Precon­cep­tions are there to be chal­lenged, and some­times com­mit­ment has to be tested

Classic Cars (UK) - - Contents -

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

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