FAHR’N AUF DER AUTOBAHN
THE HANDS around the beautiful E-type steering wheel on the cover of Octane 150 show a very tight grip indeed, and rightfully so.
I bought my 1961 E-type Roadster 30 years ago, simply because it was the fastest car I could afford at that time. It has always been registered and on the road, apart from the times when it is being repaired.
It now lives in our holiday home near Munich and is regularly driven in Bavaria on the autobahn, cruising at 100mph and with short dashes up to 120mph. Above 120 it becomes quite strenuous but up to that speed it behaves well, almost like a modern car. The most frightening moment I had was when the central catch for the hood popped open at about 110mph, and of course in rain it is like navigating a submarine and you need a lot of towels to wipe the inside of the windscreen and your glasses. The boot also pops open sometimes, resulting in a loss of luggage – this annoyed Alan Clark ages ago and no garage has yet been able to fix it.
Over such a long time of ownership on the road – not on a toyshelf – the car grows with you, meaning it now has better brakes, better cooling, better shocks and, most important, a fifth gear, but still the standard 3.8-litre engine. I know that originality freaks will frown but it copes with modern traffic much better and I do not know of any similar German E-type owner who has not at least changed the gearing, to reduce the revs when driving on the autobahn.
Thank you very much for the lovely article – it brought me great pleasure. GERT SCHROEDER-FINCKH DUSSELDORF, GERMANY