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Klaas Zwart of Ascari's Countach & Jim Valentine's 2bular exhaust

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The Countach makes a distinctive noise . This is a combination of a metallic timbre from its cam chains , its V12's pulsations , and its exhaust sound . At idle it is a dull bass throb - a heavy throb , particularly on start-up . As the engine warms up , the whole symphony mellows but that throb never disappears , it just becomes slightly more muted .

As the revs rise , the sound becomes slightly more high pitched , but it never screams in the way that a Ferrari 355 does . Instead , the whole range of notes just appears to progressively increase in volume . At about 7000 rpm in the lower gears , the engine and exhaust noises are the dominant sounds , drowning out wind and road noise . At high road speeds , this situation is reversed , but even at very high road speeds you can still hear those distinctive engine and exhaust noises .

I only have experience of the standard factory exhaust , and as far as I was concerned it was the bee's knees , and couldn't be bettered …. I've been perfectly happy for the last 19 years .

Then a couple of month's ago I bought an Elise S3 R from Jamie Matthews at Bell and Colvill -- one of the last of the high revving 2ZZ-GE engined cars : 189 bhp at 7800 rpm , 133 lb-ft torque at 6800 , rev limit at 8000rpm with transient bursts up to 8500 rpm - all in a 6 speed manual weighing 860 kg .
A 2010 car , with 53,000 miles and cosmetically almost showroom perfect . Mechanically the car was absolutely factory standard , except for a set of Nitron dampers .

The brief test drive was great - exactly what I was looking for - with the low torque ( even with only 860 kg ) you had to work hard for any reward .
But the sound from the Toyota engine was muted - and not in keeping with the car's looks , or the car's performance

I normally leave my cars exactly as they left the factory floor , but this Elise needed more life , in the form of more noise .
I was told that Jim Valentine at 2bular was the go to guy , and I asked him for a loud exhaust , and more specifically for the loudness to start as low down the range as possible .
And he has done just that -- in fact he has done the impossible . My wife says that this Chrome Orange Toyota 4 cylinder Elise now '' sounds and looks like a mini Arancio Atlas Murcielago Roadster '' . The growl starts at 2800 , with just the right amount of pops and bangs . And no drone at all .

Jim makes bespoke exhausts .And he likes talking cars and exhausts . Somehow we ended up talking about Countachs , and he casually said '' Some years ago I custom made an exhaust for a black Countach Anniversary for a man who owns a racetrack in southern Spain and makes ( made ) supercars -- Klass '' . Me : ''Ascari ?'' . JV : ''Yes him ''

Klass Zwart apparently phoned Jim out of the blue one day , and asked him to make a Loud , Loud , Loud exhaust for his black Anniversary . Clearly an out and out petrolhead , Zwart was apparently literally hopping on one foot in joy , as he stood listening behind his stationary Countach , while Jim revved the car with its newly fitted 2bular up to its 7000 rpm yellow line .
The next day Jim was invited to Zwart's house for breakfast , after which he was given a guided tour of Zwart's car collection , and finally commissioned to make a couple more exhausts for Zwart's Ferraris .

If Zwart , with his extensive experience of cars , was happy with his Countach's new 2bular exhaust , then it must have been something very special .

Chassis 12399 , a one previous owner 88 1/2 car , is currently absolutely factory standard , but a Jim Valentine 2bular exhaust is the one modification that truly appeals . And for the purist , it is a totally reversible modification .

I thought that the wider supercar world should be aware , that in the depths of Scotland there lurks a magician who is able to alchemy bespoke exhausts for supercars , that make truly special cars even more special . And Jim is able to custom build these exhausts to your sound specification ( within limits obviously ) , and achieve the almost impossible .

Why should Lotus owners have a monopoly on all this wizardry ?


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Enjoyed reading that, I have to agree with you, its the one area lacking in my 111R, the sound it makes. Its high up on my list of things to attend to. I take it because this is a bespoke exhaust you got to specify the look of it too?  Would be very interested in seeing it fitted to your car if you could oblige with a photo?

Cheers Paul.

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I really enjoyed that too, thanks.  

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