Best Of The Old, Best Of The New

I believe it was Longtime Reader and Car Nut GT3Ted who once stated that his car of desire would be a 1920s-era Bentley (“Blower”) 4.5-liter monster.

Me, I’d hate it because of the extreme hassle of getting the thing started — it was a routine of astonishing complexity and irritation.

However, as Iain Tyrrell demonstrates, there are alternatives.  Sit back and enjoy watching a middle-aged man having his loins stirred by one of the greatest cars — and driving experiences — ever made by man.

As I said, I wouldn’t want one of the originals.  But Bob Peterson’s rumbling and snorting 6.5-liter B80 monster, in Iain’s words a faithful resto-mod / homage / “slightly more modern” / “vintage-esque” Bentley with its military-grade Rolls-Royce straight-8?

In a racing heartbeat, baby.

It makes all the other exotica in Iain’s garage look like effete little toys;  a manly 25-year-old single-malt Scotch compared to a girly cocktail with an umbrella and bits of fruit in it.


Clarkson’s Choice

The Greatest (and Sexiest!) Living Englishman loves the Porsche 928, calling it one of the best-looking cars ever made.

I dunno if I agree with that, but it’s certainly the most beautiful Porsche they ever made:

Like most people who live in a hot climate, I’m a little iffy of the big glasshouse back window (also:  1980s Camaro, Jensen Interceptor), but like with any Porsche, there’s no arguing with its engine — Clarkson noting that ii could “sit quite comfortably at 170mph” on the motorway.

Even some modern cars couldn’t have that said about them.

I’ll take the one with the 5.0-liter V8, thankee.

The Way It Used To Be

I don’t know if you had any plans for the next eight hours, but here’s one way to spend them.

Racing the way it used to be and quite honestly still should, especially when it comes to the sound of the engines.

Footnote from former bandmate Knob, who lives there and knowing my love for F1, sent me the link:

We watched from the roof terrace at Café Milano. Best place on the track. Hired by the Bentley Drivers Club UK by my buddy Mark, who is also great mates with one-time F1 Champion Jody Schecter.  Jody just sold his F1 car collection on Saturday at Sotheby’s Monaco auction. Got €6.7m for his Ferrari 312T !!

Also, went to the Eddie Jordan chat with Red Bull designer Adrian Newey on Saturday evening at the Yacht Club. Some interesting stories.

Must be nice to be one of the Idle Rich…

One Man

Question:  what do all the following cars have in common?

Porsche Carrera

Audi Quattro


Porsche 917

VW Golf VR6

Mercedes 350 S Turbodiesel

VW Phaeton

Bugatti Veyron

Lamborghini Aventador

Bentley Continental Speed GT


Here’s the answer to the question:  a crazy Austrian who gave the world its best cars from the 1960s until… well, yesterday.

In my opinion, the only mistake he ever made was a marketing one:  positioning the Phaeton as the VW Phaeton, instead of (say) an Audi A12.  Had he done the latter, Audi would still be selling them.

Never let an engineer near the marketing plan.

Back Then

Wasting time over at C.W.’s place there’s this little bit of nostalgia, with his comment:

Certainly, my Gran’s did, except her tabletop was covered with a single sheet of green linoleum (don’t ask).

Also at C.W.’s:  he’s been on a tear about the wonderful Alfa Romeo Tipo 105 sports cars of the late 1960s and early 70s, like this one:

This might be my favorite model of them all:  the Giulia GT Junior, with Alfa’s extraordinary 1300cc engine which performed completely out of its weight class.


Finally, and I hesitate to even say this, he has no business posting pictures of terrible things like this on his website:

Doubleplus want.

I’d call that a Texas BLT, but the bread’s a little on the thin side.

Kim’s U.K. Garage

No need for ten cars that I’d want to keep stabled  in Britishland;  just five should do quite nicely, thank you.  And as the distances aren’t vast, I don’t care about nonsense like fuel consumption (not that it’s ever been much of a consideration, come to think of it).

And all right-hand drive, of course.

1939 Alvis Speedster 25
More roomy (and much more powerful and reliable) than the MG T car models, the “25” had a 4.3-liter straight-six engine which provided 137bhp.  Sufficient for the time, and sufficient for the Brit country roads I’d be driving on.  Other candidates for this spot:  the aforesaid MG TF from the T-class, Morgan Plus Four and Caterham Seven 420.

2009 Bristol Fighter
An actual British supercar, made to “compete” with the Gordon Murray-designed McLaren F1, the Fighter had a Dodge Viper V10 engine in a car which weighed half that of a Viper.  Jeremy Clarkson once called driving it “stupendously suicidal”, and I can think of no higher praise.  Other candidates:  Jaguar E-type Series 2.

1975 Range Rover

After they’d worked out all the (many) niggles in the 1970-74 models, the 1975 model Range Rover was upgraded with creature comforts while keeping the lovely 3.5-liter V8 Buick/Rover engine.  Also, this was the generation before all the horrible electronic nonsense arrived to bedevil Rover owners.  Other candidates:  none.

1960 Bentley S2 Continental

…with the “new” (for the time) Rolls-Royce V8 engine tweaked by Bentley engineers, it was (and still would be today) “sufficiently fast” —  and I dare say, “sufficiently posh” too.  Other candidates:  none.

1968 Mini-Cooper S MkII

My “town car” for those quick little trips to the village pub or grocery store.  Small, quick (1,275cc!), nimble, easy to park, easy to drive;  I’d probably drive this little beauty about 90% of the time, and all the others the remaining 10% (assuming, of course, that the others were better-than-average in terms of reliability — high hopes, but there it is).  Other candidates:  none.

There’s no E-type, no MG, not even an Austin-Healey, because there’d be examples of all those in my European- and U.S. garages.

Yup, when it comes to my British garage, I’m backing Britain:

… albeit with some American engines.  I love me my British cars, but there are limits.