Auto News… August

With Liam Bird

Keep pets cool on car journeys, urges GEM

Road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist is encouraging pet owners to ensure their animals are kept cool and safe on car journeys during the summer.

The call comes as forecasters predict sunny and warmer weather, and with temperatures having recently reached the high 30s… GEM chief executive Neil Worth urges pet owners to ensure they don’t put their animals at risk by leaving them without shade, water or ventilation.

No one likes to see an animal suffering from the heat and panting excessively. So, when the fierce heat strikes, we need to be sure we provide our pets with ways to help them stay cool.

This is not just a good idea – it’s the law. Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 it’s illegal to leave an animal in a hot vehicle. If your dog becomes ill or dies, you are likely to face a charge of animal cruelty.

This offence can bring a prison sentence of up to six months and/or a fine of up to £20,000.”


GEM has compiled a short checklist designed to ensure dogs stay safe and comfortable on car journeys:

  • Stay indoors. Keep your dog at home on the hottest days.
  • If you do need to transport your dog, bring plenty of fresh drinking water, and a bowl. Ensure your dog can stay cool on a journey.
  • Make plenty of stops on long journeys give your dog a good drink of water. Animals are unable to sweat in the way that humans can. Dogs cool themselves by panting and sweating through their paws, so it only takes a few minutes for dogs left in cars on hot days to begin experiencing the distressing symptoms of heatstroke.
  • If you suspect your dog is developing heatstroke on a journey, stop somewhere safe and find somewhere cool and shady. However, if signs of heat exhaustion
  • become apparent (for example excessive thirst, heavy panting, rapid pulse, fever, vomiting, glazed eyes, dizziness), you should go straight to a vet.
  • Don’t let your dog travel unrestrained. Instead, use a proper travel basket or crate to create a safer space. Dog seatbelts and travel harnesses are also available.
  • If you see a pet in a vehicle on a hot day, take immediate action. For example, if you’re in a supermarket, roadside service area or garden centre car park, note the car make, model, colour and registration number, then go inside and ask for an announcement to be made. If this doesn’t bring the owner out, or you’re in a location where finding the owner is impossible, then dial 999 and ask for the police.


Find another like it: GTO Engineering offers one-off Fantuzzi-bodied Ferrari 250 for sale

Leading and respected Ferrari specialist and broker GTO Engineering is confirmed to be responsible for the sale of one of the rarest Ferrari 250s in the world. The 1963 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso bodied by Fantuzzi is unexampled, being the 16th 250 GT Lusso ever made, then having a period coachbuilt Fantuzzi body added. It is now available for sale from GTO Engineering’s UK HQ.

Displayed around the world, including the most intimate and publicised Concours events, tours and road rallies, this one-of-one 1963 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso bodied by Fantuzzi has been cared for by GTO Engineering for over a decade. Its history is well-documented, being originally finished in Grigio Metallizzato from the factory, and supplied new to Luciano Pederzani of Bologna, who, with his brother Gianfranco owned Tecno, a builder of Formula F2 and F3 cars. At their request when the car was still relatively new it had extensive work carried out and was partially re-bodied in around 1965 by Medardo Fantuzzi, who was designing the bodies for their Tecno race cars. Fantuzzi created a one-off treatment with a more aerodynamic front end and faired in headlamps.

The previous owner spent over three years and a lot of effort documenting the actual history of this model, including a trip to Italy to meet with the original owner Gianfranco Pederzani and a visit to the Ferrari factory. He has personally met with, or spoken to, most of the people who have owned this car, to gain first-hand, reliable information.

Its illustrious history starts in 1966 when the Pederzani brothers sold the car to Venezuela, however by the summer of 1968 this special Ferrari had moved to New York and was owned by Richard Trask. In around 1977 Terry Kramer purchased the car, and it is believed it was at that time that some further modifications were made (possibly by Tom Meade) including a more pronounced boot lid spoiler and some 250 GTO-inspired vents in the wings and on the nose. Soon after this the car was shipped to Honolulu where it was registered. The car went through Collier Thelian’s hands in 1978 and was sold to Gerald O’Conner in 1979, who put the car in storage in 1981 where it would remain for the next 24 years.

In the Autumn of 2011, the 1963 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso bodied by Fantuzzi went to DK Engineering for a full restoration. It was decided to embark upon a concours restoration and as such the car was stripped to a bare chassis and body. Moulds, drawings, and diagrams were made from a genuine Ferrari 250 GTO and precisely scaled to Lusso size for the various louvres and vents. The car was primed and painted in Rosso Corsa. It returned from paint at the beginning of November 2012, at which point the mechanical rebuild was commenced.

After its time with DK Engineering, the car was transferred to GTO Engineering to be its final mechanical and storage caretaker, who has overseen its servicing and maintenance for nearly a decade (late 2012 to present). Throughout that time, the owner and teams at GTO Engineering ensure that the car remains ‘on the button’ servicing, moving, caring for the car as if it was GTO Engineering’s own. During this time there are significant service and invoicing records for works, including an owner-specified ‘touring themed’ upgrade of seat belts, luggage straps, mirrors to sit alongside its Brantz machine.

Today, this special Ferrari is offered for sale with price on application. Leading the sale is Louis Scott, who was appointed earlier this year in a senior sales role, with significant hypercar trading background with Koenigsegg’s UK distributor, and prior to that with Ferrari itself.


Enjoy your trip and don’t let your tyres ruin your summer

Summer might seem to be the least likely time for more tyre-related incidents to be reported on Britain’s roads – yet June, July and August are when they are most likely to occur.

Longer journeys with extra passengers and luggage on board puts additional strain on tyres – and if they have any defects, they are more likely to suffer a catastrophic failure or ‘blowout’.

To minimise the risk takes just a few simple checks. Have a good look at each tyre and see if there are any signs of cracking in the sidewall or in the tread. This cracking is a sign the tyres are hardening, reducing grip and allowing moisture to seep into the tyre and cause its metal components to rust and weaken. It’s essential to have them checked by a professional if you see any signs of this type of ‘crazing’ effect.

A bulge in a tyre indicates its inner structure has been compromised. Typically, this happens when it’s kerbed and the radial wires in the tyre are cut as the wheel rim pinches them against the kerb. Without that essential structural support, only rubber keeps the tyre from bursting, which is extremely dangerous. Again, you should seek a professional’s opinion if you spot a bulge in any of the tyres.

However, the most common fault is under-inflation of the tyres – in other words, not having the pressures at the setting recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. Research shows 57% of tyres are underinflated on Britain’s roads. Add in extra weight and longer distances and there is an increased risk of failure.


The pressures of a vehicle should be set according to the weight it is carrying. Inside the driver’s door shut, filler cap or handbook, there will be at least two settings recommended for each wheel and tyre size available for that vehicle. For family holiday travel, it’s typically the higher pressure that is needed but refer to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation to check.

Another crucial check is to see whether you have a spare wheel before you start packing. The vast majority of cars come with a ‘space saver’ or an emergency puncture repair kit which includes a cylinder of fluid to be connected with an air compressor. These are designed only for short term and low speed usage – maximum 50mph for 50 miles – to get you to a tyre outlet where the issue can be dealt with properly.

Remember, you should never change your wheel by the side of a motorway or dual carriageway.

One final check is to ensure all tyres have more than 1.6mm of tread to stay legal. However, if they are below 2mm, it really is time to start thinking about replacing them, especially if you are off on a long journey.

“Remember to ACT – air pressure, condition and tread. Don’t let your tyres ruin your summer holiday.”


Report: Is the thriving classic car market in danger of over-heating?

The classic and specialist car market is thriving – but is it in danger of over-heating? That’s the question Hagerty sets out to answer in its latest market analysis.

Many question whether values can continue to increase at the rate they have been. In the past year, average UK Hagerty Price Guide values of the Jaguar XJ220 have risen by 14.6 per cent, the Porsche 959 Komfort by 15.2 per cent, and the Bugatti EB110 by an astonishing 32.9 per cent. Much of this growth owes to long-term demographic trends – namely the fact that Gen–Xers are now entering their peak collecting years. Huge shifts within the car industry will also feed interest as enthusiasts seek out analogue classics.

Yet there are factors that echo the dark days leading up to the 1990s crash. Inflation is soaring and auction records (in all collectible sectors) are being broken as cash is converted into assets. At the sub-£50,000 level, Hagerty watched a surge in values after the first COVID lockdowns as buyers had a carefree attitude to spending. Now, with the cost of living (and energy) soaring, many of these purchases are starting to seem like luxuries that can no longer be justified.

The problem with cars as an asset class is one of the main reasons they are attractive: They are easy to buy and sell. If you want to purchase a £4 million house the process can take months. If you want a £4m classic car, you can simply transfer the money, sign some paperwork, and drive away in it. If life throws a curve ball, it’s the car rather than the house that provides the quickest route to liquidity, and then the market can become swamped.

But if there are similarities to the 1990s, there are also important differences.

The ecosystem of car collectors has grown much bigger and more diverse over the decades. In 1990s, buyers wanted cars that went up in value. Ferraris made the most money, so it was Ferraris they bought. Collectors not only care more these days – they know more, too.

Another key difference is that people interested in a quick return now have more tempting targets. Today, stocks –not to mention cryptocurrencies – can be cashed in through an app and back in your bank within hours. Among tangible assets, cars have always been tougher to move than art.

Back in the 1980s, lots of collectors weren’t collecting cars but rather they were borrowing them, and at dangerously high interest rates. When car values started to dip, over-leveraged collectors found themselves compelled to sell which flooded the market and drove down values. The 1990s saw the market for classics calm again and the introduction of some lending regulation, but it was the sub-prime mortgage collapse of 2008 that made rules really tighten, and within a few years, more conservative lending practices were cemented into law

Today, worldwide boards oversee the lending market to ensure that lending is done in a sensible way. That helps explain why the collector car market corrected but didn’t crash, after peaking in 2014. Sellers who didn’t get offers they expected simply shrugged and took their cars back home. Few had to sell, and that stabilised values.

So, are we due a correction now, or even a crash? Hagerty thinks not. Obviously, some areas of the market will drop. Others will remain static and won’t keep up with inflation. But given the state of the major world economies at the moment – which have already weathered the pandemic, recession, inflation, war in Europe, and huge levels of uncertainty – there is still an astonishing amount of money out there, ready to buy.


Two new scooters set to strengthen Suzuki’s small capacity range

Suzuki has announced two new scooters that will strengthen its small capacity range, with Address 125 and Avenis 125 on sale from October 2022.

Curves, a rounded – full LED – headlight, and plush seat add a retro flair to the new Address’ styling, finished with chrome-plated accents. The Address oozes style. The retro look extends to a large analogue speedometer, while modern convenience comes courtesy of a digital display, showcasing additional information, including the Suzuki Eco Drive Illumination which helps encourage and achieve economical riding, with the Address 125 capable of achieving 148.6mpg.

Not only is the new, 124cc single-cylinder engine efficient and economical, thanks to Suzuki’s Eco Performance (SEP) technology which optimises and balances fuel economy and performance, it delivers strong torque in the low-mid rpm ranges for quick acceleration. Peak torque is 10Nm at 5,500 rpm, with peak power 8.7PS at 6,750rpm.

Spacious under-seat storage with dual utility hooks plus an upfront storage pocket – housing a handy USB socket – bring the practicality, while comfort comes from a flat, well-padded seat and broad footboards.

In addition to the Address 125 a new Avenis 125 will further expand Suzuki’s scooter range and provide a sportier offering to its Address 125 stablemate.

Wrapped around the same punchy-yet-efficient single cylinder engine is sharp, angular bodywork. Slightly longer, wider, and taller than the Address, the Avenis stands out in a crowd with striking road presence, with its aggressive form, LED headlights and taillights and two-tone graphics.

A full LCD display keeps the rider informed, and, like the Address, features the Suzuki Eco Drive Indicator, to help riders extract maximum efficiency and achieve an impressive 148.6mpg. In addition to under-seat storage and a storage pocket, there are also handy storage compartments upfront.

Both the Address 125 and Avenis 125 will be on sale in October.


Four in ten motorists do not know the drink-drive limit

Potentially millions of motorists could be unknowingly getting behind the wheel while over the drink-drive limit.

That’s according to research commissioned by the UK’s leading independent road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart, which has revealed that up to four in ten drivers (42 per cent) of the 1,004 motorists surveyed do not know the legal drink-drive limit in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This potentially represents over 15 million of the 35 million people who possess a full driving licence in the UK.

Alarmingly, only around one in five (23 per cent) of those surveyed knew the correct drink-drive limit in England, Wales and Northern Ireland – that being 35 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath. Meanwhile awareness in Scotland was higher with six in ten (60 per cent) of those surveyed knowing the limit which currently stands at 22 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath.

In addition, of the 585 who answered that they knew the drink-drive limit for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, less than half (40 per cent) actually answered correctly.

These findings have concerned IAM RoadSmart, who are reminding drivers that while they may think they know how many drinks will typically tip them over the limit, that amount could actually fail a breathalyser test.

Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart, commented: “Our research highlights that there is still a real lack of awareness regarding how much alcohol is too much before it is illegal to drive.  We would like to remind drivers that individual characteristics such as body weight, food consumption, gender and metabolism will also have an impact on the reading. This is why we will always recommend ‘none for the road’.”

The survey’s findings have also led the charity to reiterate its plea to the government to roll out a smarter package of longer-term measures to help drive down the number of drink-drivers on Britain’s roads. This includes a lower drink-drive limit across the UK, in line with Scotland’s limit to reinforce good behaviour, a fast track of evidential roadside testing machines to release police resources and compulsory drink-drive rehabilitation courses for all drivers caught over the limit.

Neil concluded: “A prosecution for drink-driving will impact the rest of your life through public humiliation, loss of earnings, family break up and a criminal record, as well as adding real danger to our roads. At IAM RoadSmart we estimate that the last drink that takes you over the limit could cost you up to £70,000!  If that isn’t a sobering thought, then nothing is.”





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