NEVS Secures Debt Reduction, Clears Path For Reorg Exit

It’s probably been seen by most of you by now, but for the sake of completeness……

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Nevs’ composition proposal approved by Court

The District Court of Vänersborg today approved the composition proposal earlier presented by Nevs, as the stipulated number of creditor’s votes needed for the court to decide in favor of the composition proposal was achieved.

The number of present creditors entitled to vote, and those who on beforehand had approved the proposal and signed a proxy for the Administrator to vote for them, amounted to 98,2 percent of the creditors and 98,6 percent of the amount of the debt.

The composition means that claims up to 500’000 SEK will be fully paid, and that claims above 500’000 SEK will be reduced by 50 percent. Of a total of 573 creditors 469 will get their full claim paid.

The payments will be performed in two steps. The first within 60 days from the date that the Court’s decision is legally valid, and the second step within six months from the same date. The composition as well as the operating costs for the coming months will be financed by Nevs’ main owner. Nevs intends to apply for exiting the reorganization as soon as the composition is legally valid in mid-April.

“A composition was needed for Nevs to exit the reorganization in order to be able to sign commercially viable agreements with our OEM and financial partners we have been in dialogue with for a long time. We appreciate the support from our suppliers, with whom we want to continue to develop long-term relations”, said Mattias Bergman, President Nevs.

“My duty as Administrator is to secure that the composition is favorable for both the company and the creditors. Today’s decision creates possibilities both for the development of Nevs’ business as well as future business potentials for the creditors”, said the Administrator, Attorney Lars Eric Gustafsson, Hamilton Law Firm.

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There’s no bad news here. The vote is comprehensive and the composition is far more favourable than is usually case in this situation. Of course, it’s very unfortunate that it had to happen at all, but this is about as good an outcome as can be expected.

Given that NEVS expects to exit reorganisation in mid-April, it shouldn’t be long thereafter until we find out what’s going to happen with regards to new majority ownership and operations.

I’m not going to be doing much/any digging between now and then. Frankly, I’ve just got a little too much on my plate right now. It’ll happen when it happens.

The Three Worst Cars I’ve Ever Owned

Last week I published a list of every car I’ve ever owned.

This week, I give some time to which were the best, and which would have been better off as boat anchors :-)

Let’s start with the boat anchors first, shall we? I’ll get to the three best later in the week.

The 3 Worst Cars I’ve Ever Owned

I’m a little torn as I put this list together. I’ve had great times in every car I’ve owned, even if some of them were a little….. junky.

And then there are the questions about process….

What if there’s a car that I love, that I know is a really good car, but one that I had a particularly bad example of? i.e. what if I just got a bad apple? Does it make the list? What if my poor ownership habits earlier in life contributed to a car being a debacle? Do I penalise the car, or do I penalise myself?

I’ll take these on a case-by-case basis and disclose in the writeup.

Here we go……

Holden LJ Torana

The Torana is a less-than-wonderful tribute to Australian engineering in the 1970’s. The Torana was a car whose legend is based on a small amount of success in some big motor races. It was ill-equipped, poorly built and in most cases, under-powered. Most survivors look like the red car, below. They’re well cared for, with hot 6’s or big V8 engine swaps and fancy paint jobs paid for by cashed-up custodians. The vast bulk of Toranas sold by dealers were nothing like these survivors, however, and made their inglorious trip to automotive Valhalla a long, long time ago.

Torana

My Torana had the added burden of being owned by me. That would usually be enough, but this was me as an 18 year old nutter with absolutely no idea about how I should maintain a car. For me, it was simply a means to abuse the road – and oh, how I did.

Torana

I had fun with it, but I don’t miss it. I don’t miss the noise, the water leaks, or the screwdriver I kept down the side of my seat to re-align the gear linkages. I don’t miss the smells or the hot vinyl seats.

I don’t miss it at all.

Alfa Romeo 33 16V (my second one)

This is one of those conundrum cars.

The Alfa Romeo 33 16V is a great, great car. I’ve owned two of them. One of them was a mind-blowing pocket rocket that puts a smile on my face just thinking about it.

And then there was this…..

My second Alfa 33 16V (not so good)

I bought my second Alfa 33 after I returned from Sweden in 2011. I bought it because the first one was so good. This second one, however, had been in an accident at some point in its past and I didn’t pick up the suspension and steering problems on my test drive. I only have myself to blame.

For example – the steering was so out of whack that it took 3/4 more of a turn to go to lock on one side than the other.

The engine was OK but the suspension was stuffed, the car had rust spots (the repair of which led me to paint the bonnet in matt black) and the gearbox was even more problematic than is normal for an Alfa.

It was a really poor example of an otherwise great little car.

Toyota Celica Liftback

I bear no grudge towards the 4-cylinder Celica I owned in my early 20’s.

This car is part of this ‘worst’ list simply because it is the least memorable car I ever owned – and that’s a damnable attribute if ever I’ve heard one.

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Dishonorable Mention

I have to give a dishonourable mention to one of my current cars, the Porsche 928 S. Sad, but true.

I can’t count it amongst the three worst because that would be over-egging the disappointment I feel, but the 928 has to be talked about here.

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My one fear when I bought this car has been realised – it’s too much of a grand tourer, delivering too little of that sporty Porsche feeling. The accelerator has to be well-and-truly abused for a driver to properly feel its power. Call it a lack of fierceness, or an onerous commitment to solidity. Unless you want to drive with extreme prejudice all the time, the 928 makes you feel like you’re ambling along using a LOT of fuel for very little reward.

On the plus side, it’s great when you do provoke it. It’s very comfortable, it has a great driving position and it handles much better than a car of its size and weight has a right to. And it still looks like an absolute killer even some 38 years after the 928 shape was first released.

Maybe I needed this V8 experience to show me why I appreciate little rev-happy 4-cylinder cars so much. And maybe a big, old-tech V8 was the wrong car to buy when living in a city surrounded by hills.

The other ‘lesser vehicles’

  • Holden Gemini (x2) – I had fun in my two Geminis but really, they were much like the Torana, above.
  • Saab 900 Turbo – my first 900 was a five-door automatic. It served us well, but it wasn’t the 900 I was looking for.

My Old Saab 900 T16 For Sale

My old 1985 Saab 900 T16 (AER-085) has just been listed for sale today!

I sold the car quite a few years ago to a student from Saudi Arabia. He owned the car until last year (I think) when he sold it to another Tasmanian local named Lee.

Lee has done some work to tidy up the car – new seats, refurbished wheels, a full service and new dampers – and has now put it on the market. I’m surprised he’s selling as he got in touch with me soon after he bought it and sounded keen on fixing it and keeping it. He does say it’s a reluctant sale and I can believe it.

The car has a new engine since I owned it and of course, it has the most wonderful note from its 2.5inch exhaust. Being a 1985 car, it’s cat-free and should theoretically have a bit more punch as a result. An additional mechanical bonus is the 1991 gearbox, which is stronger than the original mid-80’s unit.

I don’t know the owner and I can’t vouch for the current condition of the car, but if it drives half as good as it looks in the photos, it’d be a great little Saab 900.

Buyer beware, but worth a look.

Saab 900 Turbo on Gumtree. Click to enlarge.

SVD.se Playing Chicken With NEVS and Mahindra

SVD.se has a rather explosive article in its online newspaper today. Pingu raised it in comments and I’ve tracked it down online. Even when reading it via Google Translate, you can tell that this one’s got BIG written all over it.

A tangent, if I may….

It’d be nice if someone’s reputation was completely trashed as a result of this story. It’d be nice if they were exposed, hung out to dry and rendered unable to work in their chosen field of employment ever again.

Why?

Because someone’s lying here. Either someone at NEVS is playing fast and loose with the truth – which has massive ramifications – or one (or more) of the journalists at SVD is treading on extremely thin ice. Regardless of who is in the wrong, neither of them should be lying as part of their job – if they’re doing their job right.

/tangent

The story goes like this….. (according to SVD)

SVD claim that Mahindra effectively pulled out of negotiations in November last year after Saab AB demanded a fee for use of the Saab name. Mahindra were reportedly unprepared for this and it didn’t suit their business case, so they withdrew from negotiations.

Despite withdrawing, Mahindra was happy to sign a letter of intent, which effectively gave NEVS their second reconstruction period. You might remember that they were supposed to do due-diligence work in December and if they were happy, they’d fund the continuing reconstruction work through January and February.

SVD believes that whole scenario was a ruse designed to get NEVS through a second reconstruction period, and agreed to by Mahindra.

The consequences are huge if this story is true. The consequences ought to be huge for SVD if the story is false (and as Pingu points out, it’s very interesting that such an important story doesn’t have a writer’s byline attached to it).

If this story is true, NEVS must stand accused of having lied to its creditors and lied to the court on more than one occasion. NEVS stand accused of lying about the state of negotiations and prospects for a successful exit from reconstruction. And NEVS would stand accused of lying about this not once, but systematically for a number of months.

Note: NEVS was granted a further 3-months of reconstruction time earlier this week, so the alleged lie continues (if that’s what it is – read on).

It’s one thing to give half-truths to the press in the name of media management. That’s breakfast, lunch and dinner for a company press officer. It’s another thing all together to systematically lie to your creditors and the courts in a bankruptcy procedure. That’s well past the point of no return.

If this story is true, Mahindra has been complicit in these lies. I’m not sure what burden they might bear under Swedish law for this type of behaviour but let’s just say they wouldn’t be on many people’s Christmas card lists.

Someone’s head has to roll for this. Either someone at NEVS will be reduced to pumping gas at a station out in the woods or an unnamed journalist ought to investigate a career flipping burgers.

The form guide suggests it should be the journalist. The Swedish press loves a good beat-up and there’s been no bigger target than Saab Automobile over the last 6 years.

A few weeks ago, SVD wrote that there were no ongoing talks between Saab AB and a foreign carmaker in relation to use of the Saab brand name. SVD gave the impression that no continuous talks meant that the deal had fallen through and was off the table.

Saabtala spoke with Saab AB’s press officer and got more information, which cast SVD’s article in a dubious light. Saabtala was told that “There are no ongoing discussions between with Us (SAAB AB) NEVS or a new majority owner. There has not been for some months now. However that does No rule out that the discussion we have had was fruitful or that a contact is being kept between us and the proposed new majority owner of NEVS”.

It’s not a confirmation that everything’s A-OK, that’s for sure. But it’s far from the disaster that SVD painted it to be.

I’d also like to point out my own chat with the gypsies, which yielded that the buyer(s) currently in talks for the purchase of Saab is/are the same buyer(s) that have been in play all along. If it was Mahindra as far back as August, then it’s still Mahindra now.

So this week, with another reconstruction deadline looming (Saab has a creditors meeting coming up on March 23 to formally agree on debt reduction) SVD seem to be timing stories to crank up the pressure on NEVS and Saab AB.

This story’s a big one, for the reasons outlined above. Someone’s lying to someone and that someone ought never be in a position to lie about something important ever again.

It’ll be interesting to see who that is. That’s for sure.

Every Car I’ve Ever Owned

I was thinking I might do a post on the three best and three worst cars I’ve ever owned. Such a list requires a little perspective, though, so here’s the full complement of cars that have crossed my driveway over the years.

It’s not as many as I thought it would be, actually – 25 cars in 27 years of driving. That’s not quite the one-per-year average I would have expected.

I’m obviously not trying hard enough :-)

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Holden Gemini

My little blue Gemini. I bought it for $3,000 around January 1988, three months before I got my licence. I wrote it off after a crash with a rather large tree 9 months later.

The photo below is not my actual car, but one of similar vintage. Imagine this in baby blue (and without a kangaroo)…

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Holden LJ Torana

Given that my first car felt a little bit ‘girlie’, I beefed things up a little and bought a classic young Australian hoon’s car for $4,500. It had a 202 6-cyl with an Aussie 4-speed. I thoroughly enjoyed my Torana – including everything that ‘enjoying’ a small muscle car entails when you’re 18 years old – but totally neglected it and it died a natural death after about three years. Shame.

This IS my actual car, with an old mate of mine in the passenger seat.

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Holden Gemini

Low on cash after the death of the Torana, I stumped up another $2800 for a yellow Gemini. This one had the advantage of a 5-speed gearbox and a great amplifier wired into the sound system. The downside was the broken driver’s seat that I had to hold up with a football.

Not my actual car. This, but yellow.

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Toyota Celica Liftback

Can’t remember what I paid for this one, but it would have been in the region of $4,000. My first properly decent car, which I promptly traded when the car that followed it became available….

This is not my car, but exactly the same in the looks department.

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Toyota Celica XX

I’d only just bought the 4-cylinder Celica (above) when this rare 6-cylinder became available. It was called a Supra in some markets but wherever my one was sold (I don’t think it was an Australian delivery), it was called Celica XX. It had a 2-litre fuel injected straight six and it kept me going through three full years of university.

I sold this one for next-to-nothing after getting a job that included the use of a company vehicle.

Mine looked exactly like this, with the exception of the wing mirrors. My mirrors were in a more traditional position, near the driver.

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Saab 99 E

My first Saab, bought for $1,000 from a vehicle recycler. It was spectacularly slow and though it looked grubby when I first took it home, my ex-wife and I dismantled the interior and cleaned the whole car within an inch of its life. It emerged looking like a little Swedish fire truck. So shiny.

Sadly, my ex wrote it off in a parking incident.

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Alfa Romeo Alfasud Sprint

Dissatisfied with the use of a boring company vehicle and sad at the loss of the 99E, I picked up this Sprint on the cheap. It was my first Alfa Romeo. I knew nothing about driving boxer-engined Alfas when I owned this. I know plenty about it, now.

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Saab 99 Turbo

I bought my first turbocharged Saab for $400. It was due to be towed to a wrecker’s yard if it didn’t sell that weekend. I had the turbo and gearbox replaced and enjoyed some of the most wonderful motoring for the year or so that followed. I’d always wanted a 900, though, so I made a stupid decision and sold the 99 Turbo to buy one. If I’d only known how hard a good one is to come by (and if I only had the resources to keep it at the time). This was pre-TS and I was a completely uneducated Saab owner.

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Saab 900 Turbo

I wanted a 900 and I wanted it bad – so I bought this one in a rush of blood. How can you tell? Well, it was an automatic and a 5-door instead of a manual 3-door. I regretted parting with the 99 Turbo straight away so after a time, I bought it back again :-)

This is not my car, but I don’t seem to be able to find any digital photos of mine so this will have to do. Mine was a metallic grey Turbo with a grey velour interior and it was very comfortable. It’s a pity those auto transmissions can be so slow.

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Saab 99 Turbo

This was me buying back the white one that I sold a few years earlier. I missed it a lot and thankfully, the kid I sold it to kept my details and called when he was ready to sell again. It finally died when 2nd gear gave up the ghost.

Damn those glass Saab gearboxes.

Saab 99 Turbo

A friend was going through some marriage turmoil and was going to sell this 99Turbo for about half its value. So I bought it from her. Her husband still hates me to this day, I think. I sold the car around 4 months later as I had no room and it was the most saleable car I had. No money was made on the deal. It passed into safe hands, which was all I really cared about.

This is not my car in the photo below. Once again, I can’t seem to fund any photos of it. The car in the photo belongs to a friend in Sydney. Mine was similar in both looks and condition at the time, though I think my old one’s deteriorated a bit now.

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Saab 9-3 Viggen

Buying the Viggen was the biggest purchase of my automotive life at the time. It was the first time I bought a car less than 10 years old and the first time I spent 5-figures on a car. With it’s Lightning Blue paint, special interior and B235R engine, the Viggen really was something special.

Sadly, I wrote this one off at Baskerville Raceway in 2007.

SwadeSaab9-3Viggen

Saab 900 Turbo

The Viggen accident took a long time to settle with the insurance company (I won) and in the meantime, I bought this 900 Turbo to keep me going. I bought it from the same guy who owns the red 99T, above, which accounts for the 900’s excellent condition when I bought it.

This 1985 Saab 900 16V flat-nose had some intermittent problems, however. The car would just stop running for no discernable reason. Two minutes later, it would start up again like nothing had ever happened. Strange.

I sold it to a student here in Hobart and he owned it until last year (I think) when he sold it to another local who’s been in touch with me about it. He was going to do some interior restoration. I hope to see it again one day.

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Alfa Romeo 33 16V

This was the beginning of my modern Alfa Romeo renaissance. I bought this 33 in Melbourne in one of my favourite scenarios – a guy who didn’t realise what he had, who presented it using poor photos and without being cleaned up when viewed in person. The car was a gem. An absolute gem. I got it for around 70% of its true value and I still regret selling it to this day.

I chipped the ECU and fitted a 2.25 inch exhaust. The sound and the performance were both totally addictive.

My first Alfa 33 16V

Mazda MX-5

The MX-5 is the only convertible I’ve ever owned.

I wanted to know what the fuss was about but sadly I never really bonded with it. I wouldn’t mind having another crack at it some time. Next time, I’ll find a way to store the hardtop so I don’t end up leaving it on the car so much.

Mazda MX-5

Saab 99 Turbo

I bought another 99Turbo with a view to restoring it, but lacking the resources or the know-how, I ended up passing it on to a friend who collected 99s.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

One day I’ll actually do one of these resto jobs.

Saab 9-3 Monte Carlo

I got the Monte at a great price and it was a good car. I kept thinking I could make it into a Viggen, however, which was a mistake. Only a Viggen can be a Viggen. The Monte had more power than a Viggen by the time I sold it (and better suspension) but it still failed to deliver the same thrill as a Viggen.

It proved to me just how well car companies do things when they put their mind to it. The Viggen might be a flawed masterpiece, but it’s a masterpiece nonetheless.

Saab 9-3 Monte Carlo

Saab 900 LPT

Fast forward to 2011. I was in Sweden working for Saab and I wanted a vehicle to get me around to places other than the Saab factory. My experiences with the Saab 900 in Australia left a little to be desired and I crossed my fingers and toes that I’d have a better experience in Sweden.

I did.

My little red LPT 900 S carried me across the country a couple of times and everywhere in between. It picked up my Ikea furniture, took me to dinner and lunch everywhere and performed perfectly every time. It was everything I hoped a 900 would be (except luxurious, but it felt more Swedish that way. Lagom.)

Saab900Sweden

Alfa Romeo 33 16V

Lamenting the sale of my first 33, I bought another when I got back to Australia. This was my first real ‘miss’ as a car buyer – it was a poor car and its condition only worsened, regardless of the considerable amounts of money I threw at it.

My second Alfa 33 16V (not so good)

Subaru Brumby

The Brumby was purchased after replacing the clutch in a number of cars over the years, thanks to our very steep driveway. I used to park at the bottom and every morning I’d have to rev the crap out of the car to get it up the drive. The secret to managing this in the Brumby is selectable high- and low-range 4WD.

It’s also economical, incredibly durable and practical. That’s why it’s now one of the longest-held cars I’ve ever owned. The car enthusiast in me says ‘meh’ but the bloke in me absolutely loves this Brumby.

Brumby Ute

Alfa Romeo GTV6

This was a car with a great heritage, having been built by a professional racing engineer as his personal car. The sound was amazing. There’s nothing quite like the note of an Alfa V6. The GTV6 is hard work to drive fast, but very rewarding if you get it right.

GTV6 Regularity 2012

Porsche 968 ClubSport

This was my first foray into Porsche ownership.

The 968 is an astounding car – for a four cylinder. And therein lies the problem with the 968: there’s always some sort of qualifying statement attached to it. Great club car – though not as fast as a 911. Excellent handling, but have you got the M030 pack? Not bad at all, for a front-engined Porsche.

There’s always something more you can do with a Porsche and doing anything with a Porsche involves $$$. Lots of them. And the Porsche world can be very competitive, which means you feel like spending the $$$.

My driveway made driving this car a real pain and I had too much money tied up in it to just leave it in the garage. How much? Well, after selling the 968 I got the Alfa Sprint and the 928 you see below, plus $10K left over.

It’s an amazing car. The most technically competent car I’ve ever owned, by far. Maybe in the future I’ll get one in circumstances that allow me to drive it more often.

Porsche 968 Driveway

Lancia Fulvia 1.3 Rallye

I wasn’t going to include this one as I never actually drove it anywhere. At least I drove the 99T restorer from Melbourne to Hobart.

But, I did legally own the Fulvia, so here it is. The photo was taken last week as it was loaded onto a trailer to go to its new home, where it will join a restored Flaminia, Flavia and Fulvia sedan.

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Alfa Romeo Sprint

My bargain Christmas present, purchased on Christmas Eve 2014. This car is sooooo much fun to drive. I lovelovelove it.

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Porsche 928 S

My most recent purchase – owned for just a few weeks as at the time of writing. I’m still coming to terms with the 928S and its charms. It’s certainly an amazing piece of design and engineering.

Is it an amazing car to drive? Hmmmmm……

Porsche928S

Video: EVO, CvK And The Koenigsegg Regera

The Koenigsegg Regera has now been unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show. I published some preliminary ‘facts’ and figures just before the initial launch and the confirmed numbers are even more amazing.

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Regera-Drive-Rendering-1440-930x503

I’ve mentioned before that my visits to Koenigsegg’s facilities in Angelholm were some of the most mind-blowing experiences I’ve had in my short time connected to the automotive industry. The mountain of technology that goes into Koenigsegg cars is almost beyond description and the fact that Christian von Koenigsegg is so down-to-earth about it makes this small company all the more appealing.

EVO shot this 12-minute interview with Christian at Geneva and it’s probably the best introduction to the Regera that you’re ever going to get.

With a $1.8m base price, you’re highly unlikely to ever own one but that’s not the point. The point is having such access to the development of greatness. The Regera is Koenigsegg pushing the envelope once again and the truly great thing about Christian is that he’s always happy to give you a front row seat for the journey.

Enjoy.

The Koenigsegg Regera Is A Lot More Interesting Than Kim Kardashian’s Butt

They said that Kim Kardashian’s champagne butt photo broke the internet a few months ago. By rights, the Koenigsegg Regera should split the darn thing in two.

The internet, that is.

It won’t, because the Swedes aren’t like that. But it should.

I’m still waiting for a proper press release, but the first stories about the Regera are starting to appear online now ahead of Koenigsegg’s press function at the Geneva Motor Show.

I’ve pinched one photo from Jalopnik. You’ll have to head over there yourself for the rest.

Koenigsegg Regera

The Regera, in dot points:

  • 1,500hp
  • 1,627kg
  • 0-400kph in under 20 seconds
  • Direct drive – no gearbox
  • Conceived and built in just 8 months
  • 80 to be produced at US$1.89mil
  • Twin-turbo combustion engine
  • 3 electric engines
  • 21km pure electric drive range
  • Apple Carplay via 9-inch Neonode zForce touchscreen

What’s truly amazing is the 8-month build story. Most of Koenigsegg’s cars have had a very similar look to them over the years. They’ve been an evolution of a familiar design. The Regera has a similar profile from the side but it looks very different, front and back. To design and build that car from scratch in just 8 months is a truly amazing feat (of course, it’s just a show car, so it may be incomplete, but still….)

Christian, you’ve done it again.

Simply amazing.

Shannons Car Show – March 2015

It’s the first Sunday of the month and normally that means Classics By The Beach. This month, however, it meant the annual Shannons car show held at Rosny Park, just down the hill from home.

Fine conditions early were tempered by light showers in the early afternoon. There was a great turnout, nonetheless. I missed a few hours of the show and some cars had already left by the time I got there, but thankfully a mate named Bruce was there earlier and has chipped in with some of his photos to complete the story.

It’s a mega-gallery, this one. So grab a cuppa and enjoy.

Click any of the photos to enlarge.

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Ferrari Dino

I’m hesitant to make this a feature car this week because it should feature in a much nicer setting, with much nicer photos. But how often to you get to see a Dino in person? Sometimes you’ve got to take your chances as they present. And let’s face it, the camera just loves this car.

Click to enlarge…..

It’s amazing to think that there have been times when some of the Dino models have been less loved than other Ferraris. That’s mostly the fate of the 348 Bertone Dinos rather than this one. But even these 246 Dino GT’s, whilst climbing nicely in price, don’t attract anywhere near the stratospheric prices of their Ferrari 250 cousins. I don’t understand why, because this is one of the most beautiful bodies that’s ever adorned a motor vehicle, IMHO.

Outstanding.

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Old timers

“When you buy one of these cars, you have to become your own engineer”

There are probably a few blokes around who can still fix these old timers, but the cost would be prohibitive and the care these guys exhibit when they fabricate, fix and fettle these old gems is telling.

One of the guys, whose cars are featured often on this website (he’s got a beautiful collection) is going to tackle a Jaguar C-type replica next. All he’s waiting on is the space to build it. Sweet.

I would love to know the story behind this……

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The Aussies

Going to a car show like this one used to be all about the Holdens and Fords on display. Thankfully, we’re a little more diverse than that now, which means it’s easier to actually appreciate the Fords and Holdens on display.

For me, it’s a case of the older, the better. As you can see, most of the Fords and Holdens below date back to the 1960’s and 1970’s.

My favourite Holden of all time is the EH from 1964. And there were a bunch of them on show today.

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What’s the collective noun for a group of gigantic carburettors? A stage? This LJ Torana race car has a ‘stage’ of three 45mm Solexes. Huge.

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Click….

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The Europeans

There were several Ferraris present, along with a slew of other Italians, Germans and Brits on the day.

One of my humble favourites was sitting among the Italian Mob. I love a slow-car-driven-fast and this Fiat 128 Coupe is exactly that, as you can see from the number of hillclimb stickers on the side.

This Fiat 850 belongs to a mate and has seen plenty of driving-in-anger over the years….

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This Alfa GTV 2.0 sounded as sweet as it looks. And it’s for sale.

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Bruce, who’s photos accompany mine on this entry, brought along his wonderfully clean Porsche 911 Carrera.

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And this Porsche 930 parked near Bruce’s car looked the goods, too.

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The full European gallery (minus the Jags, below)

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The Jaguars

I’ve got a bit of a thing going for old Jaguars at the moment. Dreams of a Mark 2 3.8 with straight pipes keep going through my head. Must be a Wheeler Dealers thing.

Anyway, there were a number of fine examples present at the show, from the aforementioned Mark 2 to up to the XJ and everything in between. Elegance personified.

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The Muscle Cars

You’ve already seen some Aussie muscle, above, but there was plenty of American muscle at the show, too. The blue Dodge Challenger was a particular favourite but there were Mustangs a-plenty, too.

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The Hot Rods

Hot Rods aren’t my thing, but there were plenty of them there. So for those who are into what are probably the ultimate custom cars, here’s a little gallery for you….

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The Others…

Here are some of the other wierd, wonderful and ones that make you wonder :-)

A Toyota T-18 that’s had plenty of money spent.

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An interesting VW Beetle paint job…..

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Personally speaking, I’m not into low-riders, but they did look great when they were living the field later in the day. And therein lies the beauty of car shows, getting to see the effort that people make without having to make it yourself.

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This is an Auburn-Cord-Deusenberg Speedster replica and a great looking one, at that. You can read more about them here.

A Toyota 700, with a 35hp two-cylinder boxer engine and automatic transmission. Again, not a car that I necessarily find fascinating, but I do find it fascinating that a) they were made in the first place, and b) people keep them going. It’s a wonderful thing.

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And finally…..

I took this photo as this model Corolla was very nearly my first car. I looked at one when I was 17 but they wanted a little more money than I could afford. They still look groovy today.

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NEVS and The Gypsies

There have been some speculations, rumours, tall stories and fables going around. They question whether [Mahindra] are still in the game negotiating for Saab, or whether there is some ‘old lover’ involved in the scenario.

A story even came out yesterday about Saab AB having not had any discussions with anyone about anything to do with naming rights.

What to make of it?

Well, I got in touch with a gypsy woman who channeled the soul of an Indian snake charmer who’s brother lives next door to a Mumbai curry vendor. The gypsy then read some chicken entrails, had a bath in rosehip tea while screaming at the top of her lungs for 17 minutes. After all that, this is what she told me….

The prospective suitor in negotiations right now is the same one that’s been in the game all along. It hasn’t changed. There’s no new player and no old lover.

They gypsy doesn’t know why Saab AB were so adamant in their denial about talks but she favoured the NEVS administrator, who maintained that discussions have indeed taken place.

So if we maintain that the officially unnamed suitor is Mahindra, they’re still in the game, still at the table and the administrator (or a representative from the prospective owner) is apparently talking with someone from Saab AB, although to what degree and with what sort of regularity, we don’t know. Saab AB, for whatever reason, want to keep it on the down-low when the Swedish press come calling.

We also don’t know when it’s likely to be finished but hopefully there’ll be a result – one way or another – in the near future.

NEVS Update – Losses and Meetings

NEVS’s most recent reconstruction period ends in a matter of days – they’re applying for an extension today – and as we last heard, they had written to creditors seeking a debt reduction agreement.

I apologise for not being more in touch with what’s going on (I’m a little preoccupied at the moment) but thankfully, Pingu is keeping up with reports and posted the following in comments just now. I figured it was interesting stuff that should be here on the front page for those who might want to know.

Take it away, Pingu…..

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NEVS lost 1.2 billion SEK in 2014 (that’s $145m USD) according to a new document to the local court. That makes a total loss of 1.9 billion SEK ($225m USD) since NEVS bought Saab Automobile in mid 2012. It costs money to own a factory…

(In related news, Volvo Cars last year made a profit of 2.3 billion SEK. Volvo is on a roll and is looking more and more interesting with its new-found attitude and aggressiveness.)

Today, Thursday, will see a meeting at NEVS in Trollhättan for creditors regarding the proposal for debt reduction. ttela.se reports about mixed feelings. FKG (Scandinavian Automotive Supplier Association) says that some members feels it is positive that something is happening in the process, and also notes that it is more common to end up with less than 50% in situations like this. But other members have more criticism towards NEVS. The don’t like that fact that NEVS a few months back talked about full payment, but now wants a debt reduction. They also questions where the money will come from, and how they in the future can have a profitable business relation with NEVS. Creditors decisions are expected on Monday (March 2). A positive outcome will see a debt reduction meeting at the local court.

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Interesting times.

I might try and touch base with my sole remaining contact at NEVS and see what he’s got to say about the process and the prospective timeline. I’m sure I’ll only get the news they want us to hear, but it’ll be interesting nonetheless.