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Clark Gable’s custom 1952 Jaguar XK120 is up for auction right now

Clark Gable Jaguar XK120

A 1952 Jaguar XK120 Roadster, originally owned by movie icon Clark Gable, is now being offered for sale.

Discovered abandoned in 2010, the classic Jag has been subject to a thorough restoration process to return the car to its former glory. 

Being owned by one of Hollywood’s greatest stars, and featuring custom touches by George Barris, should make this a roadster in demand. 

“I’m no actor and I never have been”

Clark Gable Jaguar XK120

The 1952 XK120 available on Bring a Trailer is said to be one of three owned by Clark Gable during his silver screen career. 

Best known for appearing in the 1939 classic Gone with the Wind, Gable was rated as the seventh-greatest legendary movie star by the American Film Institute. He also topped lists of biggest money-making actors multiple times. 

Such success allowed him to indulge in pleasures such as buying Jaguar sports cars, even into the twilight years of his career after military service during World War II. 

Hollywood Hobbies 

Clark Gable Jaguar XK120

Built in July 1952, the XK120 Roadster available for sale was delivered to Los Angeles and sold through the Hornburg dealership. Originally painted in Battleship Grey by the factory, the car was sent almost immediately to the workshops of George and Sam Barris. 

Gable’s initial Jaguar XK120 was the first one sold in the United States, having been bought new in Hollywood. His second was said to have been a gift from Tony Hulman, the owner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

This meant he wanted his third XK120 to stand out, meaning the gray paintwork had to go. As such, Gable asked Barris Kustoms to repaint the Jaguar in a bold bronze color scheme. 

Too Hot to Handle

Clark Gable Jaguar XK120

Along with the paintwork, Barris Kustoms also shaved the headlight spears, smoothed the front fenders, and removed decorative items from the trunk. A custom-made hardtop was also installed, plus Barris Kustoms badges. 

The interior of the XK120 was left unchanged by Barris Kustoms, retaining the bold red leather upholstery and matching wool carpets. 

Also untouched was the standard 3.4-liter six-cylinder engine and its twin SU carburettors. This offered 160 horsepower, and made the XK120 the world’s fastest production car when it debuted in 1948. 

Gone with the Wind 

Clark Gable Jaguar XK120

Following Gable’s death in 1960, details of where the XK120 went are unclear. However, it was discovered by a Chicago-based car collector in 2010, having been left in storage.

The extensive restoration was then commissioned, including having the car painted in the subtler Opalescent Sand color seen on it now.

All work was documented and photographed, including original items like the factory tool kit and custom luggage marked with Gable’s initials. 

Following the restoration the car has appeared at the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the 2019 Greenwich Concours, and this year’s Amelia Island Concours event.

Homecoming

Clark Gable Jaguar XK120

A Jaguar XK120 in fully restored condition, and with only 18,000 miles on the odometer, would be a desirable classic in almost any situation.

Having been owned by a cinema legend, and featuring modifications by a famed custom shop, makes this a unique proposition. 

Certificates of authenticity from Barris Kustoms and the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust are included in the sale, plus a photo of Gable with the car itself. 

The car is being sold as part of Bring a Trailer’s Premium service, meaning the auction runs for longer than normal. Due to conclude on Friday, April 10th, Gable’s Jaguar has already received several big bids.

Fuel stations at risk of closure due to coronavirus

Rural filling station

Many filling stations will have to close in coming weeks as a collapse in demand makes businesses unviable.

The Petrol Retailers Association has warned rural fuel stations are particularly at risk.

Demand for petrol is down 75 percent, while diesel is down 71 percent as motorists heed government warnings to stay at home.

ALSO READ: How to find the cheapest petrol and diesel near you

This is having a severe impact on filling station businesses, says the PRA, where sales volumes have plunged.  

The association is now warning motorists in rural areas to check their local filling station is open before they travel to buy fuel.

“To help freight move and help key workers travel safely and independently through this period of crisis, petrol filling stations must remain open,” said PRA chairman Brian Madderson.

“But this is proving to be a challenge for many.”

The collapse in oil prices is not helping independent filling stations, either: a PRA survey suggests six in 10 have full storage tanks, purchased weeks earlier when oil prices were much higher.

“Fuel retailers are having to maintain pump prices at previous levels to avoid suffering significant losses,” said Mr Madderson.

“When the COVID-19 restrictions and high sales volumes return, then we expect to see reductions in retail fuel prices.”

He has asked the government to give smaller fuel retailers the same 60-day credit terms as those enjoyed by supermarkets.

Lamborghini Urus

Lamborghini sales boom as 6 in 10 cars sold is an SUV

Lamborghini Urus

New figures from Lamborghini show worldwide sales rocketed 43 percent in 2019 to more than 8,000 super-priced vehicles.

Driving this success is the impact of the £160,000 Urus SUV, which clocked up almost 5,000 sales.

This means six in 10 new Lamborghinis sold is an SUV.

The controversial Urus has divided some supercar enthusiasts, but its impact on the firm’s bottom line is undeniable.

Lamborghini turnover grew 28 percent to €1.81 billion (£1.6 billion) and record sales were recorded in all global markets.

Profitability also reached levels ‘unprecedented’ in the firms’ 56-year history.

The Urus has helped Lamborghini set “new historic highs in all key business figures,” said chairman and CEO Stefano Domenicali.

Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenicali

However, he did warn of the impact coronavirus will potentially have on the firm – and underlined the “extraordinariness of the situation” on Italy.

ALSO READ: Lamborghini is making masks and face shields for coronavirus medics

“Our country is living through a situation that could never have been expected and, on behalf of the company, I would like to thank all the people… that are contributing to manage this crisis in a remarkable way.”

He added the start to 2020 had been “excellent” and “based on our results so far, we continue to prepare for further sustainable growth… in order to reach new future milestones”.

The figures from Lamborghini will provide much-needed encouragement to another sports car firm making its first venture into SUVs, Britain’s Aston Martin.

The under-pressure company is set to launch the new DBX SUV and is pinning its future survival on the success of the £160k model.

How to make your own Toyota GT86

Toyota GT86 model

With its newly-launched kit, Toyota says you’ll simply require access to a colour printer, some paper glue and a pair of scissors to create your very own GT86.

We’d add a ‘sticky-out tongue‘ and some choice words to the list.

In fairness, creating your own paper Toyota GT86 doesn’t look too taxing. Toyota claims the car should be finished within an hour, so with six designs available, your children should be kept occupied for most of the working day.

There’s also the potential to host your own one-make race series, although we’d recommend keeping these cars away from the skirting boards. Paper isn’t known for its structural rigidity and we doubt these cars would pass the Euro NCAP safety test.

Paper chase

Toyota GT86 paper model

The six designs were originally created for the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed to commemorate 50 years of Toyota in the UK.

We’re featuring the Yatabe Speed Trial Toyota 2000GT design, complete with yellow paintwork, dark green bonnet and prominent Esso sponsorship.

Other liveries include the Shelby Toyota 2000GT, Ove Andersson’s Toyota Celica 1600GT, IMSA GTU Toyota Celica, Castrol Toyota Celica GT-Four and Esso Ultron Tiger Toyota Supra.

Big kids with big hands are advised to print them on A3 paper, but A4 will be fine if your working-from-home printer isn’t up to scratch. You’re advised to separate each of the three main sections and each of the four tyres from the grey background.

Paper cut

Toyota GT86 cut-out template

Fold and glue all of the tabs so that they adhere to the underside of the adjacent panel. Toyota says the finished article ”should resemble a Toyota GT86“, with a strong emphasis on the word ‘should’.

If your last attempt at a build-your-own paper car involved sticky back plastic and John Noakes, some child supervision might be required.

One thing’s for certain: an armchair critic will pipe up with some nonsense about the paper Toyota GT86 needing more power. 

Proud of your efforts? Be sure to share them with Toyota GB on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

Download the designs here: 

Yatabe Speed Trial Toyota GT86

Shelby Toyota 2000GT

Ove Andersson’s Toyota Celica 1600GT

IMSA GTU Toyota Celica

Castrol Toyota Celica GT-Four

Esso Ultron Tiger Toyota Supra

 

Coronavirus: NHS workers to get free Uber rides

Uber to give free rides and meals to NHS staff

Ride-hailing company Uber has announced it will give free rides to NHS staff travelling to work during the coronavirus crisis. 

A total of 200,000 free rides will be made available, as a thank you from the company to health workers.

All NHS workers need is a valid NHS or HSC email address, which they should link to an Uber account.

Uber to give free rides and meals to NHS staff

In the app, first tap on the menu at the top left, then tap ‘wallet’ and then ‘add promo code’.

This week’s Uber code for free rides is NHSAPRIL20, with codes updated every week.

Up to 10 rides can be claimed each week per account – there and back for every working day. The journey will be covered up to the value of £15. Beyond that, charges can be incurred.

Staff can visit uber.com/nhs for more information on the offer.

A free meal with a free ride

Uber to give free rides and meals to NHS staff

In addition to this, Uber is offering free meals to NHS staff with its Uber Eats food delivery arm. Up to 100,000 will be available, from the wide range of restaurants and convenience stores that use the service. Orders can be delivered to home, or even to a hospital ward. 

Email codes will be sent to NHS accounts linked with Uber Eats accounts. You can update your contact details and receive a code within 48 hours of doing so. The limit for food orders is five per week, per person.

Uber

In its email to account holders, Uber said “we want to help reduce the pressure on the heroes on the frontline of the coronavirus crisis.”

“So please share this email with anyone you know who works for the NHS. And while you’re at it, please thank them for all that they do.”

Bin lorries will play ‘ice cream van’ music to alert householders

Bin lorries to play ice cream van music

Missed bin collections could soon be a thing of the past, with plans for refuse collection lorries to play ‘ice cream van’ music on their rounds.

The idea has been put forward as an ‘effortless reminder’ to fend off ‘the sinking feeling of realising you’ve forgotten to take out the bins’. 

BusinessWaste, a UK-based rubbish collection company, says it will add speakers to all collection trucks. They will play upbeat music to alert people to put bins out.

Bin lorries to play ice cream van music

“The idea came when the ice cream van in my local area did the rounds one afternoon, and I realised that everyone was emerging from their houses in pursuit of ice cream,” said company spokesperson, Sid Phillips.

“That’s when I realised, if we played a jingle, the people would come.”

“It’s a problem for all of us – we get so caught up in the day-to-day madness of life that we forget to put the bins out. That’s why we are adding jingles to our bin lorries, so the bin lorry itself can remind you to take your rubbish out.”

‘My old man’s a dustman’

Bin lorries to play ice cream van music

A pilot for the scheme found that most householders in a Coventry cul-de-sac responded well to the sounds of My Old Man’s a Dustman in ice cream chime form.

“Who doesn’t want to be woken up to the sound of an ice cream truck at 7am?” said Lisa, a mother of three.

“I was particularly impressed that the bin men were handing out free flakes along the way. It was a nice touch and softened the blow of the kids expecting a whippy first thing in the morning.”

Bin lorries to play ice cream van music

Phillips has suggested playing different tunes for different bin collections: “Imagine having Greensleeves to remind you of your normal rubbish one week, and a bit of Nessun Dorma the next week for your recycling”.  T

The company also asked its customers for song suggestions, getting everything from God save the Queen to Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley.

We would probably enjoy the latter. In fact, we reckon it should be implemented right away, starting with any bin collections happening today (April 1st). 

There are, however, concerns over licensing costs. “At the end of the day it comes down to how much money we can afford to pay in royalties for the music,” Phillips followed. “Maybe we’ll just stick with the ‘just one cornetto’ song. It works for the ice cream man, after all.”

NHS Vauxhall

Vauxhall offers free breakdown cover to NHS staff

NHS Vauxhall

Vauxhall is pledging free roadside assistance to all NHS staff who drive one of its cars during the coronavirus crisis.

The offer extends to any Vauxhall vehicle, regardless of age or mileage.

Normally, only people who buy a brand new Vauxhall get the 12-month Roadside Assistance package.

ALSO READ: Free car parking for NHS staff during coronavirus

The assistance programme will deploy a technician in the event of a breakdown to attempt a repair at the roadside.  

If this isn’t possible, it includes recovery of the vehicle to a Vauxhall repairer or independent garage within a 10-mile radius.

The owner gets taxi support to the their home or place of work within 20 miles.  

“Keeping our NHS colleagues mobile is vital,” said Vauxhall MD Stephen Norman.

The offer will “hopefully offer some reassurance” to key workers who do not already have any mechanical breakdown cover.

“Vauxhall is committed to providing continued support to essential services and key workers, many of whom drive Vauxhalls, during this time.”

NHS staff: how do I claim free Vauxhall roadside assistance?

Vauxhall has made claiming the support package for NHS staff as simple as possible.

They call a special number – 0800 197 2049 – and quote ‘NHS key worker’.

The operator will ask for their make of Vauxhall, its registration, the exact location and details of the breakdown problem.

NHS workers don’t need to pre-register for the initiative; they simply show their NHS Care Identity Number (Smart Card) or Trust ID Badge to the technician in order to prove their eligibility.

Lamborghini is making masks and face shields for coronavirus medics

Lamborghini covid face masks

Automobili Lamborghini has started the production of surgical masks and face shields for those helping fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The protective equipment will be donated to the Sant’Orsola-Malpighi Hospital in Bologna, located less than 20 miles away from Lamborghini’s factory in Sant’Agata. 

Lamborghini had previously taken the decision to stop car production on the 12th of March, with the coronavirus pandemic worsening in Italy. 

The need to make a concrete contribution

Lamborghini covid face masks

The Emilia-Romagna Region, which plays host to Lamborghini, Ferrari, Maserati, and Ducati, has been one of the Italian areas worst-hit by coronavirus.

The region has seen more than 14,000 cases, second only to Lombardy, 

Stefano Domenicali, Chairman and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini, commented that: “During this emergency, we feel the need to make a concrete contribution.

“The S. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital is an institution with which we have had a collaborative relationship for years, through both professional consultancy in promoting programs to protect our workers’ health, and in research projects. 

“We will win this battle together by working in union, supporting those who are at the forefront of fighting this pandemic every day.”

A display of unity and support

Lamborghini covid face masks

Instead of producing leather components for use in luxurious Lamborghini interiors, the company’s saddlery department is now producing face masks. Up to 1,000 masks per day can be produced by Lamborghini workers. 

This is in addition to a total of 200 plexiglass protective face shields being produced each day. These are made using 3D printers housed in the company’s research and development department.

All the protective equipment being produced by Lamborghini has been approved by the Emilia-Romagna Region local authorities. The University of Bologna will also undertake testing of the finished items to ensure they meet the relevant safety standards.

As a symbol of unity with the Emilia-Romagna Region and wider country, Lamborghini has also been illuminating its museum and headquarters with the colours of the Italian flag each evening.

How to take a virtual tour of Audi’s largest factory

AudiStream lets you virtually tour its German factory

Audi has come to the rescue of those stuck in isolation boredom with a virtual tour of its production facility in Ingolstadt, Germany.

AudiStream can take you around its largest factory, which occupies a similar amount of land as Monaco.

Such is the size of the facility, it even has its own ‘Ingolstadt Audi’ train station. The online tool can take you across the site in as little as 15 minutes.

AudiStream lets you virtually tour its German factory

Ingolstadt has been operational for some 70 years, with 441,608 cars built there in 2019. Around 2,300 Audis are assembled every day, with 45,000 workers making the process happen.

Audi is the first manufacturer to offer such an inside look at its production facility and technology. The A3 bodyshop and A4 assembly line can both be accessed via the stream.

The plant has recently been outfitted for production of the new A3. Audi’s new Golf-sized hatch was meant to debut at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this month. 

If you have questions about what you’re seeing, tour guides will be on hand to answer. They’ll be available via a live interactive discussion or online chat.

There are 20-minute time slots. These can be booked for the virtual AudiStream tour by visiting www.audi.stream.com.

AudiStream lets you virtually tour its German factory

This AudiStream tour joins other virtual experiences offered in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

Last weekend, self-isolating car enthusiasts were treated to a virtual Goodwood Members’ Meeting, with a ‘best of’ selection of races and demos sorted into two day-long streams.

With much of the 2020 F1 calendar postponed, a virtual Grand Prix series was also launched.

And for something a bit more static, but no less fascinating, you can take virtual tours of the Petersen and Mullin automotive museums in America.

Government figures reveal huge decline in road and rail travel

Transport figures show effect of social distancing

The Department of Transport has published figures that reveal how various modes of transport have been affected by the coronavirus crisis.

The graph below shows motor vehicles, national railways, London (TfL) buses and the London Underground. 

Transport figures show effect of social distancing

On February 27, everything is at 100 percent. By 3 March, the underground shows its first sign of decline.

By 18 March, tube use had halved, while bus use was at just over 75 percent. Travel by National Rail experienced a similar drop, at around 75 percent. Travel by car, meanwhile, had only just started to drop off by March 18.

However, the rate of drop after this date – around when the UK ‘lockdown’ first began – is enormous. By 25 March, car driving was down to 50 percent, dropping almost overnight from 75 percent. At this point, the three forms of public transport are down at or below 25 percent.

Transport figures show effect of social distancing

It’s difficult to compare these figures with UK cases of the virus, hospital admissions and the death rate, due to incubation periods, testing availability and so on.

However, in terms of new cases, the so-called curve appears to have softened, with the first drop-off occurring on 28 March, following the stark jump on 27 March. 

The real effects of the social distancing measures, evidenced in these transport figures, will only be visible in the longer term. For now, at least, it seems that most of the population has listened and stayed at home.