Yikes

In a tangential post to the Goodwood Revival, I see the following bit of news:

Each California Spyder Revival will be built by hand from a donor car, using parts produced by GTO Engineering; the company is a renowned Ferrari restoration specialist, and aims to equal or better the quality standards of the original car. The iconic Scaglietti-designed body, for example, will be hand-formed from sheet aluminium using GTO’s own, bespoke tooling.
Despite the focus on authenticity, the California Spyder Revival will also be highly customisable. The customer can choose between three versions of Ferrari’s Columbo V12, from a standard 3.0-litre engine to upgraded 3.5 or 4.0-litre units. The original four-speed gearbox can also be swapped out for a five-speed item, and bespoke exterior paint colours can be specified. The interior is trimmed in leather of the buyer’s choosing, with the option of a smaller wooden steering wheel than the original car.

The purists may wail and shout a bit, but I think it’s fantastic.

Next Year In Goodwood

…not Jerusalem (with apologies to Tribe Readers).

If there is one motoring event I want to attend — yeah, even more than the F1 GP at Spa Francorchamps — it is the Goodwood Revival weekend event, which took place last weekend.  For those who are not familiar with the festivities, it is an annual event wherein respect is paid to times gone by in the automotive world, and it could also be called a long, large costume party, as people are encouraged to wear clothes from a bygone era.  I even have clothing picked out for the occasion.

Before we look at the cars, though, let’s look at a sample of attendees from this year’s event:

And my absolute favorite outfit, for all the best reasons:

But enough of the finery;  let’s get on with the real stuff, starting with the grid girls:

And they’re off!

Finally:  it’s not all about cars, you know…

This is #1 on Ye Olde Buckette Lyst.

Next year, I promise.

Of Course It Did

Here’s a situation familiar to anyone who’s ever owned a classic British sports car:

She’s a lover of vintage cars, but Kate Moss suffered a set back when her beloved blue vintage MG broke down earlier this week.  The supermodel, 47, was forced to abandon her vehicle on the side of the A361 near Burford on Wednesday.
Kate’s classic car had to be collected by a recovery truck from the grassy verge of the road, with a team of mechanics checking the inside of the car and lifting up the bonnet.

As much as I love the things, even I will acknowledge that beauty sometimes requires sacrifice in other areas.  But seriously…
…and:

I know:  they’re expensive to run and maintain, temperamental, prone to frequent breakdowns, need constant oiling and maybe even a cylinder re-sleeve.  But hey, when looked after and in the right hands… pure fun.

Overload

With all the bollocks surrounding the miracle electric cars and how they’re going to Save The Planet, etc., anyone with half a brain knows that a.) electric cars need lots of juice to run and b.) the current electricity grid — in any country — would not be able to handle the surge in demand should a country (foolishly) decide to abolish gasoline-powered cars by x date (sooner rather than later).

So how would government handle the problem?  Step forward the BritGov, with a wonderful idea:

Charging points for electric cars will be preset to turn off for nine hours a day amid fears they could cause blackouts with the government pushing the switch from diesel and petrol.
From May, every new charger will automatically not function at ‘peak times’ to ease the pressure on the national grid.
There is also set to be a ‘randomised delay’ of up to 30 minutes if there is high demand from motorists.

Yeah, that’s going to get just everyone to dump their Jaguars for Priuses, won’t it?

Fucking morons.

Winning Combination

Longtime Readers will know that among my many passions in life (guns, beautiful women etc.) are two things especially:  cars and fine art, especially paintings.

The latter two may seem a little at odds with each other, but there you go:  each of the two inspires wonder in me.

If you follow my reasoning, and you should, then let me introduce you all to some of the works of artist Alan Fearnley:

   

One may think that Fearnley specializes in older cars;  but one would be wrong:

One might also think that Fearnley specializes in classic pastoral themes, but again one would be wrong:

   

And finally, Fearnley doesn’t just do cars:

 

I have over a dozen of his pics saved as laptop wallpapers.  Here’s one:

Longtime Readers will not be surprised at this choice.

All the above, and many more, can be found here.  No need to thank me, it’s all part of the service.

As Long As You Look Mahvelous…

Some time back, I was watching some EewwChoob thing about cars that looked good but were absolute rubbish, either to drive or because they were completely unreliable.  I can’t find the video, of course, because Internet Confusion, but here’s a short list of cars that I wish had been made properly — i.e. with today’s machining, fit and electricals — so that one could drive them for a long distance or time without having to have a mechanic/towing service on speed dial, and drive them without impaling yourself on a tree at the very first kink in the road. I’ve left off the Usual Suspects (e.g. the E-type, Ferrari 246 and various Astons, because I’ve looked at them often enough).  Also, because they’re mostly tourers, to be driven for long distances in comfort, I’ve set aside my normal disdain for cabrios and soft-tops.

They’re not in any specific order, pretty much just as they came to me.

Triumph Stag
One of the best-looking touring cars ever made, the Stag was uniformly horrible, not the least because of Both Mr. Free Market and Drummer Knob had a Stag;  as I recall, Knob exchanged his for a Mini-Cooper (!), while Mr. Free Market’s memorable quote was:

“Dear boy, that Stag used so much oil that every time I put my foot down, I shifted BP’s share price two points.”

But…

As Jeremy Clarkson says, it still looks good, even today.  With the Rover (a.k.a. Buick) 3.6-liter engine, it might have been a world-beater except for the fact that it would rust faster than a Lancia.

Jensen Interceptor
One of the best names ever for a car.  The 1972 Jensen MkII is my favorite, with the Chrysler 7.2-liter (443 cubic inch) V8.  Built properly, with today’s machining, finishing and wiring, I’d take one in a heartbeat.

Getting the cabrio would leave off that PITA big rear window, but in either guise the Interceptor just looks fantastic.

Maserati 350 Vignale (1964)
I think Maserati has always made superior tourers (as opposed to sports cars), and this one is no exception.

Alas, like all Italian cars of that era, they suffered from and Terminal Rust Condition, but if you could address those two problems as above, the idea of setting off across Europe or the U.S. behind that wonderful 3.5-liter straight six… oh, man.

Sunbeam Alpine MkI Drophead (1953)
Why would I want to drive this oldster with its silly 2.3-liter 95hp four-banger engine?  Because it’s the car in which Cary Grant seduced Grace Kelly in To Catch A Thief, is why.  Also:

Actually, being underpowered was the least of the Alpine’s problems.  It suffered from post-war to such a degree that no two were ever wired the same way, and in some cases they used metals other than copper (Britain still suffering from post-WWII shortages of copper even though other nations e.g. Italy and Germany weren’t), with MTBF* often measured in hours.  The steering was totally shit, and the suspension was given to breaking when going over so much as a driveway entrance.

The saloon version won several rally races, but that was because they were modified beyond recognition.

But the drophead looks mahvelous, hence its inclusion in this post.

Which old cars would you like to see, resto-modded / remanufactured?  (Limit three per comment.)


*Mean Time Between Failures