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    An Aston that Sellers itself

    / #1961-Aston-Martin-DB4GT / #Aston-Martin-DB4GT / #Aston-Martin-DB4 / #Aston-Martin / #1961

    For sale at RM Sotheby’s, London, September 5, rmsothebys.com Why buy it? One of just 75 built, this is the actual DB4GT that starred so memorably in Peter Sellers’ crime caper The Wrong Arm of the Law. It is also believed to have been owned by Sellers. Fitted in period with a 4.0-litre engine, it has more recently been restored to a very high standard. Collectors’ gold. Estimate tba
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    Rapide response for Lagondas / #Lagonda-Rapide / #1961-Lagonda-Rapide / #1961 / #Lagonda / #Aston-Martin /

    If Astons are the thinking man’s Ferrari, are Lagondas the thinking man’s Aston?

    Have you seen what DB Astons are making? The relentless rise of DB4s, 5s and 6s seems unstoppable, and after a short pause for breathe in the middle of last year, values look to be pointing skyward again.

    DB6 MkIIs are heading for half a million quid and I’ve even heard of one bloke who’s so far poured a cool million into a DB4 restoration. The other day I sat next to a man at dinner who’s bought a project DB6 MkI automatic – needing absolutely everything – for £160k, who is prepared to blow another £200k making it mint. Blimey, there’s some serious loot being thrown at these cars right now.

    Yet the infinitely rarer Touring-styled four-door Rapide with its DB5 engine, #Superleggera construction, de Dion rear end and dual circuit servo-assisted discs is a huge bargain in comparison. Aston brokerage Byron International has a well-restored ’1963 auto for £150k and Dylan Miles has the ’1961 prototype, road test and motor show car that was David Brown’s personal transport for £245,000.

    Aston authority Desmond J Smail has one of the very last ’1963 Rapides made, with £70k of restoration bills, for £185k. Now, I know that the Rapide has always been seen as the DB5’s square sister, doesn’t have the same slippery lines, and that of the 55 cars made between 1961 and 1964, most were automatics. But in terms of rarity, bloodline and collectability, surely they’re platinum-plated. Are we missing something here?

    Roll up to any event in a Rapide and every eye will be yours while the usual DB Astons will look, well, predictable in comparison. Famous Rapide first owners included the Guinness, Rothschild and Cartier families and it was seen as terribly exotic with an original list of £4950 – which was £700 more than the DB5 – and David Brown lost money on every single one. Of those 55 cars, 48 still survive and they used to be staggeringly cheap. I remember seeing one in 2008 – a straight and running ’1963, but in need of recomissioning – sell online for just £25k. By 2014 they’d doubled and Silverstone Auctions sold another ’1963 at its Salon Prive sale – this one was mint and lovely – for £96,000. There was a brief rally in values in 2014/2015 when prices hit £150k, but they’ve since stalled. If like me you’re scratching your head at DB4, 5 and 6 values, maybe its time to go and look at a Rapide?

    VALUE 2010 £30k

    VALUE NOW £170k

    ‘Roll up to an event in a Rapide and the DB Astons will look predictable in comparison’
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    / #1961-Aston-Martin-DB4-GT £4.75m

    / #Aston-Martin-DB4-GT / #1961-Aston-Martin-DB4 / #Aston-Martin-DB4 / #1961 / #Aston-Martin

    This excellent #Zagato evocation has a colourful past and is ready for the road or racetrack. If you have the money… Richard Gunn

    After being built as a standard DB4 GT in 1961 this car was modified by Aston Martin into a ‘DB GT Special’ in 1968, with a DB5 front and DB6 rear, along with other, ahem, enhancements. Never that highly regarded in enthusiast circles, despite subsequent ownership by AM boss Victor Gauntlett, it was rebuilt at the start of the 21st century by RS Williams to Sanction II Zagato spec, including a 4.2-litre engine. As a genuine DB4 GT, the car is eligible for historic competition and has raced at the Goodwood Revival.

    The bodywork is in beautiful condition. Aside from the odd stonechip up front, it’s practically flawless. The Coniston Sand paint is superb throughout, while the wheels – painted wires with Borrani hubs – have no flaws. They are clad with Michelin Pilote 185/80 R16 rubber with plenty of tread left. Undersealing has been applied. If you’re searching for faults then you have to look extremely closely. For example, the felt trim by the sill covers is becoming a little flaky. But that really is the limit of any issues. The bonnet sits slightly proud at its rear edge to aid cooling. It’s pretty spotless under the bonnet too. All fluids are where they should be, although the car will be serviced before sale and freshly MoT’d.

    Inside, there’s a full rollcage, Sabelt safety harnesses, a high-level LED brake light, bucket racing seats and a Halda Twinmaster tripmeter on the passenger side. The dashboard retains its original gauges, albeit with supplementary stickers on some of the faces; for example, marking the 16-litre fuel reserve. During our test, that particular dial was slightly vague.

    However, bonus points should be awarded for the working clock – on older Astons this is generally inoperative. Oil pressure is satisfactory at 80-100psi when hot. There is light scuffing to the driver’s seat leather, and the wood-rimmed steering wheel looks original, with a pleasing patina. As a car more set up for track than road, this Aston feels a little fussy in urban environments. It’s easy enough to drive, but not as smooth as a less-tuned DB4. However, it comes alive at speed, with an urgency and charisma that makes it a truly exciting car. It is very fast, sounds terrific and has slick handling with no worrying suspension or mechanical noises.

    While the clutch is on the heavy side – as expected – the four-speed manual gearbox is easy to use, although fourth proved a little evasive while the car was warming up. The brakes are effective enough to rein in the considerable speed potential, and free from problems, although a little squeaky. This is something Desmond J Smail intends to rectify before sale. At £4.75million, this is not cheap. But it’s a faithful evocation based on a real Aston DB4 GT. It is in exceptional condition and will allow membership of a very exclusive fraternity.

    CHOOSE YOUR DB4
    DB4 is launched in 1958. The body by Touring uses Superleggera tube-frame construction, while the 3.7-litre six-cylinder dohc engine develops 240bhp. Shorter and lighter DB4 GT arrives in 1959 with 302bhp and enclosed headlamps – 75 cars are made and a further 19 have Zagato bodies.

    Series II from February 1960 with small detail changes. The short-lived Series III sees revised three-piece tail-lamps. Series IV cars switch from an egg-crate to barred front grille. A convertible model is added, plus a 266bhp Vantage and the rare Vantage GT.

    The Series V (September 1962) is longer, taller and most have enclosed headlamps that will be carried over to the DB5 in summer 1963.

    In 1987 Aston builds four more Zagatos from unused chassis numbers. These are known as ‘Sanction II’ cars. RS Williams gets permission to build another two, which were completed in 2000 and dubbed ‘Sanction III’ cars.

    Make: Aston Martin
    Model: DB4GT
    Year: 1961
    Exterior Colour: Coniston Sand
    Trim Colour: Black
    Carpet Colour: Black
    Date Registered: 15/05/1961
    Chassis Number: DB4/GT/0148/R
    Engine Number : 370/240/GT
    Transmission: Manual
    Hand of Drive: RHD

    TECHNICAL DATA FILE SPECIFICATIONS 1961 Aston Martin DB4 GT ‘Zagato’
    Price £4.75m
    Contact Desmond J Smail, Olney, Bucks, MK46 4AP (01234 240636, djsmail.co.uk)
    Engine 4212cc, 6-cyl, dohc
    Power 352bhp @ 6000rpm / DIN
    Torque 330lb ft @ 4600rpm / DIN
    Performance
    Top speed: 153mph
    0-60mph: 5.5sec
    Fuel consumption 14mpg
    Length 4229mm
    Width 1680mm

    Quote £7158.76 comprehensive, 5000 miles per year, garaged call: 0333 323 1181

    Goodwood Revival eligibility is just one of the benefits of owning this DB4 Zagato tribute. Bucket seats and rollcage – this car is happiest on the track. Engine is a genuine DB4 GT unit tweaked by RS Williams.
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    Obscurati curiosities from the amazing world of Italian cars. B#oneschi-Lancia-Flaminia-Amalfi-Spider / Story by Chris Rees. / #Lancia-Flaminia-Spider-Amalfi-824 / #1961 / #Boneschi / #Lancia-Flaminia / #Lancia / #Lancia-Flaminia-Spider / #1961-Lancia-Flaminia-Spider-Amalfi / #Carrozzeria-Boneschi


    Carrozzeria-Boneschi was once one of the stars of Italian coachbuilt couture. Founded in Cambiago, near Milan, at the end of World War I, its founder, Giovanni Boneschi, concentrated on prestige coachwork for upmarket chassis such as the Lancia Lambda, Dilambda, Astura and Aprilia, as well as the Alfa Romeo 6C 2500. It was even thought good enough for official government commissions.

    After WW2, Boneschi turned its attentions to making special bodies for the Alfa Romeo 1900 and Lancia Aurelia B53, and in 1957 signed a deal with Alfa Romeo to transform Giuliettas into Giardinetta estate cars. In 1960 it launched coachbuilt Alfa Romeo 2600s with coupe or cabriolet bodywork.

    In April 1961, it returned to Lancia stable with a new Flaminia-based convertible, styled by industrial designer Rodolfo Bonetto. Bonetto was a fascinating figure. He abandoned a career as a jazz drummer to take up car design. In this he was inspired by his uncle, Felice Bonetto, the well-known racing driver. Nicknamed ‘The Pirate’, Felice raced works Maseratis and Alfa Romeos – and even won the Grande Premio do Jubileu Formula 1 race in 1953.

    Back to Rodolfo, he was very much a self-taught stylist. His talents were recognised by Pininfarina, where he worked from 1951 to 1957, before setting up his own design studio in Milan in 1958. He worked with numerous companies, not just Boneschi but Vignale and Viotti as well. Bonetto went on to become one the great names in Italian architecture and industrial design, creating objects as diverse as musical instruments, TVs, suitcases and hi-fi systems. He won no fewer than eight ‘Compasso d'Oro’ design awards, including one for the interior of the Fiat 131 Supermirafiori in 1978.

    Let’s return to 1961 and the subject of our piece, Bonetto’s first work for Boneschi. Launched at the 1961 Turin Motor Show, it was based on a Lancia Flaminia chassis originally destined for Carrozzeria Touring (chassis 824.04) and was fitted with a 119hp engine.

    Bonetto’s compact two-seater roadster was very unusual. Its lines were just about as sharpedged as any Italian design ever got. In some ways it reflected the new squared-off shapes emerging from the USA and perhaps could even be said to prefigure the ‘folded paper’ school of design that Giugiaro would follow in the next decade.

    The bonnet, for instance, was almost completely flat, as was the boot lid. The front wings were angled forwards and their top edges were so sharply pointed that you might expect to slice your fingers on them if you traced their outline. The rear end, meanwhile, was cleanliness taken to a new extreme.

    In an age when recessed door handles were not commonplace, the idea of bevelling the handles into the doors was a novel one. The four headlamps appeared to ‘float’ in the heavily chromed grille.

    The car was dubbed the Amalfi Spider and was painted ivory with red sills, plus a red interior and soft-top. Overall the shape might not be described as classically beautiful but for its time it was extremely striking. It remained, however, a one-off.

    Bonetto went on to design the extraordinary (and curiously named) Maserati 3500 GT ‘Tight’ for Boneschi in 1962, followed by the more appealing Boneschi OSCA 1600 GT ‘Swift’ in 1963.

    However, that was it for Bonetto and Boneschi, a company for which the early 1960s marked a turning point. The business of high-class coachwork was in terminal decline and the carrozzeria was forced to turn its attention to making buses, trucks and armoured vehicles. It even sank as low as making sanitary fittings. However, it did still make the occasional car, including a two-door version of the Lancia Thema in the 1980s, called the Gazella. Boneschi was eventually swallowed up by Carrozzeria Savio of Turin.
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    Rob Scorah
    1961 Bristol 406 £85,000

    This finely engineered gentleman’s express is one of just 174 built, and it’s in ready-to-enjoy condition, says Rob Scorah.

    The general condition of this Bristol’s deep maroon paint is very good – no bubbles or fading, though there are small chips near the filler cap and to the edge of the bonnet and doors, and light scratches to the top coat on the nearside wing. Alloy body panels look to be in fine shape – symmetrical side-to- side with consistent panel gaps. The opening wing laps that allow access to the spare tyre and battery sit completely lush when closed. Door jambs are clean and the underside of the car is very sound.

    Chrome is largely up to the standard of the paint, though that on the bonnet vent is dull and weathered. Also, the rubbers and brightwork of the windscreen and rear window surround show light cracks and a little distress. There’s rust in a couple of the screws of the radiator grille, though the deep surround itself, as well as the bumpers, look in fine fettle. There’s a little surface rust in the steel wheels’ recesses.

    Inside, the coupé again gives a good impression, looking generally well cared-for and maintaining a good balance between authenticity and ongoing upkeep.

    The grey leather is supple and retains its colour, and the maroon piping looks tidy. The sides of the front seats and headrests show some scuffing. Though handsome, the Moto-Lita steering wheel is not original. However, a correct-type example (not as good-looking) will also be supplied with the car.

    The wood trim, while largely intact and showing good grain, has lost its colour and lacquer in some places. This is mainly under the windscreen and around the rear edges of the quarterlights where the window opens. There are no signs of damage in the surrounding material. The dashboard itself is a deep rich brown. Floors are solid and interior fittings feel firm and function as they should.

    The engine bay has a workmanlike tidiness with everything in the right place and no signs of leaks or overheating. The comprehensive service history attests to five owners’ worth of diligent care. It includes handwritten letters from a garage (1976), many hefty invoices from Bristol specialist Spencer Lane Jones, plus records of a rear axle rebuild and an overhaul of the ‘one-shot’ lubrication system. Confirmed mileage now sits at 66,193.

    The clutch is light enough for one of these and, though the steering is heavy at parking speeds, it drives without sloppy tolerances in steering or suspension.

    The 2.2-litre pulls from low enough in the revs so as not to make town driving a rowing exercise, while cruising remains relaxed but flexible. Overdrive pops in and out very smoothly and decent acceleration is only a crisp gear throw away. Water temperature sits in the lower half of the gauge and oil pressure is on 60psi.
    There may be some negotiating room given those untidy details mentioned, but considering this example’s solid history, strong mechanicals and the scarcity of these cars, don’t expect to come too far south of the asking price.

    CHOOSE YOUR BRISTOL 404-407

    404 introduces hole-in-the-wall grille in 1953. Engine is a 1971cc six; 52 made. Longer wheelbase four-dour 405 Saloon arrives in 1954 – 265 of which are made – along with 43 405 Drophead Coupés, now highly collectable.

    Taking over from the 405 in 1957, the heavier 406 raised engine capacity to 2216cc. Body now steel rather than wood-framed; four-wheel disc brakes are standard it. In total 174 are built.

    1959 Earl’s Court Motor Show sees launch of quirkily styled, triple-carb 406 Zagato. Much lighter than regular 406s, only seven were made and now command double the price of the regular factory offering.

    406 replaced in 1961 by the Bristol 407, which looked similar but had a 5130cc Chrysler V8.


    TECHNICAL DATA FILE #1961-Bristol-406 / #1961 / #Bristol-406 / #Bristol

    Price £85,000
    Contact Old Timer Manchester (oldtimermanchester.com, 01944 758000)
    Engine 2216 inline-six, ohv
    Power 105bhp @ 4700rpm
    Torque 129lb ft @ 3000rpm
    Performance Top speed: 107mph; 0-60mph: 14sec
    Fuel consumption 15mpg
    Length 4978mm (196in)
    Width 1727mm (68in)

    Non-original wheel is well-matched to dashboard.
    Bristol six quickly settles into an even, rattle-free tickover.
    Some details require attention but all panels fit flush.
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    1961 #Mercedes-Benz 190 SL Ads on test (Buying) Price UK £124,995

    A matching-numbers 190 SL that’s crying out for a long drive following its recent US restoration, reckons Mike Le Caplain.

    This 190 SL’s previous owner imported it from Morristown, New Jersey a couple of years ago. The vendor bought it in 2015 before having it inspected by the Mercedes-Benz Club UK last August. Cross-referencing it with the original build sheet proved that it is a matching numbers car with all of its original body panels, though whether the hardtop is also original to the car has yet to be established. There are hundreds of photos of the restoration work carried out in the US within the thick history file and the car has been resprayed in its original special order blue (paint code DB-317).

    The bodywork is in excellent condition with few paint blemishes. The chip and hook-shaped scratch in the offside rear wing are the most obvious, but it takes a sharp eye to spot the near-invisible touched-in stone chip inside the nearside front wheelarch and the small paint run in the forward edge of the nearside rear wing. All will be rectified before sale.

    Minor pickling to the nearside front hubcap aside, the chrome is perfect including – amazingly – the stone guards ahead of the rear wheels, but the nearside rear reflector is loose. Tyres are matching deep-treaded Vredestein Sprint Classics, including the new-looking spare in the boot. The black-painted exhaust also looks new. Door and bonnet seals have yet to bed in – the doors in particular need a good slam for them to latch properly.

    The dark blue hood looks in fine order and the immaculate half-toneau has the correct fixing poppers, but no retainers for them to attach to on the rear deck. This will also be addressed before sale.

    The engine bay contains what appear to be original ‘Made In Western Germany’ and VIN plates. The original twin Solex 44PHH carburettors were replaced by twin Webers during the car’s restoration and are fed via braided hoses. The radiator shows no evidence of leaks and the battery is a new Deka. There’s a shallow thumb print-sized ding in one of the exhaust manifolds but the oil is clean and to maximum and all pipes and wires look sound.

    The most obvious flaws in the stylish interior are a curious smattering of marks on the inside of the driver’s side windscreen and some scuffing to the driver’s door card below the window winder. Delightful original details include cool chrome-rimmed translucent sun visors, self-parking wipers and a working Becker Mexico AM/FM radio, but the clock doesn’t appear to work and the speedometer glass is a little cloudy.

    The SL starts instantly and settles to a muted idle with no ominous exhaust smoke. It splutters a little and doesn’t run entirely cleanly, possibly as a result of its lack of recent use, but the gears engage smoothly and quietly and the brakes pull the car up straight and true. It will be tuned, serviced and MoT’d before sale.

    The price is on the high side, but the car’s overall condition would seem to justify it.

    CHOOSE YOUR 190 SL

    Prototype 190 SL debuts at the 1954 New York Auto Show. Production car appears in May 1955 on a shortened W121 180 saloon platform with new bonnet, bumpers, sidelights and radiator grille, and eyebrow trim over the rear wheelarches. Body options comprise a coupé with a detachable hardtop and a roadster with folding roof and optional hardtop. Engine is a 105bhp 1897cc M121 four-cylinder allied to a four-speed manual gearbox.

    Thicker cylinder head gasket (2mm compared to 1.5mm) fitted from April 1955. Pressed steel hardtop replaces aluminium original in February ‘1956 with a wider rear window from ’1959. Seat belt anchor points fitted from 1961. W113 Pagoda 230 SL replaces 190 SL in 1963.

    TECHNICAL DATA FILE #1961 / #Mercedes-Benz-W121 / #Mercedes-Benz-190SL / #Mercedes-Benz-190SL-W121 / #Mercedes-Benz / #1961-Mercedes-Benz-190SL / #Mercedes-Benz-SL / #Mercedes-Benz-SL-W121 / #Mercedes-Benz-190SL-Roadster-W121 / #Mercedes-Benz-190SL-Roadster-W121

    Price £124,995
    Contact Total Headturners (totalheadturners.com, 01992 827157)
    Engine 1897cc, ohc, inline fourcylinder
    Power 105bhp @ 5700rpm
    Torque 105lb ft @ 3200rpm
    Performance Top speed: 112mph; 0-60mph 11.7sec
    Fuel consumption 25mpg
    Length 4290mm
    Width 1740mm
    Quote £505 comprehensive, 3000 miles per year, garaged call: 0333 323 1181

    190 has retained its special order paint and comes with a detachable hardtop.
    Interior condition is almost perfect.
    Weber carburettors replaced original Solexes during US restoration.
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    / #1961 / #SAAB-96 Going Dutch on the #Saab / #SAAB

    Tyres on the wheels that transmit the power generally wear more quickly than those that simply hold up their end of the car. The difference is yet greater in a front-wheel-drive car, because the driving wheels also have to cope with directional changes and a nose-heavy weight distribution. So a front-driver’s rear tyres can last for a very long time.

    In the case of classic cars that cover fewer miles than an everyday modern, it can mean that rear tyres can still have plenty of tread even though they are ancient and their rubber thoroughly hardened.

    So, shortly after I bought my Saab 96 in Sweden in 2001 and drove it home, I replaced the very old, comically squealy Trelleborg Safe Ride crossplies with a set of Firestone F-560 radials, and never has a car been transformed so dramatically. The grip, the smoothness, the crispness of response… these skinny, humble radials were a revelation.

    Throughout the Noughties, the F-560 was a good-value tyre very popular among owners of classic cars. It looked quite ‘period’, and Firestone had itself a useful market niche. But when the front ones finally wore out, I discovered that Firestone no longer made them. It had abandoned the market.

    What could I do now? Pirelli and Michelin made the correctsize replacements in period designs, but they were very expensive. The solution? A pair of Vredestein Sprint Classics, which looked right, came from a fairly well-known Dutch tyre company and were very good value.

    These tyres seem to have taken over Firestone’s niche very effectively. You see them on many classic cars in many sizes, and they work well with good wet grip and a supple ride. Meanwhile I still had the old Firestones on the back wheels, and they seemed fine with no signs of perishing. It helps that the Saab is garaged, out of sunlight’s ultra-violet reach.

    However, the tyre industry is uneasy about the ability of its products to stay fully effective for more than about six years because of the possible degradation of the rubber, be that by perishing or just hardening. That’s the worst-case position, and tyres on classic cars kept in the dark should stay viable for longer, but a chat with a friend who just happens to work with Vredestein reminded me that the Saab’s rear tyres were now 15 years old. That’s too old.

    So a deal was done and the Saab now has four new Sprint Classics. It’s always nice when all four tyres are the same, rather than a mix of brands, and within yards of setting off from Dawson’s Tyre and Exhaust Centre in Bedford, the efficient fitting station where the truth and concentricity of the Saab’s 55-year-old steel wheels was observed with wonderment, it was obvious that those old Firestones had become very age-hardened. The Saab’s tail has turned from lightly jiggly to relaxingly supple.

    It feels terrific: agile, grippy, all-of- a-piece. We should hope that Vredestein finds the classic-cars niche a profitable one, because the demand for appropriate tyres at affordable prices must surely be strong. The company may expand its range if it thinks there’s a market, for example to include 155 R12, which would suit my Sunbeam Stiletto among many small 1960s and 1970s cars. As for the Vredestein company itself, it has come through two bankruptcies – the first when wholly Dutch-owned, the second under Russian ownership. Now it’s owned by Apollo Tyres of India. How the world order changes. I’m writing this immediately afer the Brexit vote. I fondly remember driving my newly bought Saab home from Sweden in 2001, waved through by customs on its Swedish plates despite my British passport.

    ‘That’s a nice car, look after it,’ said the Swedish passport officer. Having been bought in the EU, the Saab attracted neither import duty nor VAT. The free movement of classic cars between mainland Europe and the UK might be about to end, I fear.

    Clockwise from above Slippery Saab makes good use of 38bhp; floor mat needs anchoring properly; oldschool tyre shop fitted new Vredestein Sprint Classics; old steel wheels are in good shape.
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    CAR #Facel-Vega-HK500 / #Chrysler-383 / #Chrysler-V8 / #Facel-Vega /
    Year of manufacture #1961
    Recorded mileage 35,610
    Asking price £144,950
    Vendor DD Classics, Brentford, London; tel: 020 8878 3355; http://ddclassics.com

    WHEN IT WAS NEW
    Price £4740
    Max power 360bhp
    Max torque 425lb ft
    0-60mph 8.5 secs
    Top speed 131mph
    Mpg 12

    This HK500 looks to be just out of restoration and was at DD Classics’ new showroom off the Great West Road rather than the old premises behind Kew Gardens. A New York-supplied example – originally white with a black leather interior – it was in Alabama in 2008 and then restored in Europe. The last time we saw it was at RM Auctions’ Paris sale in February 2015, when it had done 35,563 miles. It arrived with DD recently, looking just as good but now sporting an alternator.

    The paint is lustrous – deep, consistent, even and just about flawless – and the side aluminium trims look new. The chrome is excellent, save a few polish marks, likewise the amazing cathedral tail-lights. The wire wheels appear new and the Goodrich tyres are recent, with a matching spare. The hide seems fresh and hardly used, plus the tan goes well with the metallic Royal Blue exterior. The carpets are new, too, and clean bar a couple of marks under the pedals. The painted veneer-effect aluminium dash is perfect – so convincing that it could even be a photoprint and wrap rather than brushwork. The quilted leather headlining is pristine, and the original His Master’s Voice pushbutton radio is still in place.

    There’s a new carburettor as well as the alternator, and boxed in the boot (even the fuel tank is quilted) are the dynamo and a pair of right-dipping headlights. The engine fluids are all clean and to the correct levels, while the automatic transmission fluid is clear and pink.

    The ‘wedge’ Chrysler 383cu in V8 starts easily and the push buttons engage the gears reliably, plus the autobox changes smoothly and kicks down when you request it, although the acceleration is good enough for modern traffic either way thanks to the massive torque. This one has power steering and the all-round disc brakes, though a bit heavy, work well. Oil pressure is 60psi and the coolant temperature is steady at 70ºC. The electric windows function and the MoT runs until July.

    SUMMARY

    EXTERIOR Excellent paint and chromework
    INTERIOR Like new; amazing dash finish
    MECHANICALS Only just restored so viceless; recent alternator upgrade, too
    VALUE 7/10
    For Style, in a better colour than it was originally; condition
    Against Keeping it that way; 12mpg

    SHOULD I BUY IT?
    No issues and pretty much on the money. You could have had it cheaper at auction last year but the importation has been done.
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