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Old 24 Mar 2018, 20:50 (Ref:3810493)   #61
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And no doubt they were broken up or crushed afterwards!
I think that this was standard practice. If a development car was kept, the manufacturer would have to pay VAT to the value of what the car had cost to produce. On a one-off hand built prototype this would be quite a high cost, and 20% of this would be a significant sum, but from a history point of view, it's a shame that these vehicles cannot be saved.
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Old 25 Mar 2018, 07:08 (Ref:3810571)   #62
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Off topic, but.... Yes, they were doing it before the days of VAT as well! And of course there is the famous Ferrari story of Enzo having all the type 156 F1 cars broken up and their remains incorporated in the groundworks of a new building. Hence only ones about now are replicas......

I do enjoy the occasional story of a prototype somehow ‘escaping’ and becoming of historical interest, though! The latest, which I think is up for auction very soon, is the 4WD Ferguson Formula Scimitar GTE......
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Old 25 Mar 2018, 21:56 (Ref:3810727)   #63
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Speaking of Italy, some say that the Alfa Romeo Alfasud was the best car ever designed, and the worst ever built.

It was launched two years before the VW Golf Mk1. It had a Giugiaro bodywork, boxer engine, four-wheel disc brakes, and a very sophisticated suspension.

However, the Alfasud was built with Russian steel, and cars rested outdoors before entering the painting shop. Also workers had more strikes than working hours.
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Old 26 Mar 2018, 07:38 (Ref:3810813)   #64
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Jan De Rooy and , from memory , his brother too, raced Dafs (not Daff) in rallycross in the early 70s, and I saw them race at Croft .

Alfasuds - hmm- lazy classic car journalists have perpetuated the story that every single Alfasud went rusty overnight . It ain't so- I had two and neither rusted , even the one which was 5 years old when I sold it.My first , an early 1350Ti was sublime and trouble free ; the second , also a 1350Ti but with twin Dell' Ortos was ruined by overgearing and shoddy build quality ( door flying open , wipers colliding, window falling down door and staying there, electrical gremlins etc )

But the first was ,with a 2CV and Sevens, the most fun to drive car I have owned . I ended up with a Mk 1 Golf GTi - now 'iconic ' of course, but in reality worse in every way but go compared to the Sud . The Alfa's steering , brakes , handling , grip and ride were almost laughably better than the much lauded GTi.
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Old 27 Mar 2018, 13:47 (Ref:3811231)   #65
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Think steel was a problem for many manufacturers in those days, but a lot of them didn’t help matters by poor preparation and poor rust proofing! Surely the low point was the Lancia Beta, with the cars being bought back from customers due to rust? But we’re getting off topic again, certainly the Alfasud doesn’t meet the thread criteria in my book. Far too successful...

So how about the 1976 ‘wedge’ William Towns designed Lagonda? http://astonmartins.com/car/am-lagon...v540-and-v580/ It severely divided opinion when announced, and despite staying in production for about 10 years, sold poorly to start with. Interestingly, it is suggested that sales of the model in the oil-rich Middle East during the early 80s saved Aston Martin....

Conventional underneath, main problem seems to be that the LED digital instruments on the early cars were flukey. They were later replaced by a ‘cathode ray’ display. Rust of course also affected cars that were actually used! Values hit rock bottom until recently when collectors realised that it was about the only AM where prices hadn't gone through the roof! The shape still divides opinion however, and maybe the concept Lagonda shown at Geneva recently will do the same..... http://autoweek.com/article/geneva-m...ectrify-luxury
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Old 27 Mar 2018, 13:56 (Ref:3811233)   #66
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So how about the 1976 ‘wedge’ William Towns designed Lagonda? http://astonmartins.com/car/am-lagon...v540-and-v580/ It severely divided opinion when announced, and despite staying in production for about 10 years, sold poorly to start with. Interestingly, it is suggested that sales of the model in the oil-rich Middle East during the early 80s saved Aston Martin....

Conventional underneath, main problem seems to be that the LED digital instruments on the early cars were flukey. They were later replaced by a ‘cathode ray’ display. Rust of course also affected cars that were actually used! Values hit rock bottom until recently when collectors realised that it was about the only AM where prices hadn't gone through the roof! The shape still divides opinion however, and maybe the concept Lagonda shown at Geneva recently will do the same..... http://autoweek.com/article/geneva-m...ectrify-luxury
Good call!

BTW see post #4

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Old 27 Mar 2018, 16:50 (Ref:3811278)   #67
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Good call!

BTW see post #4

D'you know, Greg, I had a nagging feeling that it had been mentioned before, but forgot to check.....

Apologies for stealing your suggestion!

BTW, If the car really 'saved' AM, just shows how much they must have been struggling with their other models!
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Old 27 Mar 2018, 16:57 (Ref:3811281)   #68
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D'you know, Greg, I had a nagging feeling that it had been mentioned before, but forgot to check.....

Apologies for stealing your suggestion!

BTW, If the car really 'saved' AM, just shows how much they must have been struggling with their other models!
For 10 years I owned a 1970s AMV8 - never again!!!!

Mike Loasby once told me that the Lagonda was also a nightmare!
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Old 31 Mar 2018, 11:04 (Ref:3812090)   #69
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Also the 3 cylinder 2 stroke Fiesta ! I had one of the engines kicking about for a few years. I brought it off of a bloke that was doing tests for Ford on a dyno and I eventually flogged it to a museum in Wales. I believe that the Haynes museum has a complete car as well.
The engine was very compact and built by the Orbital outfit in Australia but I think it was dropped by Ford because of the emissions limits that were coming into place at the time.

Last edited by GORDON STREETER; 31 Mar 2018 at 11:17.
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Old 31 Mar 2018, 11:19 (Ref:3812092)   #70
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Here it is.Click image for larger version

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Old 1 Apr 2018, 09:15 (Ref:3812210)   #71
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The Alfasud was a great car. My first wife had one (bought secondhand) back in the 80s, just an ordinary 1200cc version but the performance was pokey for the engine size and the handling and brakes sublime for a standard road car. I loved to drive it when allowed. And the body stayed quite sound during her ownership.

Re. the Lagonda - quite the most ridiculous looking car of it's era IMO.
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Old 1 Apr 2018, 11:14 (Ref:3812247)   #72
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Re. the Lagonda - quite the most ridiculous looking car of it's era IMO.
Oh I don't know. It had quite a lot of competition for such a title back then.

The one-off Shooting Brake creation is rather interesting.

However the various "electronics" advances were almost certainly ahead of their time and too clever for the car's reputation.

For something that overlapped in terms of period availability how about the Lamborghini LM002?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamborghini_LM002

That clearly looks ridiculous even taking into account its military usage intent.

Then again had it not looked rather off the wall in some way it would not have been a proper Lamborghini.

Difficult to say if it was ahead of its time but the Hummer for non-military used came a little later iirc and the idea of high performance SUVs, though perhaps less practical as workhorses than used to be the case for Range Rovers, up market Jeeps and the Japanese 4x4 designs, have become quite popular of late. So maybe it was ahead of its time. Difficult to categorize it as "Too clever for its own good" I suppose - although it did fail to make it as a military vehicle as per original intent.
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Old 1 Apr 2018, 12:02 (Ref:3812260)   #73
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Also the 3 cylinder 2 stroke Fiesta ! I had one of the engines kicking about for a few years. I brought it off of a bloke that was doing tests for Ford on a dyno and I eventually flogged it to a museum in Wales. I believe that the Haynes museum has a complete car as well.
The engine was very compact and built by the Orbital outfit in Australia but I think it was dropped by Ford because of the emissions limits that were coming into place at the time.
Some of these went to the Police on a long term independent testing basis as a "Panda "/general runabout .
I believe Essex & Suffolk , [both not far from R&D at Boreham ] , had them .
Don,t know many details , but as you say , with a direct oil injection lubrication , they probably would not meet ongoing emissions standards .
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Old 1 Apr 2018, 12:26 (Ref:3812267)   #74
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For something that overlapped in terms of period availability how about the Lamborghini LM00?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamborghini_LM002
That clearly looks ridiculous even taking into account its military usage intent.
Then again had it not looked rather off the wall in some way it would not have been a proper Lamborghini.
I think all Lamborghinis of that period looked cra... er, awkward. They looked like the worst sort of kit car you could imagine with 'added on' wheel arch extensions, lips under the nose, rear wings that looked like they'd been perched somewhere because they couldn't decide where else to put it, etc. I can't understand how the company could have designed and sold such monstrosities nor how anybody would have paid a fortune to actually own one.
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Old 1 Apr 2018, 13:01 (Ref:3812272)   #75
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Re the DAF.....an aunt, whose husband ran a Jag dealership, was indulged by uncle with cars which included MGBs, Lancia Fulvia, Dolomite Sprint and a pair of Fiat 124s the last of which she had a head-on collision in which rather knocked her confidence. Having heard a lot about the safety of Volvos she replaced the 124 with one without trying it first, but this was a Variomatic by this time badged as Volvo. Didn't keep that for long
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