A reader writes, which is always a joy, but even more so than usual today.
He’s read the story I wrote, about driving a Hyundai i30 N the length (plus a bit of Scotland) and breadth (a few times) of England (plus a bit of Wales), for a feature on the RAC Rally (‘Riviera’s return’).
The 1932 event was the very first, and what an event it was. Driving alone, competitors would have started from any number of locations around the UK, all finishing up in Torquay. The event has morphed into the Wales Rally GB today and it was, apparently, The Autocar’s idea, although the RAC did the hard work in the organisation.
Niall, kind reader, has dug out a plaque and badges from the original event’s activities in Torquay. They belonged to his relative Barry Appleby. Apparently, Barry and his wife, Dobs, wrote ‘The Gambols’ newspaper cartoon but Barry also wrote for Autocar; and his father was EJ Appleby, long-time editor of The Autocar around the war years.
Niall’s not sure whether the trinkets belong to Barry or EJ, but I’m thrilled to see them. And know that we’re here, today, continuing The Autocar’s long tradition of enthusiasm, opinion and unerring accuracy.
I Ah. Er, anyway, well, an apology. Earlier this month I said there would be only 500 Porsche 911 GT2 RSs. I wrote it because I believed it because it said so in the notes I made on the day I drove the car but, alas, it says it nowhere else; certainly not in Porsche’s literature, because it isn’t true. It’s not a number I would make up and it’s one I wrote and reported in good faith, but here we are. Odd.
Anyway, apologies to Porsche, and to you.
The GT2 RS will actually be built in what’s slightly generously being termed ‘uncapped’ levels, which means they’ll put as many down the 911 line – having modified it in places so the GT2’s extraordinarily wide rear tyres will fit – as they realistically can before the 992-generation 911 comes on stream. We reckon that’ll be a year and a bit, during which time there’ll probably be around 2000 GT2s, with half of those in Europe.
The 911 R, apparently, which, you’ll remember, was limited to 991 units, was that way because the realistic limit was 1000 cars, at the end of the first-generation 991-series cars. Something to do with how much coolant fluid they had left, or something. So they made it 991 rather than ‘about 1000’.
The beef I usually have with deliberate limited-run cars – that they’re cynical and elitist and that your money was plenty good enough for these companies when they were in harder times – still stands. But I’ve always felt that you can’t think badly of Porsche for deciding it’d make 918 918s, because you know it had to work pretty darned hard to find every single one of them a home. Apparently, there are kicking on for 5000 of the most recent GT3 RS models, too, and between you and me, if you really want the rarest Cayman, it ain’t the GT4. So, happily, my limited-volume beef doesn’t tend to apply here.