‘These two are very im­por­tant to me. In their own ways, they are both iconic’

1966 As­ton Martin DB6, 1991 Baja RE ‘elec­tric’ 125cc rick­shaw

Practical Classics (UK) - - YOUR CARS - David Walker, New For­est, Hants

Two cars, both from very dif­fer­ent worlds…

'They are both great fun to own and use though, but for com­pletely dif­fer­ent rea­sons. I don’t re­ally have many valu­able lux­u­ries in my life; I’m too busy to re­ally en­joy them for a start, but these two are both very im­por­tant to me for very dif­fer­ent rea­sons. In their own way, they are iconic, but that isn’t why I have them.'

So why do you have them?

'Well the As­ton is very sim­ple. I wanted a car like James Bond’s. The Tuk-tuk was a more sen­ti­men­tal pur­chase. My wife, Liz, and I got en­gaged at the Taj Ma­hal and we went ev­ery­where dur­ing that hol­i­day by rick­shaw. When we got mar­ried, our wed­ding car was this auto rick­shaw. I’ll never sell it.'

How did you get it?

'I bought it via ebay. It orig­i­nally came from a mu­seum in Hol­land be­fore be­ing im­ported to Birm­ing­ham by some­one who wanted to start a busi­ness us­ing them as taxis. It has a 125cc mo­tor­bike en­gine and is one of the last built in Delhi as a petrol rick­shaw be­fore they went over to LPG.'

And the wed­ding?

'We were mar­ried in the Kent coun­try­side and the rick­shaw was per­fect. After the wed­ding I drove it on lo­cal trips for a while – huge fun. The hand­starter is tough to use though. That’s why there is still a can of Easys­tart in there. It’s bril­liant and I know sev­eral places in the UK have tried to use them as taxis with­out suc­cess, yet. It is in the en­trance hall at my house now, pre­served.'

So, the As­ton Martin DB6…

'I bought it from a web­site that spe­cialised in As­tons, and I got the DB6 be­cause back then they were still af­ford­able (just). DB5S were al­ready out of reach but this DB6 was the right colour, and be­ing an auto which needed a lit­tle bit of work, it was also the right price. I had the op­por­tu­nity to buy a DBS V8 as well for very lit­tle. But I couldn’t jus­tify buy­ing two As­tons at the same time. If I had had a crys­tal ball I would have jumped at it, given the way prices have gone.'

What have you done to it since?

'I have put a man­ual gear­box in, had a power steer­ing rack fit­ted to aid park­ing and had some work done on the in­te­rior. The head­rests were made from scratch but ex­actly to pe­riod spec­i­fi­ca­tion by two brothers. One made the frame the other trimmed it… but sadly they aren’t work­ing to­gether any­more. A shame be­cause they are a work of art.'

So, which is best?

'Both are such great fun. But nowa­days, on bal­ance the As­ton is more of a proper propo­si­tion as a daily driver, now that it has the power steer­ing and five-speed box. Say­ing that I am work­ing so

hard at the mo­ment that I don’t get enough of a chance to use it prop­erly. Lack of use means that it has be­come more un­re­li­able and that makes me less in­clined to use it. I might pause for a few years and put it next to the rick­shaw some­where I can at least look at it every day. Then, when life is less busy, I’ll bring it back to front­line ser­vice.'

ABOVE Tuk-tuk in its wed­ding fin­ery.

ABOVE LEFT New As­ton in­te­rior is sub­lime.


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