Posts Tagged ‘steve mcqueen’

To mark the launch of the all new event at London ExCeL Top Gear Live is celebrating 40 years of the legendary racing film Le Mans at the exclusive Top Gear Live London Gala on 24 November 2011.

In celebration of the film’s 40th anniversary, which starred Hollywood legend Steve McQueen, guests will gain an unforgettable insight into Le Mans as they watch original clips, view stills and marvel at behind-the-scenes footage while sharing the memories of those who were there.

VIP guests will also be joined by Chad McQueen, son of the late Steve Mc Queen, and racing legends Derek Bell and David Piper, as they reminisce on the making of the film – where both risked their lives as they brought to life McQueen’s dream: to create the best, most realistic film about motorsport ever.

Le Mans, which used cutting-edge techniques and filmed largely live, featured the Porsche 917 and the Ferrari 512 and is remembered for its breathtaking footage from the actual 1970 race.

This iconic piece of cinematography, which featured 26 high performance cars, 41 stunt drivers and some 350,000 French speaking extras, uniquely captures the exhilarating atmosphere of arguably the greatest race on earth.

Guests will also have an exclusive opportunity to get up close to David Piper’s original 1969 Porsche 917 which will be on display at the gala event.

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Aah, the RS6 – otherwise known as the Audi C5 RS6 quattro Typ 4B (at least between 2002-2004 that is). Is there a more sinister wolf in a sheep’s woolly jumper? OK the big 19″ rims and lowered suspension are a bit of a give-away but is there any real hint of 450 BHP fire-breathing bi-turbo V8 while it stands all docile in your front drive? Only when you fire it up. The V8 offers a nice deep-bass growl which makes a refreshing change over some of the more muted offerings from some other manufacturers we won’t mention. Has everybody forgotten the point of a V8? Never mind about the performance figures just listen to the noise! The US still makes V8’s with the great original soundtrack cos that’s what they do best. Can you imagine Steve McQueen’s V8 Mustang in Bullit sounding like some of today’s limp-wristed efforts? It would be like listening to Led Zep through cheap, nasty earphones. So at least the RS6 captures some of that old V8 character but probably without scaring the old folks in the neighbourhood. The performance is worth mentioning, however, because it is important in the RS6’s case. It is breathtaking. That’s it – there is no other word for it. The power feels relentless. It pulls like a high speed train that wants to break the world speed record. It never runs out of puff – you run out of road long before that happens. It feels safe though. The quattro system just hunkers down and drives like it’s on rails (more train analogies). It feels so totally competent the RS6 would refuse the most incompetent driver the chance to screw things up. Big powerful disc brakes rein in the beast without drama and bring peace back into the world. Then when you switch off the engine to park up there is an interesting whine from the twin turbos that sounds like a 747 unwinding after a long-haul flight. Yep, it’s a great car the RS6 and if you want to buy a cracking low-mileage example, the owner of a Daytona Grey (the best colour) 2004 model has asked us to find a buyer for his Avant version. Click here for more details.