Preconceptions are there to be challenged, and sometimes commitment has to be tested
Aston DB5, Ferrari 250 GT Lusso, Maserati Sebring – words loaded with the promise of fast road adventures, destination somewhere special, journey even more so. Imagine swinging open a pair of garage doors, flicking on the light and seeing any one of these visions of luxury travel sketched out in steel, chrome and aluminium over glittering multi-cylinder engines, each topped with a brace of camshafts.
Heady stuff for the early Sixties; even more so today when aspiration for them has been burnished by decades of adulation. It made us wonder how deserved they are when tested to their limits, as their makers intended in that far-off world of the early Sixties.
It’s fascinating to énd out, but if our pick of the bunch leaves you a few hundred thousand short of making the dream come true you’ll énd our glamorous, alternative grand touring choices more accessible and no less life-enriching to own.
The rewards of classic car ownership manifest themselves in so many ways, but it might be hard to see the upside of receiving that dreaded phone call from your restorer. The one that starts, ‘You’d better come and see this.’ When Wayne Fitzgerald discovered that his Bentley 3½ Litre had a broken crankshaft and a horriécally-bent chassis hidden beneath convincingly lashed-together bodywork he could have given up. It would have been more cost effective to have sold up and moved on. Instead he sanctioned a detailed restoration to bring this elegant drop head coupé up to the condition it deserved. And despite enlisting professionals, he couldn’t resist getting stuck in personally. Now that’s commitment.
The outcome is a stunning car and the satisfaction that such a mess has been rescued. And a story that Wayne can recount to anyone interested. We’re particularly grateful for the last bit Wayne, and hope you’re out there somewhere in Australia, touring grandly in Thirties style.
Enjoy the issue.
The Ferrari, Aston and Maserati promise the ultimate in Sixties grand touring capability. Do they really deliver?
Phil Bell, editor