Good Oil: More than a little TLC needed
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Yeah, that’ll all probably buff out. These two newly unearthed barn-find restoration projects will no doubt be beyond the skills of most backyard tinkerers.
The costs involved in bringing the 1957 Aston Martin DB2/4 MkII Sports Saloon and the 1950 Lagonda 2.6-litre Drophead Coupe, both found in British barns, will be staggering.
But then again, a no-expense-spared restoration could ultimately prove a winner at auction.
That’s where these two corroded gems are destined in their current state; they’re going under the hammer at a Bonhams classic car auction this week.
Given the bashed panels and wood rot, the auction estimates alone are daunting; the Aston Martin is expected to fetch between $95,000 and $130,000.
The Lagonda could be wheeled on to an awaiting flatbed for as “little” as $30,000, although its rarity (few drophead coupes were made) will make it especially pricey to bring back to life.
What makes the Aston Martin so exclusive is its colourful history, which — despite having sat in a barn for decades — remains well-known.
1957 Aston Martin DB2/4 MkII Sports Saloon found in a barn and going up for auction. Photo / Supplied
It was purchased by a Viscount Downe of Wykeham Abbey and later fell into the bear claws of celebrity British boxer Freddie Mills, before continual engine issues forced it off the road.
Early Astons go for moonbeams at auction, but then that’s also what will be required to get it back to near-original condition. Experts in these matters suggest a $250,000 budget will be needed.
Less pretty, the Lagonda is still interesting. The drophead coupe hails from a time when Lagonda was a standalone firm, rather than a sometimes-useful nameplate acquired by Aston Martin.
It’s a bit of a Frankenbanger, with a replacement engine — a 2.6-litre Vantage engine from an Aston Martin DB2/4 — an Aston DB5 heater and choke assembly and additional headlights.
Must have had to drive through a few pea-soupers in its day. It has been in storage (and not very good storage by the looks of it) for 35 years.
Again, classic car experts suggest your restoration budget should feature six figures and start with a 2. But if you’ve got the time ...
In Dubai, good drivers win cars
After you... no, no, I insist, you first. Photo / Supplied
Perhaps this is an idea the police and the NZ Transport Agency could get behind.
In Dubai, motorists who do not commit any traffic violations for a year go into the draw to win new cars.
The lottery is called the white-points system and the latest two winners — selected from a pool of 2000 eligible drivers — received their cars (a pair of Hyundais) last week.
The 2000 eligible drivers were made up of 1344 men and 656 women. To be in to win, the driver needs to have a registered driver’s licence (well, duh!) and have a vehicle registered in their name.
In essence, it seems like a good idea. Although the fact the lottery exists does raise a few questions.
We can’t help but wonder how bad on average the driving in Dubai must be. Could the authorities find only 2000 “good” drivers, or is that simply the cap they put on the competition?
Also, a commuter needs to behave only for 12 months? That doesn’t seem like too tough a stretch, but perhaps in Dubai it’s a miracle anyone doesn’t get caught drifting through intersections in their McLaren 720s … or maybe we’ve just been watching too much YouTube.
How to Pininfarina your ears
Pininfarina headphones. Photo / Supplied
Ever noticed how sportspeople are rarely seen without a big pair of headphones?
There are probably massive endorsement deals behind the accessorising, but it’s interesting how music is essentially a psychological pre-game/race tool.
Or maybe they’re listening to the talking-book version of Great Railway Journeys of South America ...
But for any motorsports competitor, surely a pair of Pininfarina headphones should be part of the uniform? We came across the LZR 980 headphones while we were supposed to be working, and fell in love immediately.
They are a co-design project with the German audio boffins at Magnat, who got the Italian design house to pen these range-toppers.
There is a lot of waffle about how the polygonal shape for the earpiece cups redefine comfort and that the organic surfaces are punctuated with a ridge reminiscent of automotive styling and detail. But really, they just look superb.
Why they’re not hanging on the heads of every F1 driver this season, we’re unsure.
We’d wear them in the high street regardless.