More Driving Pleasure

Last week, Longtime Reader and Car Fiend MadJack posted a link in the Comments to this post, pointing to some older cars once on sale at Hymans.

At the bottom of that page were a few other mouthwatering samples, but the one that grabbed my attention immediately was this gorgeous creature:

1953 Siata 208 CS Coupe

Yes, that’s the extraordinary Fiat 2-liter V8, then and now one of the most efficient and racy engines ever made, and offered in several of Fiat’s own 8V models.

A comment made by the Siata’s current owner said everything you need to know about this Anna Magnani of sports cars:

“It doesn’t like to be driven slowly or conservatively. It needs to be driven with somewhat of an aggressive attitude. Once you get moving, you can’t sit back and relax when you drive the car.”

If you want to know what kind of man I am, then understand that this encapsulates everything I love about driving:  involvement, mastery, aggression and a hint of danger.  (This also applies to sex, but we can talk about that some other time.)

If I just wanted to go somewhere in comfort, I’d rent some ugly thing with cruise control and stay on the interstate.

Not I.  Twisty country roads through areas of scenic beauty… I think you know where I’m going with this one…

…with Anna Magnani in the passenger seat, urging me to go faster, faster.

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.

Why Rejuvenation?

Here’s one that got me thinking:

Scientists have found ancient [herpes] viruses locked inside Neanderthal bones that are 50,000 years old — and experts could be set to recreate them.  The team who made the discovery now plan to try and synthesize these viruses to see how they compare to modern ones.

Clearly, the modern, largely-incurable herpes viruses aren’t enough for us to deal with.

Okay, let’s have them explain themselves:

“These Jurassic Park-like viruses could then be studied for their reproductive and pathogenic traits and compared to present-day counterparts.” 

Actually, no.  The last fucking thing we need is to find out how they reproduced themselves.  Why?  Because once we do, the shit will be able to reproduce itself.

Wuhan, anyone?

The hell with that.  I’m very supportive of Scientific Curiosity and all that, but sometimes you just have to draw the line.

And frankly, if we’re going to bring old stuff back to life, what’s wrong with resurrecting the mid-1950-era Mercedes 300 SC?

They could be made in all pretty colors, with- or without soft tops, etc., etc.

Oh wait, I forgot:  that’s engineering, not !Science!

Still, I put it to my Readers that having the world flooded with fine 300 SCs would be far more beneficial to life than doing the same with a 50,000-year-old pox.

Feel free to propose other extinct things you’d like to bring back to the modern world;  but I have to warn y’all, I got fibs on crucifixion.