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1950 Bentley MkVI six-light saloon by Mulliner

From its brand-new post-war home in Crewe, Bentley redefined itself with the prescient MkVI sports saloon. Glen Waddington drives the desirable HJ Mulliner six-light version.

2011 BMW 1M Coupe E82

The pugilistic 1M Coupe E82 was BMW M Division's first turbocharged car. Glen Waddington reckons it turned out to be quite the gamechanger.

Across Chile by 2024 Porsche Panamera 971 - testing e-fuel to the end of the world

Porsche believes that e-fuel will keep the internal combustion engine alive in an electrified future. Steve Sutcliffe travels to Chile to find out how.

1972 Mercedes-Benz 600 W100

60 years ago Mercedes-Benz defined a new era of luxury cars with its behemoth 600. Glen Waddington drives the choice of celebs and despots.

1962 and 1963 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato

To own an Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato is a privilege. To own two, well… Octane.

Editor's comment
‘Not one, but two! Incredibly beautiful GTs yet with a surprisingly raw sports car feel, these two very special Astons drew plenty of attention and were a dream to shoot. I'll take one.' David's superb photography accompanies Glen Waddington s Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato feature on pages.

Celebrating a pair of unsung heroes

If the Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato isn’t Britain’s most expensive road car, then it must be there or thereabouts, presumably sparring with the XKSS for top spot in price and rarity. I can’t think of many others to rival the Ercole Spada-penned beauty that don’t have a significantly more racy bias. To see just one of these 20-off (if you ignore the seasonal raft of ‘Sanction’ cars) rarities anywhere, even static on a concours field, is a major event.

So how about two of the lightened and tightened Zagato masterpieces doing what they were designed to do and being driven? And for good measure let’s do some of that driving on a beach in north-west England in spring, when the weather hasn’t yet decided whether it wants to cling on to winter or slide into summer. Pretty special - probably unique - stuff and all very Octane, yet the fact that this story happened at all also says a great deal about long-serving classic car dealer and industry disciple William Loughran. He owns both cars and that’s pretty much unheard of.

To give you a left-field insight into the man, many of you will know that Octane is the power behind the Historic Motoring Awards. Well, a couple of years ago we wanted to introduce a new award to recognise someone who had navigated the classic car industry for a lifetime with barely a blemish to their name, someone who was not just an ambassador but could be held up as a beacon of honesty, devotion and good practice. We struggled with a name for the gong. It started off plainly as The Integrity Award and ended up morphing into the Classic Car Ambassador of the Year, which embodied the sentiment but was very slightly different. What remained constant throughout, though, was the single criterion for the winner and, in the words of Octane’s Sanjay Seetanah, it should be ‘someone like William Loughran’.

Talking of Sanjay, just last month in this column I briefly mentioned our everpresent advertising team, the dark ops of Octane led by Sanjay from Issue One. Well, such was the reader response that you can find out a lot more about him this month. In response to overwhelming reader demand we’ve made him the subject of Autobiography (basically the old Day In The Life page, but with less cereal and Horlicks) so you can all see what makes him tick - and why he is as passionate about classic cars as anyone on the editorial team.
1991 Lancia Hyena Zagato

Nothing funny about the Zagato-bodied Lancia Hyena, though few cars will make you grin more broadly. Glen Waddington takes the wheel.

1947 Daimler DE27 Hooper State Limousine

The Queen’s Daimler. Driving Her Majesty's first ever state car. This Daimler limousine was HM Queen Elizabeth Il’s first State car — back when she was still a princess. Glen Waddington tells a royal tale.

1996 Ascari FGT/Ecosse

The Ascari Ecosse is one of the more obscure supercars of the 1990s, yet being engineered by Lee Noble suggests it could be one of the most thrilling. Glen Waddington finds out.

1964 Shelby Cobra 289

Ever wondered how special a totally original, unrestored Shelby Cobra would feel? This guy should know: as well as the ‘Dirtbag’, he’s owned 50 of them. Preston Lerner finds out more.

2.8-litre 12v VR6 engined 1986 Volkswagen Golf Mk2

When we first clapped eyes on Nick Ponterio’s incredible Mk2, we had no idea it was the same car that graced these pages almost a decade before, albeit in a very different guise.

1976 Holden HX Sandman Van Manual

Panel vans are prosaic machines, best-suited for goods deliveries or carting the tools of a trade with a pair of doors and seating up front, window-less cargo area down back. Yet by Australia’s mid-1970s, packs of dollied-up, bright-hued panel vans had become cult cars from Bondi to the Back of Beyond. Ford, Holden and Chrysler all turned their hand to adding sporting pretensions stripes and fancy wheels and engine options to the humble van; a marketing, and styling, exercise to cash in on a young, and mainly male, fad for dressing up work vehicles for weekend leisure. Surfing and sex were the chief leisure activities facilitated by a fancy van out of work hours.

1997 Honda Integra Type-R DC2

Welcome to the 90’s — where you could buy a Tamagotchi, supersize your McDonald’s fries, google the worth of your collectible Beanie Baby, pick up a Nirvana CD, and still make it home just in time to watch Friends on NBC. For petrolheads especially, the decade was nothing short of legendary.

Citroën DS, CX, Traction Avant, XM, C6 and new 2023 C5X

Citroën used to make the most ambitious, most modern, most innovative cars in the world. It’s now getting some of that spirit back.

1977 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 W116

Five decades have elapsed since Mercedes-Benz launched the first S-Class. Glen Waddington drives the greatest of its type: the W116 450SEL 6.9.

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