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    Tony Saggu
    / #1979-Citroen-2CV #Bonhams Greenwich / #1979 / #Citroen-2CV / #Citroen

    Greenwich, Connecticut June 3, 2018

    White with red fenders and vinyl rollback top; gray tweed seats. 435cc aircooled, opposed two-cylinder engine; single downdraft carb. Four-speed manual transmission, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes, four-wheel independent suspension. And for horsepower? An overwhelming 12 at 3,600 rpm, according to Bonhams (other sources state almost double that amount). Restored in 2008 to a high standard, this 2CV has good cosmetics inside and out, with very good paint, excellent glass and a well-trimmed cloth interior.

    You could open a good size museum containing only 2CV models and derivatives. Citroën made trucks, vans and pickups, as well as the Sahara, a 2CV with two motors providing primitive but effective 4WD. In all, over 3,500,000 2CVs were built; add those variants that were done on the 2CV platform, and that number balloons to over 8,500,000. The irst 2CVs — for deux chevaux, or two horses in French (for its 2 taxable bhp) — were made in France in 1948; the inal ones were assembled in 1990. In the interim, they were manufactured in an amazing variety of countries. Even though the market for beach cars from the 1960s is hot (Fiat Jollys and Mini Mokes come to mind), the minimalist 2CV hasn’t been swept up in that tidal surge.

    Selling at less than nine grand against an estimated range of $15,000 to $20,000, this was une incroyable affaire, an incredible deal for the buyer.

    SOLD AT $8,960
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    ‘SUMMER DREAMIN'

    Keith has resolved to make the most of the summer with his Citroen, but before he can do that he needs to retrieve if from Cumbria.

    LIVING WITH CLASSICS

    Our tales from the driveway, garage and out on the open road
    OWNED SINCE March 2017
    MILEAGE SINCE LAST REPORT 1500
    TOTAL MILEAGE 94,020
    LATEST COSTS £40 (MoT and bits ‘n’ bobs)

    Keith Adams Contributor

    CAR #1979-Citroen-GS-Pallas / #1979 / #Citroen-GS-Pallas / #Citroen-GS / #Citroen / HLP 875V

    After a quiet winter and spring resting up in Cumbria, I decided it was time to ready the car for a summer of classic shows - and its first appearance at the Hagerty Insurance Festival of the Unexceptional. That’s easier said than done, when the car is at one end of the country, and you’re at the other - but in any opportunity for a long drive in one of my classics is an opportunity to be relished.

    I’d had the car MoT’d the week before by my classic-friendly tester (Mill Garage, Frizington) and it passed without advisories.

    My plan was simple - to get up before sunrise, jump into the GS, and drive it so I could then do a full day’s work. I would be helped by the fact the drive would be taking place on the summer solstice, and that a 260-mile commute from my home in West Cumbria to Peterborough in a #Citroen GS should be a joy from start to finish.

    At 4.30am I climbed in, belted up, turned the key, and psyched myself up for the drive south. A couple of minutes later, the first sliver of sun crested the horizon, I waved goodbye to the barn, and headed towards the A66. Settling into a 60mph cruise in the GS, what struck me is why on earth I don’t do this more often - getting up early to drive your favourite car on quiet roads is something every petrolhead should do on a regular basis.

    The roads were empty, and as the sun brightened, I got on with the business of enjoying myself. The GS was in its element - singing away at 4000-5000rpm, and wafting in a way that no car this small has any right to.

    The problem with this as a drive is that there’s no bad story to tell. GS and I managed to avoid the usual A1 traffic delays - and for once, Traffic England managed to keep all of it open. By the time I rolled into CCWs Peterborough office at 9am, I was fresh, happy, and ready for work. I’m not sure any other comparable 1970s saloon could have managed that feat as well. I love my GS, and in my ever-changing fleet, it feels like this one is the keeper.

    Downsides? None really, other than the fuel consumption, which averaged 25mpg. But it’s a small price to pay. It’s now at


    my place near work, sharing the drive with another Citroen - a gorgeous #Citroen-CX20-Pallas .

    Did we make it to the Hagerty Insurance Festival of The Unexceptional? Of course it did - and as I drove through the gates of Stowe School, I was honoured to be directed to display it right at the front of the pack.

    Even better news was that I met with Chris Salter, the guy I bought the GS from. I’d picked it up sight unseen, and even more unusually, I’d never met Chris face-to-face, concluding the deal via email. He was delighted to see his car again, his enthusiasm reinforcing what it is so magical about my GS... it’s going to be a great summer!

    Keith catches up with his Citroen's former keeper, Chris saiter.
    Ready for the longest commute Keith has done in a long time - he relished every moment.
    GS currently shares the same drive as a CX.
    Roads to himself (well, it is 6am...).

    'I love my GS, and in my ever-changing fleet, it feels like this one is the keeper'
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    CAR: #Ferrari-512BB / #Ferrari-512 / #Ferrari / #1979-Ferrari-512BB / #Berlinetta-Boxer / #Ferrari-BB / #Ferrari-Berlinetta-Boxer

    Year of manufacture #1979
    Recorded mileage 15,811
    Asking price £325,000
    Vendor Foskers, Brands Hatch, Kent; tel: 01474 874555; www.foskers.com

    WHEN IT WAS NEW
    Price £35,100 (1980)
    Max power 355bhp
    Max torque 333lb ft
    0-60mph 5.5 secs
    Top speed 172mph
    Mpg 14

    This very sharp Boxer was supplied by Maltins of Henley, its warranty card is signed by Innes Ireland and the door shut bears John Surtees’ signature. Circa 2004, at only 15,500 miles, it was taken apart by its owner – then stayed in bits until Foskers collected the kit in 2015 and reassembled it. Which means that the mileage, confirmed by old MoTs, is genuine.

    It had been resprayed when Foskers acquired it, and it was rebuilt with refinished suspension components, new consumables including dampers plus brake pipes, and the original leather, which was hardly worn. The result is almost like a new one, with perfect paint. The alloys are slightly crazed under the new finish, and a perfectionist might do them again. They’re shod with undated XWXs with cracking sidewalls, which could be the originals. Inside, the headlining and dash top are perfect, the seats only lightly used and the carpets look new, though they’re probably the factory items.

    The motor was stripped, inspected and rebuilt at a cost of £7500 by specialist Bob Houghton in 2004, and has covered almost zero miles since. Unusually for one of these, there are no leaks or stains around the carbs. The fuel pipes and plug leads are new; exhausts are fresh stainless steel.

    You never tire of looking down the valley of the front wings past that amazing pantograph wiper. Two pumps and it catches almost as soon as it whirrs over. It’s unintimidating to drive, with a relatively easy gearchange.

    Once warm, temperature settles at 175ºF and holds steady when parked, though it doesn’t like to idle for long. Remarkably, it starts easily from hot, too. Oil pressure is just under 70psi with a little more at revs, the aircon tries its best and both electric windows worked when we left Scratcher’s Lane, though the right switch is intermittent. The slight steering play goes on the move, the brakes are firm and pull up straight – but the best bit is opening it up through the gears and enjoying that mighty flat-12 sound.

    It will come with the original books, jack, spacesaver and new MoT plus three-month warranty and fresh tyres – not to drive this marvellous old dinosaur would be a waste, but the old Michelins will be saved for concours.

    SUMMARY

    EXTERIOR Perfect, superbly resprayed in #Blu-Dino-Metallizzato
    INTERIOR Factory fresh and barely worn
    MECHANICALS Few miles on rebuilt motor

    VALUE ★★★★★★★✩✩✩
    For Like a new one, and goes like it
    Against The alloys, if you’re picky

    SHOULD I BUY IT?

    Foskers can’t understand why no one has, because it must be an almost unique propostion. Not the priciest 512BB on the market, but still only half as much as a Daytona.
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    / Bonhams Festival of Speed / #1979 / #BMW-E26 / #BMW-M1 / #BMW-M1-E26 / #BMW

    Another high-end model with pricing to match – the M1 has moved a long way from the £50k examples that were kicking around relatively unloved 15 years ago. This example had originally been painted orange but was repainted white shortly after its manufacture when it was imported to the UAE. It was sold in 1987 to its second (and current) owner who cherished it in California before sending it over to the UK. Over £300k was in-line with Bonham’s £280-£320k pre-sale estimate.

    SOLD FOR: £303,900
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    IN THE LAP OF LUXURY GERMAN

    Ultra-plush, ultra-rare, ultra-cool E23 L7 on air. Achingly cool and visually awesome, this bagged E23 L7 really is a thing of beauty. Words: Elizabeth de Latour. Photos: Faiz Rahman.
    LAYING LOW Air-ride E23 L7

    Old cars are cool. Just take a look at the number of E30s, E28s and E34s that are cropping up on the BM scene all around the globe. These are all cars that look great as standard, and just a few simple mods are all that’s required to get the head-nodding seal of approval wherever you may go. However there is life beyond the well-worn paths of the E30 and E28 and there are numerous treasures nestling in BMW’s back catalogue that serve as excellent candidates for some thoroughly modern modifications, and you’re looking at one of them right now.

    Regular readers may recognise the name Darren Hattingh because back in the June 2015 issue we featured his supercharged E38 740iL, and what a fine machine it was. Now the man with the 7 Series penchant is back with his latest creation, and it’s a modern twist on a classic that is most definitely not a regular on the scene. “Ever since seeing pictures of my dad after he brought home his E23 I’ve wanted one for myself,” says Darren. “He’s had every body shape Seven up to the E66, but the E23 and E38 have always made me double-take! The thing that really draws my attention to the E23 is the shark nose, I love the way it encapsulates the grilles, and the staggered headlights have such a presence about them.”

    He’s certainly not wrong. The E23 is a fantastic-looking car with a distinctive design that really sets it apart from its contemporaries and really makes it stand out on the road. E23s aren’t exactly easy to come by, though, but fortunately for Darren he just so happens to have a friend who is as keen on Sevens as he is. “My buddy Stephen owned the car previously, and he and I traded cars: my E32 750iL for his E23 L7.

    The condition of the car was very well used, which was perfect for me. It made changing almost every aspect of an already rare car easier and the day I saw Stephen pull up in the car, I instantly had a completed concept in mind of how I wanted it to look,” he says.

    Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, just what on earth is the L7? In E23 speak it means luxury, which is what we assume the L stands for. That includes a leather dashboard and leather in place of the wood trim on the doorcards, a powered glass sunroof, electric everything and BMW’s first ever driver’s airbag, which results in a massive steering wheel. Seriously, it’s massive. So, the American-market exclusive L7 is basically an ultra-luxurious and extremely rare version of an already rare and luxurious car. It’s an E23 but more.

    So, with his hands on an E23 Darren was ready to start modifying according to his plan, and that plan involved air. “Currently the L7 has a fully custom built Air Lift air ride suspension setup, with Air Lift V2 management.” Keeping classic static is cool, but bagging them is even better and judging by the result of this pairing we can safely say that air and E23 go together like toast and jam. That long, sharkey 7 Series shape looks so good slammed into the ground, and it really does go outrageously low.

    But mad lows alone aren’t enough, you’ve got to get the right wheels to go with your drop and here Darren has absolutely nailed it. “The wheels are Impul Silhouettes,” he explains. “I chose these wheels because of the period correctness of the style, the fact that they are functional, and of course their rarity. I honestly didn’t consider any other wheels because I knew I had to have these to complete the concept I had in mind.”


    Trying to pair the right wheels to a car like the E23 is a lot like trying to match the right wine to a particularly complex dish – in isolation both could be brilliant but bring them together and it could all go wrong. The fact that Darren didn’t even consider a classic cross-spoke is laudable and we wager that the Silhouette is not a wheel many people with a BM of this vintage would have floating around at the forefront of their brains as a go-to wheel choice. But we’re so very glad that it was the only choice for Darren. On paper, a full-face, arguably motorsport-themed wheel would seem like an odd choice for a classic luxury cruiser and, having had a gander on Google, it’s not an instant win on every car it’s applied to but here, against all odds, it looks absolutely killer.


    On the chassis front, beyond that custom air-ride setup, Darren has also completely rebuilt the steering system, adding E24 and E28 polybushes and there’s also a Bavarian Auto front strut brace.

    As far as styling goes, this E23 is definitely a looker but at first glance you might not be able to put your finger on exactly what it is that’s making you feel so right about looking for so long, but once you start picking apart the details you realise that Darren has put in a huge amount of work… but work that only true aficionados will be able to appreciate: “I wanted to keep the styling of the car very subtle, almost to the point where you can’t really tell what has been changed.” Well, mission accomplished as far as we’re concerned!

    “My buddy Stephen converted the nose and rear bumper to Euro spec while he briefly owned the car. I added the E38 front bumper, which was problematic as I had to design and weld up a frame that mounted the E38 bumper reinforcement to the factory E23 bumper shocks. I also fitted rear Euro quarter trim, ’1979 E23 chrome mirrors and Formuling Wind Splitters,” which might possible be the best name for anything we’ve ever heard. In case you’re wondering, those are the CSL Batmobile-style fins that sit on the front wings either side of the bonnet.


    The high beams have been given the classic French look and are now actually foglamps, with Darren converting the dipped beam housings to a bi-xenon setup and there are new old stock front grilles keeping things period and fresh. The changes are subtle, almost to the point of being invisible just as Darren planned, but together they really do make a big difference in terms of how the E23 looks, giving it a smoother, more dynamic appearance that you’re definitely unlikely to see anywhere else, anytime soon.


    If you find all that a bit too subtle for your liking, don’t worry, because the interior is where things get wild. Being an L7, everything is covered in leather and the distant mooing of the ghosts of the cows that gave their lives for the greater good of upholstering this E23 can be heard drifting through the interior on a still summer’s evening. But more eyebrow elevating than even the concept of ghost cows is the fact that Darren has redone the entire interior himself. “The factory interior was dark grey carpet, light grey and dark grey leather,” he explains, which is clearly isn’t that anymore.


    “I wanted to keep the interior as factorylooking as possible because I love the factory styling of the L7, but I also wanted to bring it into modernity with the new leather and colour change while keeping the original stitch patterns and style. I did a complete interior tear down and makeover with new leather everywhere, including the seats, centre console, dashboard, pillars and headliner.”

    The colour, Darren tells us, is not red but Burnt Sienna Spice, a sort of orangey-brown hue that just happens to look very red in pictures but is awesome nevertheless. However, simply retrimming his entire interior wasn’t enough for a man like Darren and he’s gone all-out in here. The rear seats are now heated and there’s a rather sexy Italvolanti Formal steering wheel along with new old stock factory switches and custommade chrome door lock pulls: “I added 2000 E38 7 Series Sport Contour heated front seats, an E38 factory homelink, E38 PDC, completely keyless ignition with push button start/stop, and iPhone app control for remote start.”

    To drown out those ghost cows, the speakers have been upgraded to Harman Kardon items and there’s a Kenwood head unit supplying the soundtrack to E23 life. “All switches are housed in a custom panel that I made along with the V2 controller for the air-ride. The sound system has all-new wiring to each of the Harmon Kardon speakers as well as the head unit. I have done absolutely everything inside the interior myself by hand – leather, electrical and sound etc. The biggest issue I had was learning to sew leather seats and console parts and understanding BMW’s technique, all while not wasting the limited amount of leather I had to do everything”, he laughs.

    The ample boot houses the twin compressors and single matt black air tank, complete with chrome L7 emblem, mounted on snazzy custom wood flooring. The work that’s gone into creating this interior is really exceptional and the end result is utterly spectacular, the sort of interior you dream of doing. It’s what the cows would have wanted…


    The M30 nestling under the bonnet is a great engine that really suits the nature of the L7 and Darren is in full agreement there. “I really enjoy the M30’s subtle grunt and its great sewing machine noise while idling,” he says with a smile. While there are no plans to swap or change anything under the bonnet, he has carried out some work on the big six to ensure it’s operating at its very best. “The engine has simply been rebuilt and the internals have been set to factory specifications,” he explains. “I added a Dinan chip, M62TU injectors and an aftermarket fuel pressure regulator and ignition parts. After I converted to the M62TU injectors the car started to run rich, so I had to add an uprated MSD coil and build my own MSD spark plug wires so I could run more spark through the thicker wires to the late style Bosch Platinum 4 spark plugs.”

    Three years of work have resulted in Darren creating a marvellous machine and it has not only been a journey of discovery but a learning experience too and, if you can come out of a build having created a stunning car and are now able to trim an entire interior, well, that’s a job well done as far as we’re concerned.

    So complete is Darren’s L7, in fact, that the only thing left on his ‘to do’ list is a complete respray in Moonstone metallic, which is silver with a dash of pale frosty blue, that he says will happen eventually. But whilst this project may be all but complete it certainly won’t be his last. This is no surprise; what is a surprise is that his next build won’t be a 7 Series, with Darren fully committed to adding an E3 saloon, aka Bavaria, to his collection. Though really it’s a 7 Series in everything but name, being as it is the E23’s predecessor. While he hunts for one, though, Darren can enjoy the fruit of his labours and when that fruit is an L7, there’s a whole lot of enjoyment to be doing…

    TECHNICAL DATA FILE Air-ride #BMW-E23 / #BMW-L7 / #BMW-L7-E23 / #BMW / #BMW-7-Series / #BMW-7-Series-E23 / #M30 / #BMW-M30 / #Pro-Tuning-Lab / #BMW-7-Series-L7 / #1979 / #BMW-E23-Air-ride

    ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 3.4-litre straight-six #M30B34 , fully rebuilt with all new parts and gaskets, rebuilt cooling system, #Pro-Tuning-Lab fuel pressure regulator, #MSD ignition coils, MSD 9mm wires, M62TU injectors, #Dinan Chip, brand-new factory full two-piece exhaust system and Silverline tips, four-speed automatic gearbox

    CHASSIS 8x17” (front) and 9x17” (rear) Impul Silhouette wheels with 205/40 (front) and 215/40 (rear) Falken tyres, custom built #Air-Lift air-ride suspension, #Air-Lift-V2 management system, #Powerflex polyurethane bushes, factory BMW steering parts, Bavarian-Automotive strut brace

    EXTERIOR E38 front bumper, Euro front shark nose, Euro rear bumper, Euro rear quarter trim, new old stock Formuling Wind Splitters, Hella yellow French foglights in factory high beam location, bi-xenon high/low beams in main beam housings, xenon bulbs in the foglight housings, early E23 factory chrome mirrors

    INTERIOR Complete interior tear down and makeover in Burnt Sienna Spice leather on centre console, dashboard, A/B/C pillars, rear parcel shelf, front seats, rear seats, headlining, sunroof panel, doorcards, door arm rest pulls, glovebox, driver lower dash, new old stock Italvolanti Formal steering wheel, E38 Contour front seats, heated rear seat kit, Harman Kardon speakers, Kenwood head unit, new old stock factory switches and custom-made chrome door lock pulls, E38 factory front under seat fuse panel placed in boot for air-ride system, custom wood flooring in boot, twin compressors, single air tank, E38 boot cargo net and rubber grips, re-wrapped leather bootlid liner to match the interior


    THANKS Firstly a big thank you to Stephen Sayer for bringing the L7 into my life, as well as connecting me with the air-ride system, Italvolanti (through Rennstall), and the Impul Silhouettes, Timothy Polljonker at Bavarian Retro Classics for the hookup on difficult to find Euro trim pieces, Jason McAllister for, once again, bringing his amazing skills to the paint and bright work, Mark and Carlson for helping me grab and store the E38 front seats, my wife, Alyssa, for dealing with my late nights cutting out leather for the interior, and my mother in law Janet for helping me learn to sew complicated patterns

    “I really enjoy the M30’s subtle grunt and its great sewing machine noise while idling”
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    17 YEARS TO LIFE
    While Mike kept busy building a reputation as a rotang builder, his Series 1 RX-7 sat in the corner of the workshop, waiting patiently. No fewer than four engine swaps and 15 years’ worth of development later, it now lives life as a 20B-powered award-winner.

    Good things take time, and, sometimes, you need to try four different engines in the hole before stumbling on a winning combination. Words: Jaden Martin. Photos: Adam Croy.

    / #1979 #Mazda-RX-7-Series-1 (Savanna) 296bhp / #Mazda-RX-7 / #Mazda / #Mazda-Savanna / #Mazda-Savanna-RX-7 / #Mazda-RX-7-S-1 / #Mazda-RX-7-SA22C / #Mazda-SA22C /

    Time waits for no man, let alone his project car. A fickle concept, time — the lack thereof means cutting corners or simply never completing a build, and an abundance can lead to overexposure of a good thing. Everyone uses their time differently, and it takes true dedication to embark on a long-term project. Mike Fitzgerald’s own tango with time saw a project that was only ever meant to be a simple engine conversion rapidly turn into an award-winning street car in only 17 years.

    A keen fan of all things rotary, Mike has spent a good chunk of his years crafting a reputation as a skilled Wankel builder beneath the dim glow of fluorescent light-fittings in a Tauranga industrial-zone factory and, in that time, has, unsurprisingly, owned nearly every variation within Mazda’s RX family tree. After a quick succession of RX-2s, RX-3s, and multiple generations of RX-7s, he longed for the sleek ’80s styling of a Series (S) 1 RX-7, which is not only a great platform for a quick streetlegal track car but also one that has a long racing pedigree.

    On the hunt for a clean enough example that wouldn’t demand a Reserve Bank’s worth of dollars, he knew the trick is to avoid rust-plagued shells and find a hearty runner.

    So, when it popped up cheap, Mike snapped up this example for a steal and quickly got to work recreating the vision in his head. It now sports all the right aero protrusions that you’d expect from a car of the era. Inspired heavily by the factory Group C machines of the past, he chose to use the iconic front bumper and rear spoiler, with a modern twist through custom fibreglass dual-headlight pods and an RX-7 S3 rear bumper.

    This original incarnation saw the RX-7 driven around for two years with a simple lick of Supersonic Blue Pearl paint and 12A bridgeport under the bonnet, before, eventually, it was torn down with the grand intention to convert it to a 13B.

    During the Group C days, this was a controversial upgrade for the originally 12A-powered chassis, but it has since become a common choice for power-seekers. Mike’s plan would go one better, adding a nasty little snail on the side. But alas, this grand plan didn’t eventuate — time ticked by, and Mike had to make sacrifices while busy building other engines and cars for customers.


    The RX-7 went untouched for five years while he chipped away at other things. He accumulated parts and built all sorts of gnarly packages, none of which made its way into his own project, until the perfect naturally aspirated (NA) 13B engine with an IDA was built, ready to be dropped into the car. This was it, he thought, the car would finally be whole again. Unfortunately, that was not to be the case. A customer strolled in and made an offer that couldn’t be refused — as the old saying goes, money talks.

    It wasn’t all bad, though, as the urge in him to build the original turbo package was strong, and he promptly began prepping a JC 13B for a bit of snail-powered goodness. This one even made it into the engine bay before being ripped back out, rebuilt, and sold to yet another customer. However, perhaps that was never meant to be, as, after a bit of thought, planning, and a stroke of luck, Mike stumbled across his holy grail of engine options: a JC Cosmo 20B.

    The import engine was snapped up in a heartbeat, as he’d always loved the sound they made and the idea of shoehorning a three-rotor into the RX-7’s small frame. The tango with time had paid off, and Mike decided that binning the twin-turbo set-up in favour of a raspy NA note was the best way to go: “The 20B makes so much power with a turbo [that] they almost become undriveable. I wanted a fast, reliable package that could be street driven with ease and [would be] a weapon on the track.” A wise choice indeed, as we enjoyed the sensual sounds we heard as the car arrived at the photo shoot.

    The newly selected engine underwent a full freshen-up before it was slotted into its home inside the RX-7’s engine bay. The plates received a mild bridgeport to open up some flow for the street, and the worn old rotors were ditched in favour of new high compression S5 items with MFR rotor bearings and a freshly polished E-shaft. The conservatively built engine makes for a fast reliable street car that can and does get driven hard and is anything but a trailer queen, regularly making the trip from Tauranga to Manfeild and Hampton Downs — it also maintains summer driving duties when the weather plays ball.

    In the suspension department, there’s a custom Bilsteinshock- and-King-spring combination. But, most important, when it comes to putting power to the ground, what would a rotary be without a set of classic Simmons wheels? Typical of the era’s show-car style, the Silver 17-inch FR17s are seven inches and 8.5 inches wide, shod in the ever-popular Potenza RE002s, while, lurking behind the classic five-spoke design, are 310mm rotors gripped by Wilwood Superlite four-pot calipers up front and S3 calipers down back.

    The clean theme extends to the interior, which looks as if it’s rolled straight off the factory floor, thanks to an impressively tidy retrim. The original dash is devoid of any factory instrumentation and, instead, has been fitted with a Dash2 Pro electronic dash that displays all the car’s vitals via a Link G4+ Extreme. As for driver input, a Momo steering wheel, custom-fitted Tilton pedal box, and D1 Spec gear knob that leads down to the Mazda RX-7 S4 turbo five-speed all keep things in check.

    The man behind MRT Racing, Mike has completed practically every component from the wiring to the fabrication and rebuilding of numerous parts. Of course, no good build would be without the help of a few mates, and he also credits the final product to taking his time — although it may be a lot longer than most are willing to spare — and changing his mind a lot to get the very best from each stage of the build. A statement we don’t doubt, as he claimed two awards at REunion for best engine conversion and best engine bay — this is a car very much worthy of such accolades.

    The three-rotor 20B was only available in the 1990-’1995 Eunos Cosmo and was the world’s first volume-produced twin-turbo set-up, but Mike opted for running his NA to achieve the sensual sounds of rotary goodness.

    SHOES
    WHEELS: (F) 17x7-inch Simmons FR17, (R) 17x8.5-inch Simmons FR17
    TYRES: (F) 215/40R17 Bridgestone Potenza RE002, (R) 245/40R17 Bridgestone Potenza RE002
    PERFORMANCE
    POWER: 220kW at the rear wheels

    HEART
    ENGINE: #Mazda-Cosmo-JC-20B / #Mazda-Cosmo-JC / #Mazda-Cosmo / #Mazda-Cosmo-20B , 2000cc, three-rotor
    BLOCK: Mild bridgeported JC plates, S5 rotors (9.7:1), MFR bearings, polished E-shaft, S6 exhaust sleeves, modified oiling system, Racing Beat adjustable regulator
    INTAKE: #X-Air-Performance over-the-radiator (OTR) panel intake, four-inch alloy intake pipe, 20B throttle body, port-matched intake manifold
    EXHAUST: Two-inch three-piece headers, long primaries into three-inch collector, V-band clamp three-inch pipe, urethane mounts, Adrenalin R chambered resonator and eight-inch three-pass stainless muffler
    FUEL: Custom 60-litre alloy drop tank, 1.5-litre surge tank, three Russell highflow fuel filters, Mallory 110 lift pump, Proflow 500hp (373kW) electronic-fuel-injection (EFI) main pump, Teflon braided line, XRP and Speedflow fittings, fuel-pressure regulator, custom fuel rails, S5 turbo primary and 20B secondary fuel injectors
    IGNITION: #NGK plugs, MSD HT leads, six #Bosch coils, three two-channel ignition modules
    ECU: Link G4+ Extreme tuned by Dtech Motorsport
    COOLING: Toyo Racing S5 alloy radiator, alloy overflow tank, S4 oil cooler, electric water pump, electric fan, 20B oil-metering pump
    EXTRA: Stripped engine bay, strengthened steering box, custom diagonal engine mounts, baffled sump, side-mounted alternator, Nascar carbon breather tank, custom alloy radiator shroud, heat shields, washer tank

    SUPPORT
    STRUTS: Bilstein shocks, King springs
    BRAKES: Tilton pedal box, Tilton master cylinders, L300 reservoir; (F) Wilwood Superlite four-pot calipers, 310mm rotors, Wilwood Polymatrix street/ track pads; (R) Mazda RX-7 S3 calipers, standard rotors
    EXTRA: Nolathane bushing kit

    DRIVELINE
    GEARBOX: Rebuilt Mazda RX-7 S4 turbo five-speed, shortened gear-shift remote, and short-shifter
    CLUTCH: Xtreme Motorsport kit
    FLYWHEEL: Xtreme chromoly 10-pound
    DIFF: S3 RX-7 LSD (4.4:1)
    OTHER: 64mm driveshaft, custom driveshaft Hoops

    Often overlooked, the interior makes a point of appearing as if it were still in the dealer’s showroom, with reupholstered factory trim in black marine vinyl along with grey cloth inserts, a new rear carpet, and refurbished plastics The custom fibreglass dualheadlight pods put a modern twist on an old classic, replacing the pop-up option it originally came with.

    DRIVER PROFILE

    DRIVER/OWNER: Mike Fitzgerald
    AGE: 45
    LOCATION: Tauranga
    OCCUPATION: Automotive engineer
    BUILD TIME: 15 years
    LENGTH OF OWNERSHIP: 17 years
    THANKS: Lance at RS Automotive; Grant at Penrose Motors; Dave, Mark, and Tony at Dtech Motorsport; Shane Hazelden Engineering; mates Josh Sargent, Andrew Daly, and Derek Jensen; Toby at GSS Performance; Noel at Nostalgia Motors; Reece at Regal Upholstery; Adrenalin R; Ronnie at RSL Automotive Performance; and Toby at BOP Polishers.

    EXTERIOR
    PAINT: Supersonic Blue Pearl
    ENHANCEMENTS: RX-7 S3 rear bumper, Group C front and rear spoilers, alloy bash plates, custom fibreglass headlight pods, registration-light delete
    INTERIOR
    SEATS: Factory
    STEERING WHEEL: Momo
    INSTRUMENTATION: Dash2 Pro electronic dash,
    ICE: Pioneer DEH-X head unit, Lanzar DC 64 pro-series front components, twin Pioneer 12-inch 800-watt-max subwoofers, Pioneer Class A amplifier
    EXTRA: Reupholstered factory interior in black marine vinyl with grey cloth inserts, new rear carpet, refurbished plastic trims, modified steering-box mounts
    PERFORMANCE
    POWER: 296bhp / 220kW at the rear wheels
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    CAR #Aston-Martin-V8-Volante 7 LITRE / #Aston-Martin-V8-Volante-7.0 / #Aston-Martin-V8 / #Aston-Martin / upgraded motor to 7003cc, from 5340cc
    Year of manufacture #1979
    Recorded mileage 67,080
    Asking price £195,500
    Vendor Aston Sales Kensington; tel: 020 7985 0111; www.astonkensington.com

    WHEN IT WAS NEW
    Price £33,864
    Max power 310bhp
    Max torque 320lb ft
    0-60mph 6.7 secs
    Top speed 140mph
    Mpg 11.8

    This PoW-fronted Volante jumped out at us because the price didn’t look greedy, especially when you take the expensively upgraded motor (to 7003cc, from 5340) and appropriate registration into account. It turns out to have been a former C&SC cover star, too, from May 2011.

    The V8 was rebuilt by RS Williams from the original block at 56,000 miles in 2002, roughly contemporary with when the bodywork was restored with new sills plus outriggers and the colour changed from the factory gold to Balmoral Green. It also had a new rear bumper at about that time, and some of the bills around 2007 are from Zurich.

    The paint is still good overall, with a few minor stone chips around the nose and one small scratch on top of the right front that would probably polish out. There are tiny bubbles under the quarterlights, which is normal. The alloys are unscuffed, shod with well-treaded Turbosteels, ditto for the spare, which retains its remote inflation tube. The exhaust appears to be fairly fresh from the downpipes back and the rear dampers look recent.

    Inside, the leather is the original with some character, the carpets look new and the veneers are mint bar one small crack in the centre console. It starts instantly, with a sharper bark than standard and you feel the more urgent acceleration from the big motor. The steering has a nice weight, and the gearchanges are smooth with a responsive kickdown.


    The brakes are very much of their era, but once past the initial shove they get the job done. Oil pressure is at least 60psi, coolant about 90ºC and the oil-temperature needle barely moves in London traffic. Everything works, including the hood, windows and even the aircon – eventually. The Aston will be sold with a handbook, spare keys, extensive history file detailing the works done and including the original guarantee sheet – plus the registration number, the value of which will be in five figures. It will come with a new ticket, after a trip through ASK’s workshops.

    SUMMARY

    EXTERIOR Excellent overall, with just a few small stone chips
    INTERIOR Original leather; all very good
    MECHANICALS Strong, sorted and 7 litres

    VALUE 5

    For Old school; plenty of prod
    Against Like owning the Forth rail bridge; you get to one end and…

    SHOULD I BUY IT?

    If you’re going to have one of these, this is probably the model to go for; it’s more discreet than Vantage and X-pack cars that cost much more.
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