New Zealand Classic Car 158, February 2004

James Bond drove one to worldwide fame in Goldfinger and now we follow in 007's wheel-tracks as we feature a simply sensational Aston Martin DB5 on our front cover. We had to travel all the way down to Queenstown but what's a few thousand miles when there's a DB5 at the end of the road?

Our featured 1965 Aston Martin may not be equipped with machine guns, a revolving number plate and an ejector seat, but it was the deserving winner of the Master's Class at the 2003 Ellerslie Intermarque Concours - and just a quick glance at our photographs will show you why this car won such a prestigious award. Stunning is an understatement. We take this glittering prize for a quick spin and discover all the hard work that is required to come up with a top echelon concours winning classic. Nice one 'Q'!

Mortal Kombat:  Most people would reckon that 235kW of turbocharged Porsche would be quite enough. However, that doesn't apply to Alois Ruf - the mastermind behind our featured Ruf BTR2. A radically reworked 911 roadster, the BTR2 packs a staggering 456kW power-punch - that's over 600bhp on the Imperial scale! It's enough to propel this missile to a top speed of 302kph (200mph), while demolishing our national speed limit in a license-losing 3.7 seconds. We compare this Porsche hot-rod to the 'standard' production 992 C2 - and that's the first time we ever came away from a Porsche road-test with the impression that it was a pussy-cat - but most road cars would be left eating dust in the wake of the Ruf!

Saloon Classics: After the heady world of supercar classics, we return to earth with a look at a Lincoln Town Car. Not exactly your average everyday classic, this Lincoln is a big, bold limousine packed with every conceivable convenience. Definitely one for a Sunday morning cruise.

We also travel to Palmerston North to check out a freshly restored 1941 Chevrolet coupe. A rare beast, there are very few of these war-year Chevs on our roads and even NZCC's main throttle-bender, Tim Nevinson, came away impressed.

Classic Motorsport: If you like your classic action to be fast, we have plenty to keep you interested with reports on three classic car race meets. Our NZ Classic Racing Saloons author, Steve Holmes, takes a look at the new Central Muscle Car series, which promises to return V8 thunder back on to local circuits throughout the country.

We visit Manfeild for the Whittaker's Classic, always one of the best classic race events of the year - no wonder they call it Magic Manfeild - and this year the meeting also introduced the first round of the previously mentioned Central Muscle Car series.

Travelling down to the Mainland, we take in the sights and sounds of Ruapuna's 40th Anniversary meet - which brought out many vintage racers onto the circuit. Finally, we fly across the pond and visit Sandown to experience some gritty NZ vs Australia F5000 action. Of course, the Kiwis won the day - with Roger Williams and his McRae GM1 (as featured in NZCC #136, April 2002) taking out top honours.

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