GRR

75MM's best 8-cylinder beasts

27th March 2017
Ethan Jupp

So 75MM is over a week gone, and we're in a reflective mood. Such was the variety on show, how can we tie every corner together neatly? We surmised that somewhere (bar the Weslake, perhaps), in every category, there is a car motivated with 8 cylinders in various configurations. So, here are our favourite 8-pots from the event.

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Lotus Elise GT1

This thing has to head the list. It’s probably the biggest surprise of the GT1 demo. We thought the 911s would turn up and run the show, and then this incredibly clean example of the less-than-famous Lotus Elise GT1 fired up its furious Chevy-derived V8. Though an unutterable flop in competition in period, this thing was a glorious gargling overrun-tastic curveball in the GT1 Demo.

Faberge Camaro 

Unavoidable, really: The Faberge Group 1 Camaro has become a Gerry Marshal Trophy staple, but is no less awesome for our familiarity with it. Just look at those incredible flames it was kicking out, that were all the more visible as these spectacular saloons diced into the dusk.

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Group 1 SD1

If the Camaro won merit on the flames it was kicking out, but perhaps not the quality of its immense roar, the Patrick Motorsport Rover SD1 that it has locked horns with on many occasions takes up that mantle. The howl this thing emitted could make the even the staunchest small-displacement sportscar fan swoon with aural delight. 

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TVR Griffith 400

The unlikely victor of the Graham Hill Trophy, the Griff first caught our eyes and ears at a pre-75MM test day, as this squat compact little sportscar emitted an unmistakable muscular V8 gargle upon startup where we would otherwise expect the thrum of a six. That it under the jockeyship of Mike Jordan and owner Mike Whitaker comfortably told the Cobras and E-types of the Graham Hill where to go only adds to its Kudos. What a wicked little thing!

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Porsche 908

A rare sight outside the gates of the Porsche Museum back east, the Gulf 908/3 was one of the stars of the 3.0-litre sports prototype demo at 75MM. Now arguably in the shadow of its iconic and timeless 917 Group 5 sibling, the 908 wears that quintessential late-60s Porsche sportscar curvature that made it one of the most beautiful cars on the grid. That’s not to mention the delicious noise of its 3.0-litre flat-eight engine – not exactly the most conventional eight-cylinder layout. It had to make the list.

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Lola T282

Now there’s unconventional, and then there’s the indisputably astonishing. We’ve probably said enough about the iconic Cosworth DFV. It basically owned Formula 1, taking over half of the races it saw service in during its 18-year term of service between 1967 and 1985. Though less famed for its service aboard sportscars and at Le Mans (in DFV land, two wins isn’t much), the familiar furore and howl coming from the Gitanes Lola T282 in the 3.0-litre sports prototype demo at 75MM was a welcome contrast to the shriek of the glorious Matra V12.

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Maserati V8Ri

Coming very close to victory honours in the Varzi Trophy would afford the seminal Maserati V8Ri serious bragging rights as it is, but the power plant that got it there is the focus here. For a car of this era it runs an oddly conventional-sounding engine. A 4.8-litre supercharged V8 kicking out 300bhp is respectable by today’s standards, but in the years of its vintage, this Grand Prix machine’s numbers were stratospheric. If not for a late spin in the Varzi, the V8Ri might have claimed victory at 75MM.

Toyota Tundra NASCAR

Not that everything in this list is pretty special – but come on, a blooming NASCAR! That monstrous small-block V8 tuned up to the hilt, fully wound out by Mike Skinner, as he eviscerates slick rubber to the delight of the on-looking crowds, with the strung-out wail rippling through the smoke. And this was our idea of a break from the racing at 75MM! In a list of our favourite 8-pots at 75MM, this couldn’t not make the cut!

Obviously, commiserations to the entire Pierpoint Cup grid, and the monsters of the Surtees. They might have made for obvious choices...

Photography by Jochen Van Cauwenberge and Jayson Fong

  • 75MM

  • V8

  • 2017

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