‘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
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.
CARS OF THE MONTH