 1995, the Kokusai Kaihatsu McLaren obtained victory and the highest practice top speed of the year, reaching 281 km/h (174.605 MPH) on the Mulsanne Straight. Following the success of the 1995 season, McLaren set forth to upgrade the car to remain competitive, especially against the threat of newer sports cars appearing such as the Ferrari F50 GT (which was withdrawn quickly enough) and Porsche 911 GT1. They were assisted by BMW Motorsport, who at the time decided to use their connection to McLaren to enter sports car racing by running their own race team with F1 GTRs. Among the modifications were an extension of the front and rear bodywork, including a larger splitter attached to the front of the car. The bodywork was also modified to allow it to be removed more quickly for easier repair. The car’s normally stock gearbox was modified to include a lighter magnesium housing and more robust mechanicals. These modifications allowed for the weight of the GTR to be lowered by 38 kg. Due to demand, nine more new GTRs were built, while two older GTRs (#03R and #06R) were also modified to the 1996-spec. The F1 GTR 1996 was the fastest variant in terms of straight line speed – the car hit 330 km/h on the Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans in 1996, which is 13 km/h faster than the 1997 long-tail F1 GTR and even 6 km/h faster than the 1996 Porsche GT1. With the BPR Global GT Series reformed into the FIA GT Championship in 1997, rules regarding the cars used in the premier GT1 class were altered. Homologation specials like the Porsche 911 GT1 had already proven their worth in the final races of 1996, while newcomer Mercedes-Benz was showing the potential of their new CLK-GTR in testing. McLaren was therefore forced to give the F1 extensive modifications in order to be able to compete against cars which had been meant as race cars first, and not road cars like the F1. First and foremost, the F1 required extensive modification to its bodywork in order to gain as much aerodynamic downforce as possible. Although it retained the same carbon fibre monocoque as the road car, the entire exterior of the car was purpose built. A much longer nose and tail, as well as a wider rear wing, were designed in order to maximize the amount of aerodynamic downforce, while the wheel arches were widened in order to allow for the maximum amount of grip from the tyres allowed by the rules. Ground clearance was also changed to 70 mm (2.76 in) front and rear, rather than the 60 mm (2.36 in) front and 80 mm (3.15 in) rear clearance of the 1996-spec car. The engine also saw extensive modification, with a stroke reduction bringing the BMW S70 V12 down to 5,990 cc in an attempt to prolong the life of the engines, while still maintaining the air restrictor-controlled 600 brake horsepower (447 kW). The stock gearbox was replaced with a new X-trac 6-speed sequential transmission. A total of ten more GTRs were built, with none of the previous cars being upgraded to the 1997-spec. In order to be allowed to construct cars that were so radically different from the F1 road car, McLaren was forced to build production road cars using the GTR ’97’s bodywork. These cars came to be known as the F1 GT, of which only three were built. The 1997-spec cars are commonly referred to as the “Long Tail” version due to their stretched bodywork, most noticeably in the rear. At Le Mans 1997, the car reached 317 km/h (196.97 mph) on the Mulsanne straight. This was still slightly slower than some of the field, including the Porsche 911 GT1 Evo’s – 326 km/h (202.57 mph), Nissan R390 GT1’s – 319 km/h (198.22 mph) and TWR Porsche Joest LMP’s – 320 km.h (198.84 mph).

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Displayed alongside was a P1 LM. With the production run of the P1 GTR complete, and prompted by their efforts in converting track-only P1 GTRs to road-legal specification, Lanzante Motorsport commissioned McLaren Special Operations’ Bespoke division to build a further total of 6 new P1 GTRs for them to develop into road-legal P1 LM variants. Of this production run, five P1 LMs were sold and the sixth, the prototype P1 LM codenamed ‘XP1 LM,’ was retained and is now being used for development and testing of future models. In order to convert the cars into the P1 LM specification, Lanzante Motorsport made changes to the drivetrain hardware (to increase power output), employed a modified rear wing and larger front splitter along with dive planes (to improve downforce), removed the air-jack system and installed Inconel catalytic converter pipes and exhaust headers, lightweight fabricated charge coolers, Lexan windows, lighter seats (similar to those used in the F1 GTR) and a titanium exhaust system, bolts and fixings (to save weight). The result is a weight reduction of 60 kg (132 lb) as compared to the McLaren P1 GTR as well as a 40 percent increase in downforce. The P1 LM also features a larger twin-turbocharged V8 engine than the P1 and P1 GTR at 3,994 cc with an 8,500 rpm red line. The P1 LM has a total power output of 1,000 PS (986 hp) and 1,050 N⋅m (774 lb⋅ft) of torque, with 800 PS (789 hp) being delivered at 7,250 rpm and an additional 200 PS (197 hp) from its electric motor.  The top speed is limited to 345 km/h (214 mph). The tyre specifications are 275/30/19 for the front tyres and 335/30/20 for the rear tyres. Later in the event, the prototype P1 LM, ‘XP1 LM,’ set the fastest ever time for a road car up the Goodwood hillclimb, with a time of 47.07 seconds, driven by Kenny Bräck.

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There were a number of older McLaren models here, from the Can Am era.

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Also present was an M6GT, the “road car that never was”, as it is sometimes known. It has its origins in the M6A race car developed for the 1967 Can-Am season, as a replacement for the team’s M1Bs from 1966. The M6 name was later used in the development of a closed-cockpit sports car for the 24 Hours of Le Mans and known as the M6GT. The company’s plan to homologate it for the FIA’s Group 4 regulations was, however, never completed, and only a few M6GT prototypes were finished by McLaren and Trojan. Two M6GTs were later converted to road cars, one of which became Bruce McLaren’s personal transport.

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Just as in 2015, there was a particularly strong showing of historic Mercedes and Benz models, with the oldest going back more than 100 years, and representatives from pretty much every decade since then showing how the firm remains committed to and active in motor sport.

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Earliest of the models here is this 120PS Racer, It dates from 1905 and was designed by Wilhelm Maybach.

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The Blitzen Benz is a race car built by Benz & Cie in Mannheim, Germany, in 1909. In 1910 an enhanced model broke the world land speed record. It was one of six cars based on the Grand Prix car, but it had an enlarged engine of  21,504 cc, a 200 hp inline-four, and improved aerodynamics. Of the six Blitzen Benzes ever made, only two survive—Mercedes-Benz owns one, while the other belongs to a U.S. collector. At Brooklands on 9 November 1909, land speed racer Victor Hémery of France set a record with an average speed of 202.7 km/h (126.0 mph) over a kilometre. At Brooklands on 24 June 1914, land speed racer British driver Lydston Hornsted, in Blitzen Benz No 3, set a record with an average speed of 124.7 miles per hour (200.7 km/h) with 2 runs over a 1 mile course, under the new regulations of the Association International des Automobile Clubs Reconnus (AIACR). On 23 April 1911, Bob Burman recorded an average of 228.1 km/h (141.7 mph) over a full mile at Daytona Beach, breaking Glenn Curtiss’s unofficial absolute speed record, land, sea or air, set in 1907 on his V-8 motorcycle. Burman’s record stood until 1919. After 1914 the car was rebuilt for circuit racing, undergoing a number of revisions before it was broken up in 1923.

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Something rather special was this 540k Streamliner. The introduction of the motorways in Germany in the 1930s brought new challenges for the automotive design engineers. Aerodynamic styling was becoming a more and more important factor in automotive design. It was during this period that the “special vehicle production unit” in Sindelfingen under Hermann Ahrens created the 540 K Streamliner – initially with the objective of winning the Berlin-Rome long-distance race. The 540 K was originally conceived as an efficient competition vehicle for the important Berlin-Rome long-distance race. But in fact the Streamliner was initially used as a test vehicle for high-speed tyre testing by the Dunlop company in Germany. A fast, comfortable and safe car was urgently needed for testing the new generations of tyres at very high cruising speeds on the motorway. Following the turmoil of the Second World War, some of the important components from this vehicle found their way into the collection of the Mercedes-Benz Museum. The reconstruction was not a straightforward endeavour, even though the original line drawing had been made available by the Mercedes-Benz Archives. Some important components of the original vehicle were also tracked down in Mercedes-Benz’s own company collection. But of the most important component of this unique vehicle, its aluminium bodyshell, only a few traces remained on the frame: the bodyshell had to be completely reconstructed. All in all, more than 4,800 hours of work went into this extremely demanding restoration and reconstruction project. People who had been around at that time were questioned, documents consulted and individual parts rebuilt until, in 2014, the 540 K Streamliner was ready for testing in the wind tunnel. Here it revealed a drag coefficient of 0.36. All that was still missing was the road test on the high-speed course at Papenburg – until that sunny day when the project manager was able to take the wheel for himself… and find out as he accelerated away whether the years of work had truly been worthwhile.

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This 1957 300 SLS is the car in which Paul O’Shea won the American Sports Car Championship – having won in 1955 and 1956 in a 300 SL.

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This W123 generation 280E  rally car dates from 1977.

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This is a Sauber-Mercedes C9, a Group C prototype race car introduced in 1987 as a continuation of the partnership between Sauber as a constructor and Mercedes-Benz as an engine builder for the World Sportscar Championship. The C9 replaced the Sauber C8. The C9 was a development of Sauber’s previous C8 design, retaining a monocoque that largely consisted of aluminium, although considerably stiffer and with numerous other improvements. The rear suspension changed from vertically positioned spring/damper units arranged over the top of the gearbox to a horizontal layout aligned with the longitudinal axis of the car. Aerodynamic changes included the repositioning of the combination of oil/water radiator to the nose of the car, which allowed the use of a modified splitter plate. Commensurate with the repositioning of the radiators, the large NACA ducts were removed from the top of the door sills. The rear deck had been considerably re-profiled and the rear wing was now mounted solely on a central support. Aerodynamically, the car had two configurations: one for sprint circuits and a low drag version for the 5.8 kilometre Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans. In its sprint configuration, it produced 2,222.1 kg (4,899 lb) of downforce at 320 km/h (200 mph) while generating 555.7 kg (1,225 lb) of drag. The early engines were again prepared by Swiss engine specialist, Heini Mader, though this is now known to have been a cover for Mercedes back door involvement with the project later on. It had been progressively lightened with the use of a new crankshaft, higher efficiency KKK turbochargers and a liner-less block. It was a semi-stressed part of the chassis and ran a dry sump. There were no special qualifying engines and on 2.2 bar of boost it was said to be rated at “almost 800 hp. Maximum race boost was 1.9 bar. Maximum RPM was 7,000 but drivers generally kept to 6,500 during races. The torque curve was almost uniform between 3,000 and 6,000 rpm, giving the engine plenty of flexibility. The engine retained a cross plane crankshaft and the firing order was 1-5-4-8-6-3-7-2. Later M119HL engines were sourced from the Mercedes engine facility at Untertürkheim, supervised by Hermann Hiereth. The addition of 16 valve heads in 1989 took power up by about 20 hp to around 720 hp at 1.6 bar and 7,000 RPM. The increase in fuel efficiency meant absolute power could also be taken from just under 800 hp with 2.2 bar of boost to about 820 hp. For its debut season in 1987, the cars were run by Kouros Racing, named after the fragrance brand of its parent company, Yves Saint Laurent, although backed by Mercedes-Benz in a semi-official capacity. The deal was to last five races. The team managed a mere twelfth in the teams standings, scoring points in only a single round. For 1988, the sponsorship deal with Kouros was not renewed and the team was renamed Sauber Mercedes. This coincided with a change of senior management at Mercedes and the announcement in January by new deputy chairman Prof. Dr Werner Niefer that the company would support Group C sportscars. As a result, Mercedes was sponsored by AEG-Olympia – AEG being owned by Daimler-Benz at the time, effectively giving the team full factory support. The team’s management was bolstered by former BMW M team manager Jochen Neerpasch and Swiss former driver Max Welti. They managed to finish second in the championship behind the Jaguar XJR-9 with five wins for the season. Unfortunately at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the team suffered an embarrassing setback when they were forced to withdraw due to concern over their Michelin tyres after Klaus Niedzwiedz suffered a blow out at high speed. Finally, in 1989, the car was able to achieve great success. Besides replacing the black colour scheme with Mercedes’ traditional plain silver scheme and reducing AEG to the role of minor sponsor, the older M117 5.0 L turbocharged V8 engine was upgraded to the M119, which replaced steel heads with new four-valve aluminium heads. The engine had a Group C capacity equivalence of 8.454 litres. The C9 was able to win all but one race in the 1989 season, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans. During qualifying, the Baldi/Acheson/Brancatelli C9 recorded a speed of 400 km/h (248 mph) on the Mulsanne Straight. In spite of this, it was the car of Schlesser/Jabouille/Cudini which occupied pole position on race day. The Sauber C9s would go on to finish first, second and fifth in the race. Mercedes driver Jean-Louis Schlesser would end up taking the driver’s championship that season. The Sauber C9 did not enjoy a lot of success in 1987, its first season, finishing on only three occasions. The car’s speed potential was made clear when Johnny Dumfries set a lap record at Le Mans before retiring with gearbox failure. Mike Thackwell also took pole position at Spa. Schlesser won the final race of the year, the non-championship Nurburgring Supercup, which was the only win in an otherwise bleak season for the Swiss-German team. The C9 won five races in the 1988 World Sportscar Championship, showing much-improved reliability and placing second in the overall standings behind the winning Silk Cut Jaguar team. Drivers Schlesser, Baldi and Mass finished second, third and fifth respectively behind Jaguar’s Martin Brundle in the driver’s championship. In the 1989 World Sportscar Championship, the Sauber C9 won all except the second race at Dijon Prenois, where they were defeated by the Joest Porsche 962 of Bob Wollek and Frank Jelinski. Sauber drivers also filled the top four spots in the drivers standings with Schlesser winning the championship outright. High performance was only one notable aspect of the C9s ability; its reliability was another. The car failed to finish only twice in the 1989 season but on both occasions, the race was won by the other team car. The C9 would be replaced by the Mercedes-Benz C11 from the second race onwards of the 1990 season, when it took one final win in the first race.

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This is a DTM-ITC C class racer, based on the  W202 series. It took Mercedes-Benz’ compact executive rival to the 3 series out onto the racetrack when the new AMG-Mercedes C-Class with six-cylinder engine was entered in the DTM championship in 1994. Klaus Ludwig drove the new car to victory in the championship in its very first year. The body might have been that of a C-Class, but the engineering was totally focused on performance on the racetrack. The V6 engine, developing 400 hp, was based on the 4.2-liter V8 power plant from the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. This was followed in 1995 by a new version of the AMG Mercedes C-Class racing car. In comparison with the 1994 version, the driver’s seat was moved further back and toward the center of the car. This enhanced driver safety, and the car’s stability was increased by the integration of the anti-roll cage in the body. The structure now had up to 300 percent greater rigidity than the production version. Powered by a V6 engine developing 440 hp (324 kW), the C-Class again came out tops in the DTM championship in 1995, with Bernd Schneider winning the title ahead of teammate Jörg van Ommen as runner-up. AMG then built another racing car in 1996 for the International Touring Car Championship (ITC), again based on the C-Class. The 2499-cc V6 engine delivered 500 hp for a top speed of 320 km/h. Bernd Schneider finished the ITC season as runner-up.

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The most modern Mercedes here was a GT3 customer version of the SLS sportscar.

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Sole MG here was the 4WD mid engined MG Metro 6R4 of 1984 (6-cylinder, rally car, four-wheel-drive) was a world away from the best selling city car to which it bore only a superficial cosmetic resemblance. The competition car effectively only shared the name of the production Metro as it featured a mid-mounted engine with four wheel drive transmission enclosed within a semi-monocoque seam-welded tubular chassis. The development of this vehicle had been entrusted to Williams Grand Prix Engineering. The resulting car was shown to the world in May 1985. It was powered by a David Wood designed bespoke 3-litre V6 powerplant which used some of the engine architecture of the Cosworth DFV. It featured twin overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder. The engine was a break from the norm, as it wasn’t turbocharged as the majority of its competitors were. The engine was mounted back to front in the car, with the forward end of the engine facing the hatchback and the gearbox attached conventionally behind it and, therefore, in the middle of the vehicle. The four-wheel-drive was permanently engaged, and drove separate propshafts to the front and rear differentials. The rear differential was mounted on the side of the engine sump with one driveshaft running through the sump to the nearside rear wheel. Much of the outer bodywork was made of GRP, with the only exception being the roof panels (which were aluminium), the steel doors and the remaining panels from the original Metro shell. The doors were, however, concealed by plastic airboxes. Indeed, models now on show generally have stickers demonstrating where it is safe to push from when moving the vehicle, so as not to damage the bodywork. The 6R4 appeared in two guises. There was a so-called Clubman model which was the road going version which developed in the region of 250 bhp, of which around 200 were made and sold to the public for £40,000 (the homologation version). A further 20 were taken and built to International specifications which had a recorded output of over 410 bhp. At its launch in 1985, Rover announced that it would complete the necessary number of cars required for homologation by November of that year. This was undertaken at the group’s large manufacturing facility at Longbridge. The car was to participate in the Lombard RAC rally in November 1985, and an example, driven by works driver Tony Pond, finished a highly respectable third, behind two Lancia Delta S4s. This good start was unfortunately not repeated, and although a 6R4 was entered in rallies at Monte Carlo, Sweden, Portugal and Corsica during the 1986 season, none of the Metros managed to complete a course. The majority of these problems were related to the V6 powerplant which suffered teething issues. Halfway during the 1986 season, Group B was banned (following a series of fatal crashes in which both competitors and spectators lost their lives). From that point on, the 6R4 was always going to be limited in front line competition, although they were run with limited success for the remainder of the year. A number passed into private hands and have proved formidable rally and rallycross cars. Despite the expiry of the 6R4’s homologation the MSA still allow the cars to run in competition although engine sizes have been limited to 2800cc (single plenum engines) and 2500cc (multi-plenum engines). Austin Rover withdrew from the rallying scene at the end of the season, but in 1987 all the parts and engines were sold to Tom Walkinshaw Racing, whereupon the V6 engine reappeared in the Jaguar XJ220, this time with turbochargers added.

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This is a specially prepared MINI Countryman, conceived to take part in the Pikes Peak Challenge, the “race to the clouds” that takes place in Colorado in June every year. The summit is at 14,500 feet above sea level, so performance tails off somewhat as the amount of oxygen in the air reduces (I know – I’ve been there!). This one has 900 bhp to help out.

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This unusual car, a one-off,  is a 1979 Minolta-Lotus Ford Europa. built for racing under Group 5 regulations.

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The Mirage Lightweight Racing Car was a family of race cars built by J.W. Automotive Engineereing (JWAE) at Slough, initially to compete in international sports car races in the colours of the Gulf Oil Corporation. In all, from 1974 to 1978, the Mirages never finished outside of the top-ten positions at Le Mans, posting a first, two seconds, a third, a fourth, a fifth, and a tenth. Mirage race cars were the first to wear the legendary powder blue and marigold livery of Gulf Oil, the first to post race wins for Gulf Oil, and the last to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans overall for Gulf Oil. Mirage is one of only two independently constructed racing car marques (the other is Rondeau) to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans overall since the post-World War II return of the Grand Prix d’Endurance in 1949. This is a GR7 Cosworth dating from 1974. The GR7 model was renamed to Gulf GR7 for 1974, reflecting the sponsorship involvement of Gulf Oil which dated from 1967. “Gulf Ford” placed second in the 1974 World Championship for Makes.

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There are lots of historic bikes entered here as well. I’m not at all knowledgeable about these, but did take a few photos just to show that I did at least walk past the displays!

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Commissioned by the Brooklands driver John Cobb, and designed by Reid Railton, the car was built by Thomson and Taylor at their engineering works within the Brooklands Track. The car was completed in 1933 and first appeared in a race at Brooklands in August of that year. John Cobb and his co-drivers achieved many Brooklands and World speed records with the car. Probably the most notable of these are the 24 hour record of 150.6mph set on the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1936 and the Brooklands Outer Circuit Lap Record of 143.44mph set by John Cobb in 1935, which was never beaten. The Napier-Railton’s racing days at Brooklands came to an end in 1937. In 1949 the car was hired from John Cobb by the Romulus Film Company and was used in ‘Pandora and the Flying Dutchman’, a film about a racing car driver. In 1951 the car was sold to the GQ Parachute Company of Woking. GQ had the car modified and fitted with test equipment capable of deploying an aircraft braking parachute at high speed and then retracting the parachute when the speed had dropped to about 30 knots. These experimental trials were carried out on Dunsfold airfield and proved to be most successful. After the parachute testing trials, the car was acquired by Patrick Lindsay. It was overhauled by the engineering company Crosthwaite and Gardner and then used by Lindsay in VSCC races. While the car was in Lindsay’s possession, it spent some time on display at the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu. The car was later acquired by Mr T.A. ‘Bob’ Roberts to form part of his Midland Motor Museum collection at Bridgnorth in Shropshire where it was kept in running order. In 1975 the car was completely overhauled, except the engine, by Hodec Engineering at Old Woking in Surrey. In 1989 Bob Roberts sold the Napier-Railton to Victor Gauntlett, one-time chairman of Aston Martin. The car was put up for auction in 1991 and bought by a German industrialist to add to his private collection of classic cars in Leipzig. In 1997 the car was discovered by a Swiss classic car dealer who purchased it and offered it on loan to Brooklands Museum. Brooklands Museum was then given the first option to buy the car and it was consequently purchased by the Trust in December 1997, partly funded by a 75% Lottery grant, the shortfall being met by private subscription. Since the acquisition of the car by the Museum, it has been demonstrated at many venues including Brands Hatch, Goodwood Festival of Speed and Revival meetings, the Farnborough International Air Show, Dunsfold Wings and Wheels, and regularly at Brooklands Museum events including the Double Twelve Motorsport Festival.

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A number of NASCARs were here. Although these are named after a series of family saloons, there is really very little in the way of similarities between the road cars and these, though styling cues at the front and back do give you a clue as to what you are looking at. Among the cars seen here were a Ford and a Toyota Camry.

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The Nissan NPT-90 was a racing car developed in 1990 for Nissan Motors by Nissan Performance Technology Incorporated (NPTI), formerly known as Electramotive Engineering. It was a replacement for the highly successful GTP ZX-Turbo that had won the IMSA GT Championship in 1989. The NPT-90 would go on to win the championship in 1990 and 1991 before being retired by Nissan at the end of the 1992 season. Although officially known as the NPT-90, the car continued to race with the GTP ZX-Turbo naming painted on it. This was an attempt by Nissan to continue to use that name to market for the Nissan 300ZX road car. Following five years of development and improvement on the GTP ZX-Turbo, Nissan realized that incoming competition from Toyota and Jaguar meant that a new car was needed to be able to continue to defend their championship. NPTI, Nissan’s North American motorsports division, was therefore tasked with construction of an all-new car, abandoning the original Lola-based GTP ZX-Turbo chassis. The new car would abandon the angular look of the previous car, with the cockpit being rounded and narrower. The large intakes at the nose of the car would also be replaced with smaller duct work, while large vertical snorkels for the turbocharger would be placed on the sides of the car. Nissan chose to continue to use the VG30 3.0 litre turbocharged V6 engine that had previously powered the GTP ZX-Turbo, but with improvements to allow for more power output, including the addition of a four-valve head to replace the two-valve design. Eventually, in 1992 Nissan chose to reduce the VG30s displacement to 2.5L in the NPT-91. The NPT-90 would be upgraded during its life, leading to the cars being renamed NPT-91 in the middle of the 1991 season. Further upgrades during 1992 would come in various specifications, signified as NPT-91A through NPT-91D. While the first NPT-90 chassis were under construction, NPTI began the 1990 season using the older GTP ZX-Turbos. The first chassis would be completed halfway through the season and debut at Topeka where it took an eighth-place finish, behind the second place GTP ZX-Turbo. Although engine problems at Lime Rock Park would put the lone NPT-90 out of the race, it would quickly show its potential at the next round at Mid-Ohio by taking the race win. With a second victory at Watkins Glen, and the second chassis completed, the NPT-90s would completely take over from the GTP ZX-Turbos. Over the rest of the season, the NPT-90 would only be able to secure one more win at Road America, but the strong points finishes of both cars as well as the success of the GTP ZX-Turbos earlier in the season would allow Nissan to take the constructors championship for the second year in a row. Geoff Brabham would secure his third straight drivers championship as well. To open the 1991 season, Nissan returned to their practice of skipping the endurance 24 Hours of Daytona due to the more sprint-oriented design of the NPT-90. However, unlike previous years, Nissan would bring some Nissan R90CKs from Europe to participate, aiding in the points championship. However the NPT-90s were used for the 12 Hours of Sebring, in which Nissan successfully took the top two spots. However shorter events began to see Jaguar’s pace overwhelming the Nissans, with their cars taking three straight victories before the upgraded NPT-91 could take wins in Topeka and Lime Rock. However Jaguar began to reclaim victories, while Toyota and the privateer Intrepid would take race wins as well. Even with running three cars in a race at times, the upgraded NPT-91s would be unable to score another victory for the rest of the season. However, as before, consistent points finishes during the season were able to overcome the problems that Jaguar and Toyota experienced in some events, allowing Nissan to take a third successive constructors championship. Geoff Brabham would take his fourth drivers championship, beating teammate Chip Robinson by a mere five points. In 1992, once again skipping the 24 Hours of Daytona, the Nissan team was able to be boosted by the Japanese Nissan R91CP taking overall victory. This triumph was continued as the NPT-91s made their debut in Miami, also securing a race win. However Nissan would not be able to score their third successive Sebring victory, as Toyota beat them by a sizable five laps. Unfortunately this trend would continue as the season progressed, with the NPT-91s suffering from heavy accidents and various mechanical woes that prevented them from finishing. The season’s nadir came at the Road Atlanta race, where tire failures led to a pair of massive crashes that destroyed two NPT-91 chassis. Neither Chip Robinson nor Geoff Brabham were seriously injured, but team manager Trevor Harris later said, “We never really recovered from that weekend.” Even with the addition of the twin-turbocharged C-spec NPT-91 to the line-up midway through the season, the NPTI team would continue to struggle. The team would find also themselves struggling with funding as well, leaving only a lone NPT-91 to compete. No more victories would be scored that season, leaving Nissan to settle for a distant second in the constructors championship behind Toyota. Geoff Brabham would manage a mere third in the drivers championship. Following the 1992 season, Nissan began plans for the construction of a new competitor to replace the NPT-90 series. Work began on modifying the already abandoned P35 project to comply with IMSA’s GTP rules. However IMSA announced their intentions to abandon the GTP class in 1994, leading Nissan to abandon the new car once again, now renamed NPT-93. Nissan chose to instead concentrate on their 240SX and 300ZX efforts in the production-based IMSA classes. Not deterred by the withdrawal of the factory effort, Gianpiero Moretti of the Momo company purchased an original specification NPT-90 for use in the full 1993 season. The car had chassis number 90-03. The car had some strong performances, including a second at the 12 Hours of Sebring and third at Mid-Ohio. Momo’s lone effort would allow Nissan to take third in the constructors championship, while Gianpiero Moretti himself would take third in the drivers championship. With the abandonment of the GTP class, the NPT-90s would be retired from IMSA GTP racing. An NPT-90 with chassis number 90-03 (the ex-Moretti chassis from 1993) was entered by Pegasus Racing in the 1996 24 Hours of Daytona. The chassis was lightly modified to comply with IMSA’s WSC regulations, so the roof was removed and a BMW V12 engine was fitted. The car started the race but didn’t finish, retiring with an alternator failure after 86 laps, and was classified 67th overall, and 13th in class. The car was driven by Juan Carlos Carbonell, Jim Briody and Jon Field. Later in the season Jacobs Motorsports would attempt to run Michael Jacobs in the Pegasus NPTI on two occasions, (the 6 Hours of Watkins Glen and the Daytona Finale), but neither entry amounted to anything.

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The Sports Car Club of America created a “showroom stock” class for amateur club racing in 1972. In 1984, following the success of the Longest Day of Nelson and another 24-hour race at Mid-Ohio, the SCCA combined existing races into a manufacturer’s championship. For 1985, the series became a 6-race professional championship with sponsorship from Playboy magazine. Escort radar detectors sponsored the series from 1986 until 1991. In 1990, the series was officially named World Challenge and was restructured to adopt rules similar to the European Group A for homologated production cars. This 1985 Nissan 300ZX was one of the cars that competed.

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The Porsche 906 or Carrera 6 is a street-legal racing car from Porsche. It was announced in January 1966 and 50 examples were subsequently produced, thus meeting the homologation requirements of the FIA’s new Group 4 Sports Car category to the letter. The type would also compete in modified form in the Group 6 Sports Prototype class. Previously before the Porsche 906 was the 904. It was considered a great car for its time and it held many victories and achieved many great things. Ferdinand Piëch, the grand son of Ferdinand Porsche, had gotten a very important job just at 28 years old and that was to be in charge of the development of the New Porsche racing cars. His goal for recreating the 904 to the new 906 was to make it as lightweight as can be. This would mean stripping all of heavy steel from the body and using unstressed fibre glass instead. Constructing the new car with the fibreglass helped with things such as structural support as well as looks because it was all placed by hand instead of having an uneven paint job done to it.The finished product weighed around 580 kg( 1,280 lbs ) and was a quarter of a thousand pounds lighter than the previous 904. Not only was the body of the car much lighter but so was the engine of the vehicle. Normally the car would be fitted with a 901/20 6-cylinder with carburettors that was making 210 bhp at 8,000 rpm. On occasion though there would be times when it was replaced with a 8-cylinder when the car was being used by the factory racing team. This would help in events such as hillclimbing when the altitude would increase against the Ferrari Dinos in the European championship. In its debut in the 1966 24 Hours of Daytona, the Carrera 6 finished 6th overall, and won its class against Ferrari Dino 206 Ps. At the 12 Hours of Sebring, Hans Herrmann/Herbert Müller finished fourth overall and won the class, as well as at the 1000 km of Monza, Spa, and Nürburgring. Willy Mairesse/Gerhard Müller, driving a privately entered 906, secured an overall victory at the 1966 Targa Florio when the factory cars failed. At the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 906 placed 4-5-6-7 behind three Ford GT40 Mk IIs, outlasting all of the previously dominant V12-engined Ferrari Ps. For the first year of the car’s debut in 1966, it was achieving numerous victories. American-British race car driver Ken Miles took the 2.0-litre class in the Las Vegas and Laguna Seca USRRC races. These victories didn’t just stop in 1966, but went on through 1967 and 1968. Another well known Porsche driver by the name of Peter Greg secured himself some wins at the Bahama Speed Weeks. Now not only were professional racers driving these cars, but so was comedian Dick Smothers and Fred Baker. They secured 8th overall to win it’s 2.0-litre class in 1969. The Porsche Carrera 906 first started its racing career in Finland. The name of the car was the Collier Collection Carrera 6. It eventually started racing in AAW racing but to its luck it didn’t receive much victories. The best place it got was for the 1000 km race on the Nürburgring and that was 13th overall in 1969 which was the final year of the car’s career.

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At the end of the 1971 season, the coupe bodied Porsche 917 was no longer eligible to race in the world championship, which saw the German manufacturer’s focus shift to the Group 7 class. In open form the 917 had been campaigned in this virtually no limits class since 1969, but with little factory support. Two championships were open for the Group 7 cars; the European Interserie and more importantly the North American Can-Am Challenge. Big engines, low weight and a host of different looking vehicles had made Can-Am one of America’s premier classes, attracting many spectators. Porsche was represented in Can-Am for a number of years by privateers who race 908s or decapitated 917s, until a purpose built Group 7 version of the 917 made its debut in 1971. Dubbed the 917/10, it was technically similar to the coupe 917, but featured a number of lighter components constructed from the latest exotic materials. A larger fuel tank was also fitted to enable the car to complete the 200 mile races without having to refuel. Completely new was the spyder bodywork, which was an adaptation of the contemporary Can-Am design. A few races into the 1971 season, the Porsche 917/10 made its debut in the McLaren dominated series. It was immediately obvious that the 5 litre flat 12 was not powerful enough to take on the might of the all-alloy Chevrolet V8s, but nonetheless valuable points were scored in the car’s first season. Back in Germany two options to close the gap with the 800 bhp V8s were considered; a 16 cylinder version of the 917 or fitting turbochargers to the existing engine. The second option was by far not as easy as it sounds today, but it was expected to offer the best performance so it was fully explored. Just six of these cars were built, three of which never raced.

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This is a 935 .20, known sometimes as the Baby 935. In 1976, the Federation Internationale l’Automobile redefined the Group 5 category for the third time. After being applied to “Special Touring Cars“, 5 litre “Sports Cars“ and 3 litre “Sports Cars“, the increasingly confusing moniker was now given to the new “Special Production Cars“ formula. Under these regulations, manufacturers were given much more freedom in designing their racers. The only real requirement was the use of a vehicle already homologated in Groups 1-4, but otherwise the companies were given carte blanche to come up with their most extreme interpretations of the already very liberal rule book. Only the roof, bonnet, doors and rail panel were to be left stock, all other parts were eligible for modification. For German sportscar manufacturer Porsche, the new category presented an opportunity to race their products in top level motorsport in a slightly more recognizable form. The brand had risen to prominence in the 1960’s with a succession of svelte mid-engine prototypes, culminating in the legendary record-breaking 917. Porsche’s road cars weren’t part of the factory racing package during this time though, which left a major gap in the firm’s marketing strategy. With Group 5, that situation changed. From the Group 4 934 version of the 930 Turbo, Porsche was able to derive the extreme 935 in time for the 1976 season. After a few races, the engineers quickly realised the FIA hadn’t specified a minimum headlight height, so the 935’s stock nose was immediately flattened and complemented with lights mounted down low in the bumper. With little in the way of opposition in the first year of the category, the 935 took its native Deutsche Automobil-Rennsport Meisterschaft by storm. By the start of the second season, the general public had grown weary of the big Porker racking up all the prizes. Instead, Division II was brought into the spotlight thanks to intense battles between the factory teams of Zakspeed-Ford and BMW Junior. Featuring instantly recognizable small family cars with engine displacement under two litres, the lower class appealed massively to the average viewer, since the Escorts and 320i’s used looked eerily similar to the ones just down the street. Division II’s sudden rise in popularity worried Porsche to no end, as their mission was to promote the brand through motorsport successes. Unfortunately, their Division I program was now going largely unnoticed simply for being too successful, which made the races rather boring. Complaining about the state of affairs was not the Porsche way however, so the company’s best engineers were put to work building a Division II-car in record time for the televised Norisring Trophae. As the 935 was the only car homologated for Group 5 racing, the company would have to find a way to bring it down to the correct specification. Porsche’s head designer Norbert Singer was given the arduous task of converting the 2.9L, twin turbo flat six, 630 bhp and 970 kg (2,139 lbs) monster into something a lot less intimidating. Singer complied with the demands by exploiting the rulebook to its fullest extent. To qualify for Division II, he needed to shave off some 235 kg (518 lbs) off the already stripped out car’s base weight. He accomplished this seemingly impossible task by cutting out and replacing everything the regulations didn’t expressly state had to be there. Singer cleanly took off the nose and tail sections until he was left with a heavily chopped-up piece of cockpit. He then proceeded to put things back together by using bespoke aluminium subframes to secure the suspension front and rear, as well as create a brand new subframe to hold the engine. This gave him the space to utilize a new trailing arm rear suspension setup, which promised to improve handling. In the end, the drastic diet left Porsche with essentially half a 935, which weighed an astonishing 710 kg (1565 lbs). Norbert Singer had managed to get the car light enough to enable the use of 25 kg (55 lbs) of ballast, which was immediately stuffed into the front to lessen the car’s famously rear-biased weight distribution. With the car shrunk down to an appropriate size, engine wizard Ernst Fuhrmann embarked on his own mission impossible. Fuhrmann was tasked with compressing the Typ-935 flat six into something that would comply with Division II regulations, while keeping the character of a Porsche 935 to drive the point home that Porsche’s could do anything. His response was as simple as it was baffling. In an effort to stay true to the car’s roots, he decided to retain one of the two Künhle Kopp & Kausch turbochargers. This presented a problem however. Group 5 operated under a strict x1.4 equivalency formula for turbocharged engines, which meant the 2.9L flat six would have to be reduced to 1425cc to adhere to the Division II 2.0L limit. Undeterred, Fuhrmann did just that, and ended up with a savage 380 horsepower output at a mind-boggling 8200 rpm. Affectionately dubbed “Baby“, the 935/2.0 featured an identical bodystyle to the works 935/77, except for one big difference. Instead of the iconic dual rear exhausts coming straight from the turbo’s, the single turbo 2.0 sported a single large sidepipe peering through the left-side rear quarter panel. Owing to the comprehensive and incredibly complicated transformation, there was no time to test the Baby before its big show at the Norisring. Nevertheless, the car was given to F1-driver, double Le Mans-winner and Porsche factory star Jacky Ickx (BEL) and shipped to the streets of Nuremberg. The event featured three distinct races. At 9:30 the top level Division I cars would start for a DRM-championship round, with Division II taking the green flag at 11:00. Then at 15:00, the categories would be combined for the coveted Norisring Trophae, a non-championship event promising generous cash prizes for podium finishers. During qualifying the 935/2.0 was suffering form the lack of testing and development, as the Typ 915/50 5-speed gearbox was geared far too tall for the short street circuit. A quick fix was found by mounting a set of front wheels at the back, which made it far easier to get the power down. Despite this the car struggled to make the top 10, placing 12th with a time of 57.700 seconds. This was some 3.5 seconds slower than the pole-sitting Zakspeed Escort of Hans Heyer (GER). More worryingly, Jacky Ickx had been complaining of an insufferably hot cabin, which was apparently poorly ventilated. The Belgian’s ordeal was exacerbated by a the July summer heat, making it hard for him to maintain his concentration as the searing temperatures physically wore him out at an alarming rate.
The issue easily could have been found and fixed in testing, but Porsche had no use for hindsight. Ickx would simply have to adapt, since they wouldn’t dare miss the big show. Unfortunately, Porsche’s stubbornness was punished halfway through the race, as Ickx pulled into the pits from 6th place, suffering from exhaustion. By the start of the Trophae though, the conditions were better, and Ickx sailed to a well-deserved 2nd place in Division II behind Manfred Winkelhock’s BMW. Following the rather embarrassing debut at the Norisring, Porsche set out to do what it should have done in the first place: test. The team skipped the next round at Diepenholz’s airfield circuit to perform some much needed development work, with the first point of business improving cockpit ventilation. In the traditional Porsche manner, small incremental changes manageHd to completely transform the car into a potential world-beater. Confident in the updated machine, Porsche took to Hockenheim for the DRM Hockenheim Grand Prix. The long, astoundingly quick 6.8 km Hockenheim circuit was the total polar opposite of tiny, bumpy Norisring. For the Baby though, it didn’t really seem to matter. The car proved perfectly suited for the track, as it lapped a whopping 2.8 seconds faster than Peter Hennige’s BMW 2002 Turbo with a time of 1:08.9. Nineteen laps at full speed was all “Baby” had to survive to complete its mission, and as the green flag fell, it sped into the distance. The naturally aspirated 320i’s and Escorts were powerless to resist against the little Porker’s blinding single-lap pace, and with the 2002 Turbo’s both breaking down, the 935/2.0 cruised to an easy victory. In the process it had crushed its opposition by finishing a stunning 52 seconds ahead of BMW’s Manfred Winkelhock. Satisfied with the dramatic victory bewildering press and fans alike, Porsche retired the car directly after the fateful race at Hockenheim. The illustrious marque had made its point. Through tremendously hard work and dedication, Porsche had shown the public it should never be ignored, and that it could win with ease in virtually every formula imaginable. That message would never be forgotten. The Porsche 935/2.0 “Baby” was built with a singular purpose in mind: to assert Porsche’s total dominance in the world of motorsport. Sick of being ignored for being a little too good, the brand stopped at nothing to win back the attention of the general public. With a nearly ridiculous amount of dedication and innovative design work, Porsche’s Norbert Singer and Ernst Fuhrmann worked wonders by turning the big, shouty 935 into a diminutive menace to helpless Division II competitors. After the initial teething problems had been sorted, the car displayed record-breaking pace, and further established the legacy of a record-breaking manufacturer.

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The Porsche 936 is a Group 6 sports prototype racing car introduced in 1976 by Porsche as a delayed successor to the 917, a five litre Group 5 Sports Car, and the 908, a three litre Group 6 Prototype-Sports Car, both of which were retired by the factory after 1971. Its name came from using a variant of the Porsche 930’s turbocharged engine, as well as competing in Group 6 racing. The Porsche 936 was built to compete in the World Sportscar Championship as well as at 1976 24 Hours of Le Mans under the Group 6 formula, which it won both of. Chassis 002 with #20 won with Jacky Ickx and Gijs van Lennep won Le Mans, while the #18 chassis 001 of Reinhold Joest and Jürgen Barth had engine failure. It shared these victories with its production-based sibling, the Porsche 935 which won in Group 5. The open top, two seater spyder was powered by an air-cooled, two-valve 540 hp single-turbocharger flat-6 engine with 2140 cc, or the equivalent of 3000 cc including the 1.4 handicap factor. The spaceframe chassis was based on the 917, with many of the parts also coming from the car. In the first outings, the Martini Racing car was still black, and the engine cover behind the roll bar was flat. The large hump and the air box above the engine was fitted onto the car later in the season. It is not for the air intake of the turbocharged engine, nor for cooling of the air-cooled engine itself, but instead mainly used for the intercooler. From 1976 to 1981, the factory entered Porsche 936 won the 24 Hours of Le Mans three times with Jacky Ickx (’76, ’77, ’81), thus each of the three original chassis won once. In 1978, the two previously winning chassis, which had been updated for 1977, came second and third behind the Renault, while the pole-setting new chassis 003 crashed out. Porsche did not intend to sell the 936 to customers, wanting them instead to use the 935 (which occupied the first four places at Le Mans in 1979), and the old 908 which were still around, updated to turbo engines and new 936-like aerodynamics. In 1979, a half-hearted Essex-sponsored Le Mans entry with two 936 was a failure, and the car also crashed at Silverstone. Porsche, wanting to test a new engine for the 956 pulled a few 936s out of the Porsche museum in Stuttgart, redesigned the car to create the 936/81 and entered as 2 official works entries for the 1981 Le Mans 24 Hours, coaxing Jacky Ickx out of retirement, and at the Belgian’s request having Briton Derek Bell as his teammate for the race, which needless to say they won, with the Mass/Barth/Haywood sister car retiring. Porsche engineers provided some unofficial support to very good customers, though, and Joest managed to get a spare chassis (004) and parts to assemble a car which was in 1980 designated as Porsche 908/80 and entered privately by Joest Racing. The Martini Racing Liqui Moly backed car took second at Le Mans in 1980. Kremer received blueprints to recreate a modified ’81-spec car dubbed chassis 005 for 1982. The successor Porsche 956 was introduced in 1982 after the new 2650 cc engine designed for Indycar was tested in the 1981 winning chassis 003 which was sponsored by Jules, a Christian Dior fragrance for men. At the inaugural year of the new Group C formula which the 956 was built for, privateer teams such as Kremer Racing and Joest Racing had to wait until 1983 for their 956. Thus, in an attempt to conform to the new Group C regulations, both teams built new bodyshapes that incorporated a roof onto their 936-replicas. Joest’s car was designated as 936C JR005 while Kremer’s car became known as the CK5 01.

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Porsche developed the 962 (also known as the 962C in its Group C form) as a replacement for the 956, intended initially mainly to comply with IMSA’s GTP regulations, although it would later compete in the European Group C formula as the 956 had. The 962 was introduced at the end of 1984, from which it quickly became successful through private owners while having a remarkably long-lived career, with some examples still proving competitive into the mid-1990s. When the Porsche 956 was developed in late 1981, the intention of Porsche was to run the car in both the World Sportscar Championship and the North American IMSA GTP Championship. However IMSA GTP regulations differed from Group C and subsequently the 956 was banned in the US series on safety grounds as the driver’s feet were ahead of the front axle centre line. To make the 956 eligible under the new IMSA regulations, Porsche extended the 956’s wheelbase to move the front wheels ahead of the pedal box. A steel roll cage was also integrated into the new aluminium chassis. For an engine, the Porsche 934-derived Type-935 2.8 litre flat-6 was used with air cooling and a single Kühnle, Kopp und Kausch AG K36 turbocharger instead of the twin K27 turbochargers of the Group C 956, as twin-turbo systems were not allowed in IMSA’s GTP class at the time. The newer Andial built 3.2 litre fuel injected flat-6 would be placed in the 962 by the middle of 1985 for IMSA GT, which made the car more competitive against Jaguar. However it would not be until 1986 that the 2.6 litre unit from the 956 was replaced in the World Sportscar Championship, using 2.8 litre, 3.0 litre, and 3.2 litre variants with dual turbochargers. The cars run under World Sportscar Championship regulations were designated as 962C to separate them from their IMSA GTP counterparts.. The 3.2 litre unit, which had been eligible under IMSA’s Group 3 engine rules, was banned by IMSA in 1987. In 1988, to counteract against the factory Nissans and the threat of withdrawal from Porsche teams, water-cooled twin-turbo Porsche engines would be allowed back but with 36 mm restrictors. In total, Porsche would produce 91 962s between 1984 and 1991. 16 were officially used by the factory team, while 75 were sold to customers. Some 956s were rebuilt as 962s, with two being previously written off and four others simply rebuilt. Three 962s that were badly damaged were also rebuilt had been given a new chassis number due to the extensive reconstruction. Due to the high demand for 962 parts, some aluminium chassis were built by Fabcar in the United States before being shipped to Germany for completion. Derek Bell, a 5-time Le Mans winner, drove the 962 to 21 victories between 1985 and 1987, remarking that it was “a fabulous car, but considering how thorough (Norbert) Singer (the designer of the 962 and head of Porsche’s motorsport division at the time) and the team were, it was really quite easy to drive.” Due to the sheer numbers of 962s, some teams took it upon themselves to adapt the car to better suit their needs or to remain competitive. These modifications included new bodywork for better aerodynamic efficiency, while others changed mechanical elements. Long-time Porsche campaigner Joest Racing heavily modified a pair of 962s for the IMSA GTP Championship in 1993 to better compete against Jaguar, taking the 962’s final sprint race victory (Road America) that season. Beyond minor modification, some private teams reengineered the entire car. One noted problem of the 962 was a lack of stiffness in the aluminium chassis, leading some teams to design new chassis, and then buy components from Porsche to complete the car, although some also had unique bodywork as well. Some teams would then offer their 962s to other customer teams. Among the most popular privately built 962s was that from Kremer Racing, termed the 962CK6, which did away with the original aluminium sheet tub of the original Porsche chassis, replacing it with a carbon fibre tub. Eleven were built, campaigned by Kremer and other teams. John Thompson designed a chassis for Brun Motorsport, eight of which were built and helped the team take second in the World Sportscar Championship in 1987. Thompson would later build two chassis for Obermaier Racing. Richard Lloyd Racing’s GTI Engineering would turn to Peter Stevens and Nigel Stroud to develop four 962C GTis, which featured entirely revised aero and aluminium honeycomb rather than sheet tubs. Former factory Porsche driver Vern Schuppan would also build five new chassis, some known as TS962s. In the United States, the ball got rolling when Holbert Racing began making modifications to their own chassis and rebadging them with “962 HR-” serial numbers. The search was always on for a stiffer and safer 962 monocoque and Jim Busby contracted Jim Chapman to build a more robust version of the 962 monocoque. Fabcar would become the de facto factory tub supplier, supplying chassis with official Porsche serial numbers. Fabcar incorporated changes to the factory tub, replacing the simple sheet aluminum construction with a combination of sheet aluminum and aluminum honeycomb in addition to billet aluminum bulkheads. These changes substantially increased the tub’s crashworthiness and stiffness. Dyson Racing purchased a Richard Lloyd Racing/GTi Engineering 962 monocoque for use in their Porsche 962 DR-1 chassis. A Fabcar tub was used in Dyson’s Porsche 962 DR-2.. Some 962s were even more extensively modified, with several open-cockpit versions being developed in the mid-1990s to run under new sportscar regulations. Kremer Racing would once again develop their own chassis, with the open-cockpit CK7 running in Interserie and K8 running at most international sportscar races, including Le Mans and Daytona. These cars shared little with the original 962s, using custom bodywork and chassis designs, yet retaining the engine and some suspension elements. Heinz-Jörgen Dahmen converted his 962 (chassis 009) to an open-top version that was raced by him in the Interserie in 1995 and 1996. The car had previously been campaigned by him in the Interserie since 1990. Porsche debuted the 962 at the 1984 24 Hours of Daytona with Mario and Michael Andretti driving the factory car which led the race until it retired during lap 127 with engine and gearbox problems. For 1985, the 962C would debut in the World Sportscar Championship, but ironically the car lost to an older 956, which had already taken WEC top-honors four times. Under pressure from new cars from Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz, in 1987 Porsche again brought in a new engine, a more durable and powerful 3.0 litre unit which powered the car to an overall win at the 1987 24 Hours of Le Mans, Porsche’s record seventh consecutive victory at the race. After a post-’87 “dry spell”, Porsche customer Jochen Dauer got the 962 re-classified as a road legal GT1 car under a loophole in the new ACO regulations for the 1994 24 Hours of Le Mans. During the early years of its career, the 962, like the 917K, 935 and 956 before it, became one of the most dominant cars in motorsport, and its efficiency and reliability led it to be a car much in demand among private teams. The championships won by teams campaigning the 962 included the World Sportscar Championship title in 1985 and 1986, the IMSA GT Championship every year from 1985 to 1988, the Interserie championship from 1987 until 1992, all four years of the Supercup series (1986 to 1989), and the All Japan Sports Prototype Championship from 1985 until 1989, and it was also very dominant in the American IMSA series well into the 90’s. The 962 also won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1986 and 1987, with Derek Bell, Al Holbert and Hans-Joachim Stuck at the wheel on both occasions, as well as later winning under the Dauer 962 badge in 1994. The presence of strong factory teams, such as Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, and Toyota, competing against privateer 962s eventually led to the car becoming less successful in the later 1980s. Even though they struggled, 962s would continue to win races into 1993, taking lone victories in the IMSA GT and Interserie seasons. Although Dauer’s Le Mans victory in 1994 featured a highly modified car, Team Taisan would take the final victory ever in an original 962C, winning an All Japan Grand Touring Car Championship event at Fuji Speedway in August of that year, just over ten years after the car had debuted.

Straddling the list of road and race cars was this 911 Carrera GT1 Evo. With the revival of international sportscar racing in the mid-1990s, though the BPR Global GT Series (which then morphed into the FIA GT Championship) Porsche expressed interest in returning to top level sportscar racing and went about developing its competitor for the GT1 category. Cars in this category were previously heavily modified versions of road cars, usually supercars such as the McLaren F1 and Ferrari F40, but when the 911 GT1 was uneveiled in 1996 Porsche had exploited the rule book to the full and stunned the sportscar fraternity. Rather than develop a race version of one of their road going models, what they created was effectively a purpose built sports-prototype, but in order to comply with regulations a street legal version was created, 911 GT1 Straßenversion – literally a road-going racing car. In spite of its 911 moniker the car actually had very little in common with the 911 of the time, however its frontal chassis was shared with the then 911, the 993, while the rear of the car was derived from the Porsche 962, including its water-cooled, twin-turbocharged and intercooled, four valve per cylinder flat-six engine which was arranged in a mid-mounted position, compared to the rear-engined layout of a conventional 911. The engine was making about 600 PS. In comparison, the 993 generation 911 GT2, which was otherwise the company’s highest-performance vehicle, used an air-cooled engine with only two valves per cylinder. The new vehicle was an outright success at Le Mans, winning the GT1 class at its debut race, although it lost the overall victory to Joest Racing’s Porsche WSC-95 prototype, still a success in that this vehicle used a Porsche powerplant. The 911 GT1 made its debut in the BPR Global GT Series (the FIA championship’s predecessor) at the Brands Hatch 4 hours, where Hans-Joachim Stuck and Thierry Boutsen won comfortably, although they were racing as an invited entry and were thus ineligible for points. They followed up by winning at Spa and Ralf Kelleners and Emmanuel Collard triumphed for the factory team at Zhuhai. The ’96 GT1 had around 600 PS and was clocked at a top speed of exactly 330 km/h (205 mph) on the legendary Mulsanne Straight in the practice sessions of the 1996 Le Mans 24 Hours Race (presumably on a low downforce setup). In 1997, the new Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR was successful in the new FIA GT Championship that replaced the BPR, as it was developed for racing. Mercedes did not enter Le Mans yet with their new car, though. The Porsche did not prove to be as fast in the FIA series, and failed to win a single race, first against the McLaren F1 GTR, and then against the new CLK-GTR. Towards the end of the 1996 season Porsche made revisions to the 911 GT1 in preparation for the 1997 season. The front end of the car was revised including new bodywork which featured headlamps that previewed the all-new 2nd generation (996) Porsche 911 which would appear in 1997. The revised car was known as the 911 GT1 Evo (or Evolution). The car had the same 600 PS turbo-charged engine, but new aerodynamics on the car allowed the ’97 car to be considerably faster than the 1996 model – acceleration was better, although the top speed was still around 330 km/h on the La Sarthe Circuit (in the race, the GT1-Evo reached 326 km/h). However, the works cars suffered from reliability problems and did not last the full race distance; a privately entered 1996 specification GT1 managed 5th overall and third in its class, but was beaten by the BMW-backed and powered McLaren F1 GTRs.

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There was also examples of the 911 as used in the 911 Challenge Series.

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Renault always bring over an interesting variety of historic cars from their “Histoire et Collection” fleet, a large collection of models that are not usually on public display. Some of the cars were ones I’ve seen before, but there were a few which I have not.

Oldest of the Renaults on show was this 1904 Model K Racer. After giving a demonstration to a friend of his father on the 24th of December 1898, aspiring engineer Louis Renault sold his first 1hp Voiturette and founded Société Renault Frères with his brothers Marcel and Fernand, who were experienced at running their fathers textile business. Like many, Renault recognised the “win on Sunday, sell on Monday” benefits of competing in the popular City to City races of the age and both Louis and Marcel would prove their company’s products in such events. Renault has recently recreated the nimble lightweight, 600 kg Type K seen here as a tribute to the car that Marcel Renault drove in the 1902 Paris to Vienna road race in which he beat far more powerful opposition from Mercedes and Panhard to traverse the 800 mile often narrow steep alpine route at an average speed of 38 mph. The car was powered by a 30hp 5 litre 4 cylinder engine.

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I’ve seen this amazing looking device a number of times before. With its pillar-box style windscreen, it must be more than mildly terrifying to drive! It is a Renault 40CV, which was launched in 1911 powered by a 7.6 litre straight six and was available with either an  11′ 9″ or a 12′ 9″ chassis. With the introduction of the 40CV Type HF in August 1920, the engine was upgraded to a 9.1-litre straight six. From 1920 to 1928, the Renault 40CV replaced the Panhard 20CV as the French Presidential vehicle of choice. François Repusseau drove a 40CV to victory in the 1925 Monte Carlo Rally and the following year a vehicle similar to this 40CV MN was modified and fitted with a single seat Coupé body and taken to the Montlhéry Oval outside Paris for a record breaking 24 hour run. Facilitated by a pit crew of 14 who could complete a pit stop including changing all four tyres in 50 seconds every hour and a team of unnamed drivers, the 40CV set a new 50 mile average speed record of 118 mph and a 24 hour record of 107.9 mph. By comparison, the fastest average speed on the road course at Le Mans for the 24 hours race in 1926 was just 66 mph set by Robert Bloch and André Rossignol in their 3.4 litre Lorraine-Dietrich B3-6. This is not the original car, but an exact replica.

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This is the  “Étoile Filante” from 1956, a purpose-designed fibreglass bodied machine aimed at record breaking efforts. Powered by a helicopter turbine generating 270 bhp, it was taken to the Bonneville Salt Flats and achieved 306 km/h over a 5 km distance, an impressive performance indeed.

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Renault first entered Formula 1 in 1977 and has enjoyed considerable success there over the years. There were a number of cars to remind us of those glory years.

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Also forming part of the Renault motorsport display were a couple of successful cars with an Alpine heritage. Best known of these is the Le Mans winning A442B  On June 2, 1978, the Renault Alpine piloted by Didier Pironi and Jean-Pierre Jaussaud took the chequered flag first in the Le Mans 24 Hours. It was the crowning glory of an adventure that had begun five years earlier. Winning the Le Mans 24 Hours – widely regarded as the hardest race in the world – never happens by chance. The seed of the 1978 success was planted back in 1973, when Alpine made the decision to return to high-level circuit racing with Elf’s support. Over the course of those five years, the first naturally-aspirated A440 evolved into the A441 and subsequently into the turbocharged A442, triumphing regularly on the world championship stage. In 1977, victory at Le Mans looked to be within reach, but the three ‘works’ cars all retired with engine failure. It was deemed necessary to find a test track that could reproduce the demands posed by the 50-second flat-out blast down the Mulsanne straight. The following year, two Renault Alpines finished first and fourth at La Sarthe, and that same evening, Renault President and CEO Bernard Hanon announced the brand’s withdrawal from endurance racing in favour of focusing on Formula 1. It was the beginning of an exciting new chapter in the firm’s motorsport history.

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This is an Alpine A460 which has been competing in the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship. This car is technically identical to the Oreca 05, using the same chassis and internals, with Alpine branding. This is the successor to the Alpine A450, which Alpine raced in the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship season. The Oreca 05 is a Le Mans Prototype, designed to compete in the LMP2 class. The car’s first win came at the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans by Hong Kong-based team KCMG. A closed-top design, it incorporates several new mechanical and safety features not used in the Oreca 03 car. Zylon anti-intrusion panels are built into the frame that prevent any mechanical components from coming into the chassis in the event of an accident. The car is smaller than the normal LMP2 class; the 05’s frame is 1900mm wide while most other cars have a 2000mm frame. The 05 has an electrical power steering system and an improved gearbox. As a majority of existing cars being rebuilt into the 07, only three 05s, including the Alpine, are known to currently exist in its original form.

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In response to Lancia’s rallying success with the mid-engined Stratos, Renault’s Jean Terramorsi, vice-president of production, asked Bertone’s Marc Deschamps to design a new sports version of the Renault 5 Alpine supermini. The distinctive new rear bodywork was styled by Marcello Gandini at Bertone. Although the standard Renault 5 has a front-mounted engine, the 5 Turbo featured a mid-mounted 1,397 cc Cléon-Fonte with fuel fed by Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection and a Garrett AiResearch T3 turbocharger OHV 2 valves per cylinder Inline-four engine placed behind the driver in mid-body in a modified Renault 5 chassis. In standard form, the engine developed 160 PS at 6000 rpm and maximum torque of 221 Nm (163 lb/ft) at 3250 rpm. Though it used a modified body from a standard Renault 5, and was badged a Renault 5, the mechanicals were radically different, the most obvious difference being rear-wheel drive and rear-mid-engined instead of the normal version’s front-wheel drive and front-mounted engine. At the time of its launch it was the most powerful production French car. The first 400 production 5 Turbos were made to comply with Group 4 homologation to allow the car to compete in international rallies, and were manufactured at the Alpine factory in Dieppe. Many parts later transferred to the Alpine A310, such as the suspension or alloy wheel set. The R5 Turbo was conceived with dual intent, promoting the sales of the common R5 and being homologated in the FIA group 3 and 4 categories of the rally championship (today WRC). All the motorsport derivatives were based on the Turbo 1. The factory pushed the engine output up to 180 PS for the Critérium des Cévennes, 210 PS for the Tour de Corse, and by 1984 as much as 350 PS in the R5 Maxi Turbo. Driven by Jean Ragnotti in 1981, the 5 Turbo won the Monte Carlo Rally on its first outing in the World Rally Championship. The 2WD R5 Turbo soon faced the competition of new Group B four-wheel drive cars that proved faster on dirt. There are several victories throughout the early 80’s in the national championships in France, Portugal, Switzerland, Hungary, and Spain, many victories in international rallies throughout Europe, with wins in iconic rallies such as Monte-Carlo. After the factory ceased support, it lived a second life being developed by many teams and enthusiasts to compete in regional championships and local races in which it was ubiquitous and reached many success for almost 20 years. At the time of retirement, the newly created historical categories allowed these cars to return to international events and competitions, living a third life. For these reasons it has accessed to a legendary status and has a huge fan base.

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Much more recent is the Renault Sport RS 01, dating from 2014. This is a fully carbon fibre coupe featuring a 493bhp twin-turbocharged V6 engine, created to race in a new Renaultsport Trophy championship. The engine is a 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 unit, derived from the version used in the Nissan GT-R. Supplied by Nismo, the unit benefits from a dry sump lubrication system to cope with the rigours of racing  on track. The engine is mid-mounted, and hooked up to a Sadev seven-speed sequential transmission with steering wheel paddles. Performance is said to be somewhere between a GT3 and DTM car.

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There was another example of the A110 Vision complementing the one which I had seen in the Cartier Style et Luxe concours.

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As a touring car the SD1 Vitesse won the BTCC in the hands of Andy Rouse in 1984 and came close to winning the ETCC in subsequent years, but the history of the car is a complex and muddied one, much like the entire British car industry of the late 1970s. The production Rover 3500 was finally launched in July 1976, to critical acclaim. This futuristic looking executive machine was the “must have” car of that summer, whose appeal was widened when cheaper versions with new 2300 and 2600cc engines were added to the range in the autumn of 1977. Sadly, by this time, the car’s reputation for patchy reliability and uneven paint finishes from the purpose–built factory that made the car had started to circulate. BL, and later Austin-Rover tried hard to improve matters, launching a revised model in early 1982, with a greater choice of engines, but it was later that year when the respected 3.5 litre V8 engine received fuel injection to create the 190 bhp Vitesse when the car started to become truly desirable again. This model then formed the basis for a return to motorsport for Austin-Rover. Entrusted to TWR, the Vitesse made its ETCC debut at the Donington 500 in May 1983, with Steve Soper and Jeff Allam finishing in ninth position. A first win came in wet conditions at the Tourist Trophy at Silverstone in September with Soper and René Metge at the wheel. The following year there were no victories in the European series as Jaguar dominated, but Andy Rouse won the BTCC in his Vitesse, securing the middle of his hattrick of titles. Even a title win wasn’t straightforward for British Leyland however. Rouse was in a privateer Rover, with the works team withdrawing mid-season in protest at a High Court decision to strip them team of their 1983 title, because of a protest from BMW that the Vitesse’s were equipped with oversized, Volvo, wheel arches! There was success on the continent too, as Kurt Thiim won the DTM in his Nickel Racing Vitesse. Rover opened 1985 with a 1-2-3 at Monza, going on to win the opening three rounds, but TWR lost out on the title to the Eggenberger Volvo, although six victories were some recompense. They did win the title in 1986, or at least lay claim to that title for a few weeks before FISA remembered their rule changes and took the title away from Win Percy to give to Roberto Ravaglia. At the end of the season Rover, alongside Volvo, withdrew, meaning that much like its road going counterpart, the Vitesse came perilously close to being a resounding success on the track, but circumstances (in the form of regulations rather than industrial disputes) hampered the car and prevented it from reaching its true level. 1986 saw the end of SD1 production too, as modern cars surpassed the 1970s design, with Rover bringing out the 800 as a replacement model, a car which never went anywhere near motorsport.

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This incredibly historic car, a 1925 Sunbeam ‘Tiger’ is famous for breaking the Land Speed Record in 1926, previously held by Malcolm Campbell in 1925 in his world-renowned  ‘Bluebird.’ This record of 150.76 mph was broken the following year by this extraordinary 4ltr V12 Sunbeam ‘Tiger’. In the 1920s and 1930s, Southport Sands was second only to the prestigious Brooklands Motor racing circuit and many famous names competed in the races regularly held on the beach. In 1926, Major Henry Segrave returned to the beach to contest the Land Speed Record, then standing at 150.76 mph and held by Malcolm Campbell in his ‘Bluebird’. The vehicle he used was a V12 car built for him by the Sunbeam Motor Company, and originally called ‘Ladybird’ but later renamed ‘Tiger”. An article in the Southport Visitor graphically describes the event : “In April 1926 Henry Segrave set a new world land speed record of 153.308 mph on Southport Sands. The car held its speed for the kilometer but after this distance had been passed his speed reduced considerably because the car hit a bump which threw the car 10″ into the air. The car travelled 48’ through the air but was only off the ground for 1/8th of a second during which time the engine revved up. There were three sharp explosions.” During the attempt to beat the record the roughness of the beach managed to crack 6 supercharger housings! The car has recently undergone a complete restoration, including an external bare-metal repaint by Thornley Kelham and made its reappearance at the Southport Festival of Speed in March this year where there was a re-enactment of the record attempt, to commerate 90 years since it originally broke the Land Speed Record on March 16, 1926, hitting a top speed of 152.33mph. The former WW1 fighter pilot specially designed the car which had a 4ltr V12 engine, and took his British built Sunbeam Tiger to the beach in an effort to beat the world land speed record, which at that time was held by Sir Donald Campbell. The 2016 event was part of a week-long celebration of Southport’s involvement with the pioneers of motor racing. The bright red, four-litre Sunbeam Tiger, which hasn’t been seen in public since 2007, was joined on the sands by at least 20 other vehicles driven by members of the Sunbeam Talbot Darracq Register Vintage Car Club, all built before 1935. Malcolm Page drove the historic car during the re-enactment, although he did not attempt to recreate the top speed! The car completed its run successfully and was supported throughout the event by Wayne and Paul Woodward from Thornley Kelham.

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The Laguna was one of a series of medium-sized family cars of the early to mid 1990s which found fame when converted into race spec in the British Touring Car championship.

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A few years earlier, the BTCC had been very much a battle between two cars: the BMW M3 and the one seen here, the Ford Sierra Cosworth.

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There were examples of most of the cars currently competing in the series: Mercedes A class, BMW 1 series, Subaru Levorg, Honda Civic, MG6 and Chevrolet Cruze.

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There were a number of former Group C and Le Mans cars here.

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Looking very much like a car you could buy was this rare Group A Supra from 1985, which was raced by the late, great ex-Motorcycle World Champion, Barry Sheene, in period. It features a 2759cc, straight 6, DOHC ‘Group A’ Toyota engine and was raced by Barry in the 1985 BTCC, known then as the Trimoco RAC British Saloon Car Championship. Two years prior in 1983, Toyota UK had first entered a Supra in the BTCC, prepared by Hughes of Beaconsfield and driven by the legendary Win Percy. Their early successes included 6th at Silverstone GP support and 3rd at Donington Park. Win carried on as the official Toyota works driver as the car was developed for a second season in 1984, which resulted in a pole position and win at Brands Hatch, and a pole and second position at Donington Park. By 1985, the future champion and future star of Group C and Le Mans, Win Percy, was moving on from Toyota. However, Hughes of Beaconsfield were still running the car for Toyota UK with Gordon Mayers still as Team Manager. At the same time, Barry Sheene was retiring from professional motorcycle Grand Prix racing and won the hotly contested Toyota works drive, following outings in the BTCC with the smaller Corolla and also following a specific test at Goodwood where he was just 0.4secs slower than Win. A fine fifth place at the opening Silverstone round was a good start, then a DNF at Oulton was followed by an impressive 3rd place at Thruxton. However, following Donington Park the next round, also at Thruxton, was to be eventful. A first lap six-car crash left the car badly damaged and it had to be hastily re-shelled for the next round at Silverstone only two weeks later where it impressively achieved 3rd place overall in the hands of Sheene. Chassis number 0056255 is this re-shelled car driven by Barry for the remainder of the season, regularly achieving top six results. Vehicle registration records show chassis number 0056255 was finally sold on 1st February 1987 by Toyota GB Ltd to Diamond Motorsport and it still carries a current SORN V5. Since 2012 a thorough restoration has included major overhauls of the suspension, braking system, clutch, and fuel system. It is currently fitted with an original casing, close ratio, 5-speed ‘dogbox’ and a 204bhp engine using DTA mapped injection which has been dyno’d by renowned engine builder, Ric Wood.

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The new Toyota Hilux featured both on the rally stage and the hill climb course in full Dakar rally-raid trim, celebrating the third place finish secured in this year’s event by Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz.

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Despite their low production numbers, TR8s have an interesting racing history. John Buffum successfully raced one as a rally car in the late 1970s. Bob Tullius of Group 44 fame dominated SCCA racing in 1979 in one, so much so that the SCCA added enough “reward” weight to the car that Tullius left Trans Am and successfully competed in IMSA GT instead. TR8s ran successfully in the SCCA’s showroom stock series being campaigned by Morey Doyle ( Nationals & Regionals) and Ted Schumacher (Nationals). Schumacher with Doyle had great success in the Playboy/Escort Endurance series with his car. Starting the last race of the year, Schumacher was fourth in the overall point standings (just three points away from first) when an accident ruined their chances; nevertheless, Schumacher still ended up seventh in the manufacturer’s points for that year, all with no official factory help. The TR8 was homologated for Group 4 (racing) on the first of April 1978. According to the FIA rules that applied at this time, recognition would have required the production of 400 similar cars suitable for normal sale. However, production records (in the BMIHT archives) show that only about 150 cars had actually been built by this time, mostly due to major industrial action at the BL Speke plant that included a 17-week-long strike from November 1977. Rally journalist and historian Graham Robson quotes John Davenport (director of BL Motorsport at the time) as reminding him that “In those days there was no rigorous FIA inspection system. Provided that one provided production sheets signed by an important manager, then nobody worried….” Robson goes on to state that “A lot of fast and persuasive talking then went on, to show that the makings of well over 500 [sic] cars were either built, partly built, or stuck in the morass of the Speke strike”. However, the FIA rules are clear that only complete cars may be counted towards this requirement. Unlike the papers for the TR7 homologation in 1975, those for the TR8 homologation in 1978 do not give a production number achieved or a date for this. Hence, it is unclear how many prototype TR8s the FIA believed had been finished. However, it is also well recorded that the Ford Escort RS1800 was re-homologated directly into group 4 in 1977 when there were only ever about 108 produced, and it is possibly only the 50 (X0 marked cars) produced in 1977 were relevant – the cars were required to have been produced within 24 months, and the group 4 Escort RS was homologated with the 1975 cc version of the BDA engine. It appears then, that where a group 4 car was a modification to an existing approved car, as the TR8 was to the TR7, the FIA were able to grant approval on a much smaller number of cars than the 400 stated in the homologation requirements, possibly only about 50 cars. This also appears to apply to the Vauxhall Chevette HSR, Porsche 924 Carrera GTS, and Triumph TR7 Sprint (for the re-approval of the 16-valve head, to allow its continued use into 1978, following a change to the FIA homologation rules), where it is clear that the FIA could not have been persuaded that 400 cars had been or would ever be produced.

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This is the 1923 Voisin Type C6 Laboratoire.  Gabriel Voisin was the man who made the first powered flight off water, in a seaplane, and travelled at tree top height from the Billancourt bridge to the Sevres bridge on the river Seine in France on 8th June 1905. The aircraft company he set up created the Voisin III military bomber aircraft of World War I. After the Great War Voisin decided that aircraft were an ugly weapon of war and he ceased building them. A similar effect to that experienced by Alfred Nobel in his creation of the Nobel Peace Prize when he saw his invention, dynamite, enable the creation of the high velocity repeating rifles, machine guns and artillery which were then used with such deadly effect in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 and then in the Great War of 1914-1918. Voisin moved on from weapons of war and concentrated on the creation of imaginative and beautiful motor cars. And what cars he did create. In the post Great War period Voisin created some of the most beautiful cars one could imagine. Cars that were easily the equal of the Bugatti. In the twenties Rudolf Valentino drove one around Hollywood. In 1923 Gabriel Voisin decided to create a new Grand Prix racing car. He had tried the previous year and because he had rather creatively interpreted the rules his cars finished up being banned. Gabriel Voisin put his imagination to work to create a car that would fit into the new rules of 1923 and produce the best possible results. He got together with French designer Andre Lefevbre (who is famous for his designs for Citroën including the 2CV and the iconic DS series). The C6 Laboratoire was built using aluminium alloys wherever possible and was created in the shape of an aircraft wing. If a car is simply shaped like an aircraft wing however it will have a tendency to lift at high speed (The Jaguar E-Type for example has this tendency to lift as one approaches its top speed). Voisin appears to have understood this and so the front of the car is shaped to create a down-force by directing air upwards. This has the effect of creating a low pressure area under the car helping to keep it from any tendency to lift. Similarly the rear treatment of the car has a wing shape to nicely close out the air-flow at the rear but has a slightly up-swept under-section which enhances the creation of a low pressure area under the car. The car might be fabricated of flat sheet aluminium alloy but the aerodynamics are superbly thought out. Voisin and Lefevbre had in fact created what might be thought of as the first rudimentary ground effect Grand Prix racing car. The C6 was powered by a 2litre engine that needed more research and development in order for Voisin to achieve competition success. Of the four cars entered in the C6’s first competition only one finished. It managed to finish in a respectable fifth place however. That failure rate is not unusual for a debut appearance of a new car. Even the likes of Maserati have suffered high failure rates in competition in the fifties and sixties. Looking at the car it is very clear that Gabriel Voisin has made every effort to make the car as easy to repair as possible. Everything is accessible. There is a lot of Andre Lefevbre’s thinking in the sheer functional practicality of the mechanical layout I suspect. One of Andre Lefevbre main contributions to the design of the C6 Laboratoire was the engine. Gabriel Voisin’s cars had previously used sleeve valve engines but it had not proved possible to get race winning power from such an engine. So Gabriel Voisin commissioned Andre Lefevbre to create a new engine for him with conventional valves. The fifth place achieved by the car that finished in the 1923 Grand Prix is testament to the potential of both the car and the engine. The Voisin C6 Laboratoire is such an important car that a modern replica has been created. It has previously appeared at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, being seen here in 2013.

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This one dates from 4 years later and is the LSR (Land Speed Record) car, which was powered by a pair of four cylinder engines in-line developing a total of 210 bhp giving a top speed of 129 mph which propelled the car to 18 speed records.

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This is a 2014 Polo WRC

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This was an excellent day. The entrance ticket may not have been free, but at the discounted rate for which I bought it, I still think it was a bargain, as there was far more to see than you could possibly fit into a single day, although I did give it a good do, and was unsurprisingly rather tired by the time I got back to my car. That was late enough that I was able more or less to drive straight out, which is not something you would do were you to leave earlier or if you attended on the three main days I’ve never yet attended on any of those, and all the tales of the crowds do little to encourage me to do so, even though rge cars (assuming I could get close enough would probably make up for it). Perhaps I will manage to attend for more than one day in 2017.

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