Reasons to like the Jaguar XE SV Project 8.

Chris Haining July 2, 2017 Goodwood

Like many, I grow tired of the constant flow of ‘most powerful this’ and ‘new Nurburgring record holder’ that. Familiarity breeds contempt, and when there’s a six-figure pricetag involved, such a machine moves straight into the world of ‘might as well not exist’.

They do, exist, though, and while essentially irrelevant to the average man on the street, they have palpable halo effect which reflects well on the more affordable offerings from the same brand. The latest ‘best of the best’ from Jaguar is a case in point. Yes, it costs even more than a Goodwood Festival hot dog, but it really does inject an agreeable shot of lunacy into an otherwise sensible lineup. My favourite thing about it, though, is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously.

… Continue Reading

Down and dirty with a Group B Ferrari 308

If you’re of a certain age, any mention of Group B might prick your ears. Ranking high among the most spectacular motorsport machines ever built, Group B rally cars oozed menace, roared deafeningly and spat fire. All this is excellent, but my favorite thing about them is the breathtaking variety in which they came.

Take this 1976 Ferrari 308. It’s a great example of a privateer machine, the kind of thing built with an eye on killing a few factory giants. It appears at Goodwood, fittingly, on the Forest Rally stage, which I’m not sure we’ve mentioned before.

… Continue Reading

Driving a wedge into your Aston Martin preconceptions.

It’s most appropriate that the badge of this car’s maker provides instructions on how best to gawp at it. However, Ogle Design has put its name to far more than this flamboyantly angular creation. David Ogle’s design consultancy has shaped many facets of daily life, and also provided Luke Skywalker’s Landspeeder in a galaxy far, far away.

For a while, it designed and built cars, too. Various models for Reliant, including the imitation cheese Bond Bug, the Turkish Otosan Anadol, and its own Mini-based SX100. It also built two examples of the machine in these pictures, known as the ‘Sotheby Special”.

… Continue Reading

And now for something completely different: The Ferves Ranger

Here’s an interesting little curio. This tiny yellow beastie is a Ferves Ranger, built in 1967 by FERVES – a portmanteau of Ferrari Vehicoli Speciali. In production for five years, the Ranger took its mechanical package from the Fiat 500 and 600, something you might have guessed from the car’s miniscule size.

I say minuscule, but viewed head on it looks like any other forward control vehicle. Only in plan view do things get a bit odd.

… Continue Reading

When all you can do is Astonish

Nuccio Bertone. Clever bloke. He ran a styling company from the end of the second world war until his death in 1997, and his name has been borne by some of the most iconic and exotic cars of all time – along with plenty at the absolute opposite end of the spectrum.

The car in these photos might not be one that you’re familiar with, though. I wasn’t, although it all came flooding back after I’d circled it a few times. You’re looking at ‘the Jet’, and underneath those vogueishly ’60s curves, there throbs an Aston Martin heart.

… Continue Reading

A thin line between love and 8?

So, what do we all think of the BMW 8 Series Concept, then? It’s central to BMW’s courtyard-located showcase at Goodwood, along with a smattering of BMW’s more high-profile coupes and roadsters. There’s a 507 in attendance, and a rather claustrophobically glass-ensconced E31, the last car to bear the 8 Series badge.

The car in these images is a teaser for BMW’s long awaited flagship coupe, and the smart money is on it not being wildly different to this nudge-nudge, wink-wink ‘concept’. Of course, some of the more extravagant details are a bit showcar silly and will be omitted on anything we can exchange fistfuls of cash for at your friendly BMW dealership – don’t expect to see a Swarovski crystal i-Drive controller in the real thing. But we’re still, effectively, looking at the new 8 Series, here, and I reckon it’s well worthy of discussion.

… Continue Reading

Delicate sound of thunder: Nick Mason’s Ferrari 512 BB/LM

Yes, that Nick Mason. The man clearly can’t get enough noise in his life. After banging things with sticks for over four decades in epoch-defining kaleidoscopic rock outfit Pink Floyd, he became the lynchpin of “Ten tenths”, a business specializing in supplying the media with some of history’s most iconic and expensive cars.

As quoted on Ten Tenths’ website, the concept of the business is “akin to sending one’s children out to work”. And that pretty much sums it up. Nick Mason holds the keys to a huge array of exotic cars, and why not make them work for a living? This Ferrari 512 BB / LM is a case in point. Not one of the world’s most sought after machines, and with only a modest competition career to its name, this Prancing Horse receives only the right amount of mollycoddling.

… Continue Reading

This is the 2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed

“Hot oil and thunder,
Sound and scent vie to overwhelm
Your senses. It’s Goodwood.”

An inverted racing car held aloft by sinuous metal tentacles can only mean one thing. It’s that glorious weekend, where the Sussex Downs echo to the sound of vintage motorsport weapons and high-dollar showroom icons alike. The Goodwood Festival of Speed is undoubtedly the foremost celebration of The Car to be held anywhere in Britain, and not a great many events can trump it anywhere in the world.

The Festival of speed is presented on such a colossal scale that it’s near impossible to catch everything that’s going on, but even a flavour of this weekend’s sights, sounds and smells is worth documenting. For the next two days, Hooniverse will be doing everything it can to recreate the experience in your living room.

… Continue Reading

The Carchive: The 1978 Mazda 323

Think back to a simpler time. A time when the North America was resting between fuel crises, and Japanese imports had really captured the imagination of an increasingly value savvy and reliability-hungry buying public. It was also an era before lifestyle didn’t mean quite what it does now.

A look at Mazda’s car range today has the perky, zingy fun-size MX-5 at one end, and the upscale, rakishly contoured CX-7 at the other. Neither of these thoroughly modern offerings sell purely to folk who ‘need a car’, but that’s exactly what this sealed-beam marvel was in 1978. It’s the Mazda 323.

Welcome back to The Carchive

… Continue Reading

Hooniverse Asks: What now for the rev-counter?

I drove my wife’s 306 this weekend, its instrument cluster is poorly photographed above and houses a speedo marked to a wildly ambitious 120 mph, and the biggest analogue clock you ever saw. Despite the lack of a tachometer, I found myself driving it the exact same way as either of my rev-counter equipped cars. To be honest, I never understood why – in European cars at least – a rev-counter was once seen as a luxury item. You had to choose something other than the entry-level model to earn one. On many North American cars in the ’90s and beyond, a tacho often came as part of a ‘Gage Pack’, that might be ordered for its perceived ‘sportiness’.

Unless you’re driving to the extreme, a tacho is nice, but not essential to have – unless you’re in some weird-sounding car where it’s hard to judge revs by ear. I suspect that, with automatic gearboxes left in full auto for most of the time, its use as an essential driving tool is becoming less and less relevant. And now, with user configurable dashboard displays, I suspect many drivers might prefer their instrument panel real-estate to be occupied by something else. Finally, as hybrid and full-electric cars grow ever more dominant, the rev-counter could become totally redundant, with fewer folk shedding tears than you might think.

So, if it has to go, what new instrument ought we see appearing in its place?

[Image: By Me.]