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Friday, 8 July 2011

Goodwood Festival of Speed '11: The Mega Gallery! (Part 2)

Welcome to Part 2 (or Part Deux, if you prefer) of my Goodwood FOS gallery from last weekend. If you missed the first part, follow this here link right here. I didn't take any pictures of the track, I'm afraid, but I did take a few videos. I'm sure other blogs will already have on-track galleries anyway, but I'll remember to buy a programme next year so I know where to be and when. Anyway, feel free to scroll through the second half of my day in pictures. Remember you can enlarge them by opening them in a new tab or window for a closer look.

A nice contrast to the FOS Tech tent nearby was this small collection of Jaguar C-Types. They really are pretty little cars, and successful racers in the early 1950s as well,with a C-Type winning the Le Mans 24H in 1951 and '53. I particularly like the side-exit exhausts.

So, er, where do I plug in my iPod?

There was a building that I must admit I didn't pay much attention to. It seemed to be a TopGear/Forza Motorsport thing, as they were selling TG mags for £1 (I subscribe, so I declined), and four Xbox 360s playing a special demo of Turn 10's latest Gran Turismo contender, Forza 4, or 4za, if you prefer. I was starving and burning hot, so I didn't have the patience to wait 20 minutes+ for a go, especially as it would've meant watching 8-year-olds bouncing off the walls for ages, which, inexplicably, infuriates me. I decided there were other things to do. The graphics just make it look like Forza 3-but-better anyway, so it probably would've felt familiar.

Some Say he has Positive Camber on his legs to improve his cornering ability. Others say that Jeremy Clarkson got that a bit wrong and that's actually called Negative Camber. All we know is, er, the second bit's true.

"Other things to do" include snapping this Citroën DS3 WRC. Why does everything with a Red Bull livery keep winning?

This wheel is, surprisingly, not from a concept car. It's from the new DS4, which is, well, bigger than a DS3. I really like Citroën's new style. They've started to recapture that trademark weirdness from their past and make it modern and, for want of a better word, 'funky'. This wheel is a great example. Would you see that on an Audi? No. Their new DS range sits just above the respective C# cars, adding a premium feel and turning the Citroën-ness up to 11 at the same time.




In some places, it's not as big as I thought it was. I knew it was roughly Focus-sized with some extra ground clearance, but the rear seats weren't as roomy as I expected, but the most annoying thing is the door. The actual door itself is perfectly fine - and has one of those Alfa Romeo-style hidden handles - but the hole it presents to rear passengers is not big enough. I hit my hip on it climbing in, hit my elbow on it when inside and hit my hip again getting out. That could get annoying over time...

I think it's an example of form over function, and to be fair it does look good. I especially like how none of the window frame gets left behind. The front felt very nice as well.

The DS3 you'll likely recognise. This is the 204bhp DS3 Racing, engineered by the Citroën World Rally Team to give both a smooth ride and proper hot-hatch madness. It's also pretty handy at getting out of a maze-like Italian town, it seems.

See that wheel arch there? That's real Carbon Fibre. None of your pretend plastic nonsense, the real stuff. I doubt it makes a huge weight difference here, but it does visually prove a point about the seriousness of its performance.

These (surprisingly thick) stickers are optional, and while you may consider them to be either gimmicky or adding to the looks, it does look like they won't last forever...

These seats were surprisingly comfortable. They hold you in very well, but they're also very soft. I felt comfier here than in the GT-R earlier, although the side bolsters seemed to have been adjusted to squeeze harder by someone playing with the switches in that...

Overall I like this car. It's come across well in reviews, and it looks and feels great. I'd love to drive one. Alas, there are only 200 Racing versions.

Not far away was sister company Peugeot. The new 508 is two generations newer than my parents' car, so I thought I'd take a look. Interestingly, it has this pop-up Head-Up Display (HUD), which shows your speed and the cruise control setting, according to this.

It certainly has a premium feel that our 406 lacks. Leather may have helped of course, but the buttons and materials felt good. It's hard to say what kind of spec this one was, because there's a plastic panel that looks like it should have more buttons on it (and combines with the air vents to make a smiley face), but it already has so many!

They even had to fill this little compartment with them, which I thought was odd. They appear to turn the driver aids off, so they're probably in here to avoid drivers pressing them by accident when they're finding out what on Earth they all do.

Another nice feature in the estate (or 'SW') was this huge full-length panoramic sunroof. Instead of sliding back - because it covers the whole roof already - it's fixed in place and you can pull a cover across it when it's too hot. I've been in a 407 SW with this, and watching it rain was quite fun in a weird way. The people who had the 407 used to have a smaller 307 SW, which they nicknamed The Fish Bowl, because it had no cover.

The new RCZ coupé felt nice too, and had a fancy clock and electronic pop-up Sat Nav. Sadly the button to raise the equally pop-uppy rear spoiler wouldn't work without the key.

Because this is a pre-508 Peugeot, it still has the old front end, giving it a Body Off Baywatch...

...and a Face Off Crimewatch.

Despite appearances, however, the RCZ isn't massively fast. It's pretty quick with the right engine, but there are Audi TTs out there that out-pace it. This 908 HYbrid4, however, is really very fast indeed. Ironically though, it's still oupaced by an Audi.

The hybrid system in this is actually quite clever, taking the idea of F1's KERS one step further by delivering the stored kinetic energy from the battery whenever the driver accelerates, rather than at the push of a button. This boost adds 80bhp to the car via an electric motor. Despite the '4' in the name, it's actually rear-wheel-drive, so I'm not sure what that stands for.

Hybrid system or not, it stil needs two of these most of the time. Just before the exhaust exit sits one of Peugeot's particulate filters for cleaner emissions, the French translation of which - Filtre A Particules - amusingly shortens down to FAP. Needless to say, they've since dropped that acronym from the car's name!

The interior is something the designers/engineers have to build, rather than something they want the car to have. That's how it seems when you peer inside one of these Le Mans Prototypes, anyway. Notice the proud Peugeot tradition of covering everything in buttons...

Something you don't often get to see with racing cars on TV is the more intricate elements of the aerodynamics. Here we can see how it channels air under the suspension and out the side of the body, as well as a brake-cooling intake.

Making its world debut (I think) was the production version of the latest and supposedly greatest incarnation of the legendary BMW M5...

...which was chaperoned by its Great Great Granddad, the E28 M5.

Despite wearing the same badges, these are actually very different animals. The original had a naturally-aspirated 3.5 litre Straight-Six from the M1, making 282bhp, the new F10 M5 is packing a 4.4 litre Twin-Turbo V8 chucking out 552bhp (and even that engine is downsizing from the 5.0 V10 in the last one).

The original generation M5 and the two that followed it were very discreet, with just fancy wheels and subtle badging giving it an underlying menace...

...whereas the two most recent ones have sported hefty bodykits and chrome trim, so those in the know could spot one at 20 paces.

And now for something completely different. Again. This is *breathes in* the Toyota GRMN Hybrid Sports Concept II. GRMN can then be expanded to "Gazoo Racing tuned by MN", whoever MN are...

The styling has proved controversial, but I like some of it. These headlights and the carbon fibre aero element have a nice 3D effect.

Weather this Gazoo MR2 will ever hit the road or not, I'm not sure. The drivetrain also seems over-complicated, with a Hybrid AWD system in which the rear wheels are driven by a 3.5 V6 and an electric motor (like a normal 2WD hybrid but rear-drive), and the front axle is then powered purely by a second leccy motor. They'd have to call it the MR4, then.

Also tuned by MN is this Gazoo iQ, complete with shiny teeth and Angry Face. It's like a pre-school kid in war paint playing Cowboys and Indians.

Under the skin it's a bit more serious. Adding a supercharger to the 1.33 4cyl engine give s 126bhp, and it's race-prepared with a rollcage and lower weight.

Aside from occasional concepts like the ones above, Toyota don't make an exciting car anymore. The Celica, the MR2, the Supra, the rear-wheel-drive Corolla coupé of the '80s, they're all part of history now. The best part of Toyota's history book is on pages 1967-1970, where you'll find the awesome 2000GT, film star, Fuji 24H winner, speed and endurance record setter, and it's not too bad on the eyes either.

Some say they copied a lot of the styling ideas from the Jaguar E-Type (which is in no way a bad source of inspiration). I don't care if they did. I just know it looks amazing. I'd even go as far as saying I prefer the way the 2000GT looks at the back, just because it's a little less... pinched.

Powered by a 2.0 litre Straight-Six tuned by Yamaha, the point of this car was to prove that, in an age of super-reliable-but-super-dull three box saloons, Japan could make a truly desirable car to rival the best European sports cars. With a small-but-luxurious interior, 150bhp and a 135mph top speed, it was very highly rated, even against the Porsche 911. It is now rare and highly sought after, the first Japanese car to be associated with such terms. Only 337 were built, along with 2 topless versions so that Sean Connery could fit in it for the 007 film You Only Live Twice. Toyota should make a spiritual successor to this, as they now have exactly the same conservative image problem they did back then...

Mazda have a decent history for interesting and exciting cars too, and unlike Toyota they continue that today, with this flyweight MX-5 GT, packing 275bhp and weighing just 850kg (a normal family car is about 1400-1700kg). It also seems to be very happy about it.

Currently 5th in the British Endurance Championship, this must be a hoot to drive, given the road-going MX-5's reputation as a sports car.

Sitting next to it is a customised concept by Banzai Magazine, who cover modified Japanese cars. I'm sure you'll have seen this kind of thing before - matte black, red trim and wheels, racey decals and Japanese lettering.

What I hope you definitely have seen before is this (well, you can't exactly miss it): the Mazda 787B.

This very car, after being restored in time to celebrate its 20th birthday at Le Mans, was sent up the hill. I waited eagerly at the start line. It. Was. LOUD. Like a grizzly F1 car, and just as high-pitched. It was awesome.

Like most MR racing cars, the gearbox is right at the back. The 787B won the Le Mans 24H in 1991, which is the year I was born! This is a few months older than me though.

The 787B is a very significant car for both Japan and Le Mans - it's the first and only Japanese car to win the 24 Hours, as well as the only car to win it without using a piston engine, as it utilised a 4-piece rotary engine. Despite only displacing 2.6 litres, and despite not having a turbo or supercharger, the 4-rotor R26B engine produced up to 900bhp at 9000rpm. No wonder the thing's such a screamer!

For the race, Mazdaspeed decided to limit the power output to 700bhp to ensure the engine would last for 24 hours. This reliability gave them the edge over slightly faster competitors for the race, because they could drive the car harder over a long period. Also keeping it fast was a carbon-kevlar construction helping to give it a weight of just 830kg, which just undercuts a Lotus Elise. In delimited qualifying trim, that's over 1000bhp/tonne, surely rivalling F1 cars of the time.

This would prove to pay off, as they started the race with the #55 car you see here starting in 19th place and fighting its way up to 2nd through evening and night. Then, with 2 hours to go, the lead Sauber C11 had mechanical problems that forced it into the pit, letting the #55 car scream past to take the historic win with Johnny Herbert at the wheel, who helped the car set a new distance record for the chicaned Sarthe Circuit, covering 4932.2km and doing 362 laps.

Since its win, rotary engines have been banned in sportscar racing. Mazda knew this was going to happen, and saw the '91 Le Mans as their last chance to prove the rotary's worth. They continued using it in their RX-# road cars, but sadly the RX-8 recently had to be put down. Rumour has it they're bringing it, or the more successful RX-7 back, which would be a good thing for Japanese sports cars. I'm pretty sure the only ones left are the Nissan GT-R and the obscenely expensive Lexus LFA. Oh, and the little MX-5, which has surpassed 900,000 sales now.

Even though you can see its, er, 'vibrant' livery in these pictures, I'm afraid you don't know how bright this thing actually is. The green is one thing, but the orange is like hi-vis jacket meets highlighter pen. I'm surprised it needs headlights!

All that power has to escape through a single exhaust pipe, mounted on one side with vents to cool it. Most of those vents are on the other side too, as you can see, which is probably to avoid a lop-sided drag coefficient, or to further cool the engine.

And this is a rotary engine like the 787B has. First used by Mazda in the Cosmo Sport, the triangular part spins round a bit like a Spirograph, allowing air in at one end, compressing it against the flat side, and squeezing exhaust out the end. There's an animation here.

This is the aforementioned Cosmo Sport 110S, so called because its one litre 2-Rotor power unit made 110bhp. It was hand made at the rate of about one a day, with 1519 cars made from 1967 to 1972.

I've always thought that the tail of this car was very long, but it may just be the short cockpit. Although it was never offered as such, that short roof almost makes it look like a convertible.

And now for something else completely different, and despite the coolness you've just seen, this is cooler, sexier at the very least.

I can only apologise for not getting a decent side-view shot, but as you would expect, there was quite a crowd, and if I stepped back, someone would've got in the way. Still, from this side you can still peek into the interior. The driver's side is all red leather, while the passenger's side is in black. Just so you know who's more important.

In a manner of speaking, the 4C is meant to be Alfa Romeo's Lotus Elise. It's got a mid-mounted 4-cylinder engine (hence the name, which is how they used to name their race cars as well as the 2007 8C Competizione), and it has a very low weight. I like the short rear overhang in this picture. Makes it look low and sporty.

Thanks to its carbon fibre tub and aluminium subframes, it will weigh a minuscule 850kg, which is significantly less than a current Fiat 500. On top of that, it will have the 1750cc turbo engine from the Giulietta Cloverleaf, which produces 235bhp. That should make it pretty damn fast.

I love this matte red paint. It really highlights the lines well under various lighting conditions.

This new flagship car is meant to be aimed more at more typical Alfa customers than the £120k 8C, with target prices at around £40-45k when it arrives next year. Orders are being taken now, which is unsurprising. In person, this car is mesmerisingly beautiful, and with paper figures like these, would you pass up the chance?

Elsewhere in the Alfa building was the MiTo Cloverleaf, which is based on my car (a Fiat Grande Punto), so I thought I'd take a look. I thought this gearknob was a bit glitzy...



Like the DS3 Racing we saw earlier (doesn't it seem like such a long time ago now?), it featured bucket seats that were surprisingly confortable. I'd say the Citroën's were softer, and they definitely allowed for more legroom in the back than these, but damn they look cool.

Along with the Giulietta (which I liked but didn't love) was this 159 TI Sportwagon, which was lovely. If you're looking at a somewhat luxurious family car, please have a look at one of these. It should spice up your life like no 3-Series Touring or Mondeo Estate or 508 SW ever could. It's also available in black. With tan leather. Mmmmm...

Back in the FOS Tech tents, there was this Renault Captur concept. I'm not sure what technical innovations it brings, but it looks future-y.

There was also this car. I'm not sure exactly what it is, but it says EEMS on it and is sat next to what appears to be a charging point, so I guess it's an electric car. It had an interesting body that was part McLaren F1...

...and part Honda CR-Z.

Also electric is the Peugeot EX-1, which recently set the electric car lap record at the Nürburgring Nordschleife at just over 9 minutes. Somehow, the range was long enough for it to complete a whole lap without charging...

The interior of the Renault Captur includes lots of orange stringy stuff. I'm not sure what practical and technical justifications there are for this, but it looks future-y.

At a completely different part of the big field full of exhibitors was Paul Simon, restorers and modifiers of Porsches. This front end of a 917K le Mans car is actually a two-person chair. How much do you want one of those?! You can also get a Gulf-liveried version if you're a Steve McQueen fan.

Among the RS replicas and perfect restorations was this peculiar speedster-style 911.

At this point in the day, I decided it was time to head homeward. However, that meant going back through Gasoline Alley, so I still saw some picture-worthy cars, like this Peugeot 905. The 905 inspired the 908, and it won the Le Mans 24H in 1992 and 93. While looking at this, a small Japanese man with a camera was poring over it, who bore a stark resemblance to Gran Turismo series creator Kazunori Yamauchi. I'll never know if it really was him, though. I'll just have to watch out for him next year...

Not far away was this BMW-McLaren F1 GT. While it's probably more aerodynamic, I never really preferred the long GT bodywork. The shorter road car and GTR version look better IMO.

You may not have seen this car before, unless you've visited the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart. There is only one of these, and that has always been true. Complementing the 959 supercar and Group B rally car that won the Paris-Dakar, the 961 went into sportscar racing. It proved to be a bit of a misfit, however, as it was faster than other Group B cars, but slower than the Croup C cars it was classed with at Daytona. As a result, it only entered 3 races, winning its class at Le Mans in 1986 and not doing very well in the other two (a round of the GT Championship at Daytona where it had a high-speed puncture and the 1987 Le Mans 24H in which it caught fire), so the project was scrapped. It has been restored and rushed up Goodwood Hill, sounding every bit like a racing Porsche thanks to its 2.9 flat-6 from a 935.

Much better known is the 962 Group C car that raced at around the same time. It was a dominant force throughout its racing life, winning Le Mans twice, and a third time in "Dauer 962" guise when it was modified as a GT1 car and raced privately. In fact, Wikipedia lists its achievements thus: "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. The 962 also won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1986 and 1987 as well as later winning under the Dauer 962 badge in 1994." That's quite something all right. Here it is in its most famous Rothmans livery.

This is quite possibly the maddest and baddest racing car ever: the Porsche 917/30 CanAm car. With the turbos turned up to full boost for qualifying (at a whopping 2.7 bar, or 39psi), this 816kg car's 5.4L flat-12 TT produced a frankly ridiculous 1580bhp, the highest power output of any racing car in history before or since. You want speed figures? 0-60 could be dealt with in 1.9 seconds - thanks in part to massive racing slicks - and 0-100mph in just 3.9s. It takes a modern supercar ~3.5 seconds to reach 60mph. The madness doesn't stop there. The fastest cars of today take at least 20 seconds to hit 200mph. This takes 10.9 seconds. The top speed was a terrifying 260+mph, in an open-cockpit car with 1970s aerodynamics and bugger-all safety devices. Its sheer dominance in the CanAm series eventually lead to not just the car, but the whole race series being shut down, to avoid the future possibility of a horrendous high-speed accident. Awesome.

Somewhat less successful was Porsche's short-lived single-seater campaign. This is a Porsche 718 Formula 2 car. I really like the bodywork on this. Porsche seem to be really good at making purposeful-yet-curvaceous bodies like this, that still translate into the current 911 and Boxster/Cayman, particularly in the rear wheel arches.

These are the similarly monstrous Auto Union Grand Prix cars from the 1930s/40s. Featuring a V16, the Type C was the Red Bull RB7 of its time.

Mmmm, V16. The great thing about Goodwood is that you can see cars evolve from big-yet-rudimentary wartime stuff...

...to the sophisticated prototypes of today. This R10 is one diesel-powered Audi Le Mans winner...

...and this is another, the R18 TDI that won this year's 24 Hours, despite both sister cars suffering terrible accidents.

I like the aero details on cars like these. This is a layered vent on the front wheel arch, perhaps to vent brake heat or let rotating air escape from the wheel well.

The interior is even messier than the Peugoet 908's we saw earlier. At least the driver has a tumble dryer pipe blowing cold air into his face, otherwise it would get horribly stuffy in there over 24 hours.

Just behind the front wheels is this fin arrangement. If you look down it, you can actually see out of a little hole in the front. Channelling air through the car like this is important for high-speed aerodynamics. My guess (using pub science) is that sending the air through the car rather than forcing all of it over/under the body avoids generating lift (like that wing-shaped Mercedes CLR that flipped over at Le Mans in '98) and lowers drag. Lower drag = higher top speed.

Huge fins running down the spine of the car have been banned in F1 this year, but the LMP cars still have them, because they apparently stop the car flipping over in a high-speed spin. I don't know if this connection to the rear wing is part of an equally banned-in-F1 "F-Duct" system or not.

Next to the R18 was a set of lightly used slick tyres. As you can see, the wheel spokes are quite solid, but aren't nearly as deep as the wheel rim. This is probably to save weight, or because they're strong enough not to need that much depth. Little chunks are taken out of the side to shed that little bit of extra weight as well.


You can just about see all four of the wheels in this shot.

What's 20 years between family? McLaren always put a Hugo BOSS logo under their drivers' names. Senna truly was a Boss, but unfortunately for McLaren, Kimi Raikkonen didn't become a Boss until he went to Ferrari in 2007 and won the championship.

I took one more shot of the little Fiat 500 I saw this morning. Just because it's cool.

Also going up and down the hill was the new McLaren MP4-12C, in both road car and GT3 guises. The road car didn't sound too spectacular to be honest, even with Lewis Hamilton donutting it in front of the crowd.

There was also this McLaren... er... Somethingorother.

Getting closer to the exit, I spotted that Toyota had a little tent, featuring a black group B-style rally car of some sort, this #88 Lexus Gazoo Racing LFA which competed in the 2011 Nürburgring 24H...

...and this awesome GT-One, which competed in the 1998 Le Mans 24H. The GT-One was in a perfect position to win this race, as it was fast enough to qualify on pole, as well as 3rd and 5th. Alas, after dropping to 2nd, the gearbox failed on this #29 car, taking it out of the race. GT-Ones returned the following year, but with no real success. It's a shame really, because in every way this car is cool.

The interior is somewhat cleaner than the Audi's, and the seat is more substantial. What struck me was not only how low it was, but how much easier it is to get in, thanks to the huge doors.

But surely huge doors add huge weight compared to the little flaps on the R18? Not as much as it may appear, as not only are they carbon fibre (naturally), but they are hollow, and there's a very good reason for that, as perhaps indicated by the grille that sits inside it...

It's because it's actually part of the cooling system, acting as an air channel to feed the F1-style side-mounted intercoolers.

Like many (if not all) modern prototypes, the rear section is very curved. Previously, I thought it was more like a dome shaped roof that sort of joined on to a flatter surface which curved very 2-dimensionally towards the rear, but here it all flows as one piece. It's very pretty.

A closer shot of the cockpit. Le Mans cars are right-hand drive, partly to pretend that these are vaguely-road-relevant two-seaters, but also because the Sarthe circuit has mostly right-handed turns, and weighing down the "inside" side of the car improves lateral weight distribution for these corners by affecting the body roll.

I'm not sure what is under this black vent just ahead of the rear wheel. I had a look, and it might be a turbo, as this red bit connects to a grey snail-like part similar to the turbos on the F1 engine.

I've occasionally wondered how they actually adjust the downforce on these cars, and I expected it to be a little more precise than a choice of 5 screw holes. Maybe they're predetermined positions or settings, and the driver has to just choose the best one for each track. He/she'd get a bit annoyed if the best setting was inbetween two screw holes though. Le Mans calls for quite a shallow wing angle, because too much drag on the four very long straights would be a disadvantage too great to be made up with better cornering speeds near the ends of the lap. Goodwood probably doesn't ask for much wing either. They're not particularly high-speed corners on a racing car scale.

This is a Renault turbo F1 engine. Only a 1.5-litre V6, it still chucked out around 1000bhp in race trim.

This is a more recent naturally aspirated V8, also made by Renault, who currently power Red Bull and both Lotus teams.

Here's a lineup of Renault-powered F1 cars over the last 20 years or so, including Mansell's Williams Renault in the foreground, which I had a toy of when I was little (I might still have it somewhere, in fact, with Camel sponsors present and correct). I've read in the news that Williams has now signed a deal with Renault to restart this partnership. Here's hoping it brings them the success a team of their stature deserves.

As a nice little treat for staying so long, a Ferrari Enzo poked out to say hello. I've only ever seen one in person once, on the M25. Of course, I didn't get to look at it for very long then.

There were other interesting cars in the car park too, like a middle-generation E39 BMW M5 (unless I've been fooled by a dead ringer). It had the four exhaust pipes and the right wheels to be an M5, anyway. Otherwise this is just a picture of a blue 5-Series...

This definitely is an M car, a new 1-M Coupé. I tried to get a shot of this at BMWs stand, but it was absolutely covered in people trying to sit in it, so I had to settle for a customer's car.

This little car is a Caterham 21, a car I've only ever seen once before - and that was in a book, so I'm not sure it counts. It's the only non-7 car they've built, aside from the brand new SP/300.R in the first half of the Mega Gallery. Actually based on a 7, it simply has more conventional sports car bodywork with "toblerones" to keep it rigid, and is otherwise mechanically the same as a 7. That's not the colour I would've chosen, but it does look good from this angle. The same's not quite true at the back, however, as it has the tail lights from a Mk.1 Ford Mondeo, which looks a little weird!

Other cars of note were a TVR Chimaera and a Noble M12 GTO 3R...

...a tuned Subaru Impreza WRX STI Estate...

...a limited-edition Exige, one of countless Lotuses (Lotii?) that turned up that day...

...a rarer Europa S, as well as a few Porsches and a Ferrari F355. The Honda S2000 in the corner is nice, too.

As I went home, I even had time in the traffic to snap this weird-but-wonderful Citroën C6. WOH indeed.

Apart from sunburn and all these pictures, my souvenir from this trip was a diecast model of an AMG SLS. I challenged myself to get a decent 1:18 scale model for £40 or less, which proved to be just as much of a bugger as I feared it would be. I don't like how diecast prices have increased in recent years. There was a time not long ago when £40 was normal, or even relatively expensive. Now, most of the quality ones go for anything from £50-200 plus... Oh well, it has working doors and a pop-up spoiler - which I later discovered goes up higher than that - and it's really not that bad for £20 (reduced from £30).

So you made it to the bottom! Congratulations. Hopefully I didn't waste too much of your day. I'll be writing about my actual day over the weekend, and a few of these images may pop up again, so don't worry if you think you missed one or something. Feel free to click around and find more of my blog posts. I promise you none of them are anywhere near this long!

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