Arachnid owner all smiles as ‘Mona Lisa’ takes out best in show…Liqui Moly all set to grab customers by the pussy…A Tutankhamen tomb of car parts treasures…and lots more…

Automobiles are about many things, but when it comes to Italy and Italians it’s almost all about passion and beauty. Which is probably why the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este has for 91 years attracted some of the best and most beautiful pieces of precious metal in the world.

And what better place on earth to show off ones passion-and wealth-than in the grounds of a five-star hotel on the banks of Lake Como? And passion and wealth doesn’t come much bigger than in the shape of pharmaceuticals entrepreneur Andreas Mohringer and his stunning Ferrari 335 Sport Spider.

So stunning in fact that it was no surprise when this Sergio Scaglietti descendant from the Ferrari 315S took out the grand prize of best in show ahead of a heap of automotive throughbreds.

As reported by NewAtlas, this particular car is indeed one of the most important vehicles in history, being the youngest of just four made by Ferrari of which three are still in existance.

Built to counter the outrageously powerful Maserati 450S of the 1950s, the car’s four litre V12 engine produces 390hp (290kW) for a top speed of 300km/h (190mph).

In the 1957 Mille Miglia, the 335S had an indelible impact on motorsport when the legendary Marquis Alfonso de Portago had a tyre blow at speed, killing the dashing, unspeakably wealthy, devil-may-care young marquis and 14 spectators and ending racing on public roads in Italy forever.

One of the fastest cars on the planet in its day, a 335S recorded the first Le Mans lap of over 200km/h – and that’s an average speed over the then entire 8.38-mile course – and helped Ferrari take the 1957 manufacturers’ world sports car championship.

More recently, a bid of €32,075,200 (US$35,712,945) by Lionel Messi at Retromobile 2018 for one of the three remaining 335S Spiders made it the most expensive car sold at auction, if calculated using pounds sterling or the euro.

Getting back to the Concorso d’Eleganza, the competition jury president Lorenzo Ramaciotti said the usual things about it always being difficult to select best in show, etc, especially as the difference between a Formula 1 automobile and a vehicle from 1913 is very great.

“But in this case, the rare nature and the outstanding engineering were the deciding factors. The Ferrari 335 Sport was the most powerful sports car from this marque and for a long time also the fastest. Then there was the fact that the recently completed restoration had been carried out to the very highest standards.”

All of which brings us to Andreas Mohringer, who, after paying $US21.5 million sight unseen for the vehicle, which had been in storage for decades, set about returning it to original condition rather than a restoration.

The patience and artistry of the recommissioning process must have been immensely costly, as it required a multi-skilled automotive historian akin to a Dianne Dwyer Modestini, who was tasked with restoring Leonardo da Vinci’s long lost Salvator Mundi after it had been painted over.

The quality of the work on the Spider and do doubt the link with art restoration, led McKeel Hagerty, founder of the world’s largest classic car insurance company, to refer to the Ferrari 335S Spider Scaglietti as the ‘Mona Lisa’ of cars.


Liqui Moly all set to yet again grab its customers by the pussy

If the latest issue of Liqui Moly’s company magazine is anything to go by the German manufacturing equivalent of Donald Trump is about to once again grab its customers by the pussy with another 1960s version of a girly calendar.

Using such outdated wording as “our attractive models cut a splendid figure with both the Lamborghini Galliardo Superleggera and Hummer H1, Corvette Z06 and Chevrolet Camaro ZL1….” the down market version of the old Pirelli knock up is set to excite workshop owners’ wives and daughters right across Europe.

Following the publication of last year’s effort, the company’s Peter Szarafinski told ausauto that the additive maker was very proud of it’s product, which was ‘eagerly anticipated by its customers’.

So that’s OK then? Who gives a shit, just so long as one can continue to pander to the misogynous and outdated fantasies of the German service and repair industry? Perhaps Chancellor Merkel gives a shit, but then she’s got much bigger problems with dear old Donald Trump to think about.


Gear and JetClean Tronic II additives a boost to the bottom line

Meanwhile, back to the 21st century and the things that Liquid Moly really excel at including the tricky business of changing the oil in automatic transmissions.

According to the company’s head of research and development David Kaiser, this does not in any way compared to a motor oil change. Which is where the new Gear Tronic II comes in.

“An oil change for automatic transmissions is far more complex than a motor oil change. In a motor oil change the drain plug is opened and the entire oil can flow out.”

Do that with an automatic transmission and up to two thirds of the total amount of oil could remain in the transmission. The Gear Tronic II makes it possible to replace the entire transmission oil and depending on the vehicle, access is either through the dipstick guide tube, hose connections to the transmission oil cooler or directly to the transmission.

“The delicate simultaneous emptying and filling of the transmission takes place fully automatically and does not have to be supervised. The menu navigation using a touchscreen takes place with computer support and is particularly intuitive,” added David.

The Gear Tronic II further assists the service technician through a vehicle database that shows which transmission oil a vehicle needs and how much of it to use.

“This simplifies the work routine, protects against faults and expensive claims and cleaning and care additives can also be integrated into the service that makes technical sense and means an additional business for the garage.”

Liqui Moly has also released JetClean Tronic II that in David’s words gives the engine and fuel system a thorough cleaning “allowing the engine breathe freely again and the garage to once again add to the bottom line of a service.


A Tutankhamen’s tomb of car parts treasures

Now that ‘barn-finds’ have been done to death it looks like the classic car auction business may have found a new hideaway hook on which to hang an exciting press release in the shape of a large metal box.

In an amazing “container find” in the south of England, auctioneers Coys has uncovered an “astonishing collection” of rare classic car parts said to be worth well over a million pounds sterling.

The treasure trove includes many valuable spares and items from Italian marques such as Ferrari, Maserati and Abarth and extremely rare parts for models such as the 250 SWB, 250 GTO, 275, Competition Daytona, F40 and 512LM, along with Maserati 250F and various other Italian competition cars. 

Amazingly, many of the parts are said to be still in their original wooden packing cases dating from the 1960s, or in boxes wrapped in oiled paper. 

According to the company’s Chris ‘Indiana Jones’ Routledge, a find on this scale and with the importance and rarity of the cars they are related to is unprecedented. 

“Its an Aladdin’s cave that is going to excite people all over the world. There are wire wheels in their original wooden boxes, carburetors in their original oiled wrapping paper, exhaust pipes, radiator grills, dashboards, the list just goes on and on.

“It will take us several days to catalogue the parts and once we have done that we will issue a full list of the spares. I feel a bit like Howard Carter uncovering Tutankhamen’s tomb in 1922, every time we remove one box or item there is something else of huge interest hiding behind.”

The items, part of a private collection, the owner of which died many years ago, are expected to be offered for sale on Friday 29th June, provided Chris does not fall victim to a server case of container curse!


Winning can get boring but ‘Oh! What a Feeling’

Winning can get boring, especially when it’s the thirteenth time in a row. But to Toyota Australia it was still ‘Oh what a feeling!’ when Readers Digest handed out its annual gong for the year’s most trusted brand.

The number one selling automotive brand in Australia has won the award every year since the car category started. The magazine’s Trusted Brand is an annual survey that asks Australians what brands are important to them.

Whilst on the subject of winning, Shannon and Ian Rentsch have claimed a history-making sixth ‘King of the Desert’ title at the Tatts Finke Desert Race in Alice Springs grabbing the lead in the BFGoodrich CAMS Australian Off Road Championship (AORC) in the process.

The father and son duo dominated the event leading from start to finish, setting the fastest time from Alice Springs to Finke on day one and leading the event by three minutes at the halfway mark.

The eight-time Australian champions pushed their Jimco Aussie Special Pro Buggy all the way, extending their lead to claim the outright win by more than 16 minutes in a time of 3:36:37.

The BFGoodrich CAMS Australian Off Road Championship will next visit the Rainbow Desert Enduro in Victoria on 10–12 August 2018 for the third and final round of the year.


CoolDrive ups the service ante

In an age when downsizing seems to be the dominant trend, it’s nice to hear about a company upping service to customers by employing extra staff.

Employment of additional personnel with specialised knowledge and expertise is part of CoolDrive’s new streamlined processes at its technical repair centres in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

Also part of the upgrade is a build up of stock in common and core products, daily monitoring of job processing and inwards/outwards goods movement.

CoolDrive’s repair division is the result of acquisitions that include ACE Automotive Computer Engineering, Australian Fuel Injection, Automotive Service Solutions and Logicar technical repair centres.

“Our technical service repair teams conduct a full range of automotive electronic testing and repairs for most types of vehicles including ECUs, body control modules, ABS modules, fuel injectors, ignition modules and more,” said Cooldrive’s John Blanchard.

Repair capabilities cover passenger car, 4WD, light and heavy commercial, bus and plant. The company also offers over the phone technical support and product advice including talking service and repair technicians through specific jobs and confirmation that the work that has been completed is correctly.


FRAM FILTERS has launched a new localised Australian online portal packed with detailed product information on aftermarket products available to Australian automotive repairers and re-sellers.

The info includes replacement oil, air, fuel and cabin filters covering the majority of makes and models on the local roads. In addition there’s quick-action forks to localised Fram product information, sales and customer service, warranty information, new product releases and technical information.
According to the company’s Roger Lassen, the new Australian portal is one of several customer service initiatives being developed to best service the local automotive aftermarket.
“The new website isn’t just a mirror of our international websites with an Australian tag, but has been designed specifically for Australian repairers and re-sellers to access Fram Filters product information that is specifically relevant to them.”
More info @ www.framfilters.com.au

NARVA has released its much-anticipated Model 49 rear combination lamp that fits the same footprint as its predecessor, commonly referred to as the ‘jumbo’, that is said to have dominated the transport industry in Australasia.

Available in various function and colour configurations, the lamp features a continuous ‘neon’ like LED light-pipe framing that stays illuminated when the other functions are off creating a modern, signature appearance.

The stop, indicator and reverse functions are activated on the inside of the tail lamp with high quality optics to gain the attention of those following.

Snap in retro reflectors cover screws and mounting holes resulting in a flush, sleek appearance, whilst the lamp inserts themselves are replaceable with the reflectors removed.

All lamps are backed by a five-year warranty, suit 9-33v and come pre-wired with 0.5m of cable for ease of installation.

The new Model 49ers are available in several specifications with coloured or clear lenses, including triple tail, stop and rear direction, triple tail, stop, reverse and rear direction and twin tail, stop and rear direction.

AUTO EXHIBITIONS have been suffering of late due mainly to not all the major players taking part and a desire by marketing departments to spend more of their budget in the digital space.

But a debut show has bucked the trend.

Tire Cologne has just concluded and by all accounts it was a roaring success. A success kicked on by all the top manufacturers being amongst the 533 exhibitors from 40 countries.

A vigorous conference program including digitalisation, recycling and fleet management also helped to pull in more than 16,000 domestic and international visitors.

An ‘exit poll’ indicated that more than 80% of the trade visitors were highly satisfied with the exhibition and more than 90% would recommend a visit the event when it is next held.

California council introduces electronic ‘spy’ plate

The recent controversy surrounding Facebook and other apps selling personnel information without permission doesn’t seemed to have slowed down the desire for invasive products such as a toaster, fridge, or internet TV that records private movements and conversations in the home.

And now the ‘spy’ trap has spread to the garage and highway in the form of a digital electronic license plate that is being fitted by the City of Sacramento to its fleet of Chevrolet Bolt EVs.

Featuring a monochromatic eReader-like Bi-stable LCD display covered with protective glass, the Rplate Pro is powered by its own replaceable battery and replaces a vehicles current ‘analog’ rear plate.

Among other things, the weatherproof, internet-connected, device allows for automated registration renewals. In return for not having to apply decals – a thing of the past in most of Australia anyway – the vehicle’s location is constantly updated on the internet via GPS.

When the vehicle is parked, it can display custom messages such as public service announcements, amber alerts, or paid advertising. Selling advertising on the plates could be a source of revenue for California and the state should be able to save money by reducing the need to manufacture and mail out metal plates.

Unlike Facebook, etc, that supply services for ‘free’, individuals or companies interested in using the plates will have to buy them from participating auto dealers at a cost of US$699 plus a monthly service fee of around $7!!!

Check it out before you fork out      


Modern thermal management systems need specialist input

The modern water pumps fitted do much more than circulate coolant through the engine cooling system, and today’s thermal management system modules (TMM) require specialist diagnostic input during draining, replacement, filling and bleeding, writes Natalie Smith, of Schaeffler Australia.

Advances in technology have led to the water pump having a direct effect on the CO² by controlling coolant flow around the turbo, gearbox, intercooler as well as the battery pack in hybrid vehicles. Failure diagnostics fall into a number of areas.

Rust and Corrosion: Usually caused by contaminated coolant, incorrect coolant mixture or concentration not to specification. Must be corrected by flushing the cooling system, replacing the pump and using coolant in accordance with the vehicle manufacturer’s specifications and recommendations.

Pitting and Cavitation: Caused by incorrect or insufficient coolant mixture or air in the cooling system. Can be corrected by flushing the cooling system, repairing any leaks and replacing the pump.

Overheating: Often the result of a blockage in the radiator, or radiator hose, which requires the cooling system to be flushed and repaired if necessary. The pump should be replaced before refilling with the correct specification coolant.

Mixed or Incorrect Coolant: Where a mixed or incorrect coolant is suspected, the system should be flushed and refilled with the correct specification coolant as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.

Broken Shaft: Usually caused by excessive vibration, imbalance, or incorrect or insufficient belt tension. Rectification requires the replacement of any component showing any sign of wear plus a check on the condition and alignment of the entire belt drive system.

Mounting face leakage: Caused by the ingress of dirt and contamination as a result of excessive, or uneven, use of sealant or the incorrect torque applied during installation. In which case, it is necessary to thoroughly clean the mounting faces to remove all traces of the old sealant and refit using the recommended torque settings.

Excessive Noise: Can be attributed to the shaft bearing contamination or failure, or excessive load on the pump due to incorrect tension. The realignment of the entire belt system and the replacement of all components, which are showing signs of wear, is required to overcome this problem.

Schaeffler’s TMUs uses sensor controlled rotary slide valves to precisely regulate the temperature balance resulting in both engine efficiency and the life of the dive train’s components.

For more technical advice and service information visit www.repxpert.com.au

 

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