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SEAT 600 is 50 – but how about the 800?

Seat 600 is 50 – but how about the 800?
It was last weekend, at Techno Classica in Essen, that the world was made aware of the SEAT 600’s 50th anniversary. Congratulations! It may have taken a while before production of the Spanish Fiat sibling took off (100,000 mile stone reached after 5 years only), but once the Spaniards had taken their national baby in their arms, things started to move rapidly. The factory in Barcelona pumped out hundreds of thousands of them, and the model is now considered Spain’s people’s car that put the country on the road after the Civil War. And it was not just Spain. They exported them throughout the rest of Europe – and ahead.

Up to 1973 no less then 797.319 SEAT 600s were made. Some were more equal than others. This gorgeous Estate by coachbuilder Savio, for example. Or how about the SEAT 800, seen above? A stretched version of the 600 with lengthened wheelbase and two extra (suicide) doors. It remained the sole four-door model of the 600. Remarkable, now that Fiat is extending their current 500 range to extremities unseen before

(Words Jeroen Booij, pictures SEAT PR)

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

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Daytona stolen and torched ‘by accident’

Daytona stolen and torched ‘by accident’
A unusual car theft took place in Melbourne, Australia, on 6 November 2015. Yes, that’s over a year ago. But it’s only now that the thieves made it to court. The duo (32 and 31 years old) said to have been after a Nissan Skyline, but couldn’t get what they wanted once they’d managed to enter a workshop in Braeside. And so, they decided to take two Ferraris instead. A 328 of 1986-vintage, but also a 1972 Ferrari Daytona that is said to have formerly been owned by Dodi Al Fayed as well as Pink Floyd singer Roger Waters. It was auctioned at Christie's in 2004 - more here. Both of the Ferraris were found shortly after the theft – both torched (here and here). It's unknown whether they are restorable. Both sides of the Daytona seem in a very sorry state.

The crooks have been brought to court now. And not for the first time, as they had been convicted for several more crimes, including stealing a set of number plates, a Toyota and a Kia plus money from two Subway stores. One of the two men had spent eight of his past nine years in custody, while the other is claimed to have chronic adjustment disorder brought on by long-term drug use and a dysfunctional upbringing. One of their spokesmen said: “Both offenders had no idea what to do with them when they were in possession of them”. “So they burnt them”, the Judge replied. His decision has yet to be made but it is said the theives cannot be sentenced for the vandalizing of the cars. Until then the pair is held in custody.

(Words Jeroen Booij, picture ABC)

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

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Mini Remastered. Really?

Mini Remastered. Really?
After the MGB a while back, the Range Rover a month or two ago and the Jaguar E-type last week, the classic Mini is now next to be revamped. But where the Jag and the Range get their reincarnations from the first hand now; the new B and ‘new classic Mini’ get revitalized by independent companies. And the one responsible for the ‘Mini Remastered’, as they call it, is David Brown Automotive. This establishment may have nothing to do with the David Brown we all carry in our hearts, but they were responsible for a Jaguar-based Aston Martin DB5-esque incarnation before. We can’t blame you if you have difficulties in following us! Read again, slowly, and it will fall.

Over to the Mini. Customers are said to be able to buy a brand new car, so we reckon it’s build up with a shell from British Motor Heritage Ltd. Next, at David Brown Automotive, they get rid of the outer seams on A- and C-panel and the shells are said to be further improved before being painted and fitted with rather horrendous rear lights. By that time an impressive 1,400 man hours have gone. Engines, meanwhile, are reconditioned 1275cc units with standard 4-speed gearboxes. They are believed to produce ‘up to 50% more power’, which would suggest using some 90 to 100bhp - quite a lot for a Mini. Most of the changes, however, can be found in the interior, with a touchscreen infotainment system shoehorned into the dash. Oh – plus hand-trimmed, sumptuous soft leather and luxury carpeting everywhere. Prices? £70,000 is rumoured elsewhere on the web, which raises the question: what was the essence of the Mini in the first place? So, over to you: will there really be a market?

(Words Jeroen Booij, pictures courtesy David Brown Automotive)

Monday, 10 April 2017

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GTO in its element UPDATE: car and driver identified

This is quite nice. A Ferrari 250 GTO from behind the steering wheel, filmed during a lap at the Zandvoort racing track. We have no idea who the driver is and which of the 39 GTOs he is actually driving here, or perhaps one of the many more not-so-real-deals? You may tell us. But we suggest you to have a look never the less. This is what a car like this is meant to be driven like. Well done, pilot.

UPDATE: The car is a 250 GTE based recreation; the driver is Nicky Pastorelli.

(Video courtesy 

Sunday, 09 April 2017

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