Porsche - Automotive Leonardo

Among the handful of car designers with creative genius, as opposed to a mere talent for engineering, Ferdinand Pors­che’s reputation is secure. Bugatti’s artistic flair, Royce’s “infinite capacity for taking pains”, even Colin Chapman’s prolific inven­tiveness with Lotus are overshadowed by a man who not only gave his name to one of the world’s most coveted cars, but also made him a sort of automotive Leonardo da Vinc

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Morgan Plus 8

The Guardian was an unlikely medium for a sports car feature. In 1969 I was its motor racing correspondent, a contributor to its motoring column and now that Morgan has made its last V8, here is what I wrote about its first. I drove to Malvern to try out the first demo Plus 8, along with Autocar’s Eoin Young. I don’t expect The Guardian, or me would write about “a masculine car” any more. This was half a century ago.

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Vorsprung durch Project Fear

Vorsprung durch Project Fear

Audi Lincoln was right. I have a problem with my A3’s Dunlop Maxx tyres. It was a bit like Mark Carney’s “scenarios”, or a greedy consultant urging surgery and I was sure I didn’t need to part with £456. But it raised questions 1) Will Audi and Dunlop call in a batch of tyres made in 2017? 2) Do Audi owners question alarmist videos? 3) Are the rules on redress for faulty tyres adequate?

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Virtue Signalling Electric Vehicles

Sometimes you need Jeremy Clarkson: “Jaguar Land Rover delivery people: Don’t come to London to pick up the iPace tomorrow. I couldn’t charge it so it’s not there,” he tweeted. He could have phoned them. It was his way of drawing attention to the electric fervour engulfing car people. The virtue-signalling of spin doctors pleading with us to embrace cars with batteries.

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Bespoke heritage

The notion that hand-made cars were superior died hard. Maybe it’s still true of shirts or suits, but by and large cars made by machines are better than any cobbled up on engineers’ lasts. Components used to be hand-crafted to fit but precise modern tooling makes things more reliable, more repeatable and refined. In 1989 I was underwhelmed by a Maserati 222E and Motor1.com agrees. Anthony Karr thinks the much-hyped Biturbo ruined the Italian maker’s reputation..       

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