A Pontiac gets an overdue bath, Gandini weighs in on the new Countach, and a new MotoGP champion is crowned

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YouTube/AMMO NYC

1969 Pontiac LeMans gets first bath in 22 years

Intake: Larry Kosilla of the popular detailing YouTube channel AMMO NYC is no stranger to giving crusty cars a second shot at life through extensive cleaning. In his latest video, Kosilla details the revival of a 1969 Pontiac LeMans that sat dormant in a garage for 22 years, collecting mice, mold, and other sorts of detritus. The interior was a real challenge, requiring extensive cleaning just to create a cabin safe enough for a mechanic to get to work on. Through every step, Kosilla explains what’s going on, allowing even the most novice of detailers to keep up with the extensive cleaning process. The result of his multi-day work is a sight to behold.

Exhaust: It’s no secret that we can’t get enough of older barn finds getting a second lease on life. Kosilla’s channel is a treasure trove of these types of projects, and it’s worth spending some time milling around there to see other vehicles he’s worked on. While the restoration still has a long way to go, this LeMans has gone from eyesore to eye candy.

Marcello Gandini wants you to know he had nothing to do with the “new” Countach

Lamborghini

Intake: Legendary car designer Marcello Gandini designed the original Countach, but he’s made it clear that he is not a fan of Lamborghini’s reincarnated car, and is at pains to point out that he was not involved in the exercise. “Marcello Gandini clarifies that he has not participated in and does not approve the project, that he didn’t give his placet,” he said in a statement. If you thought that was bad PR for Lamborghini, just wait as the statement continues, “Marcello Gandini… as the author and creator of the original design from 1971, would like to clarify that the makeover does not reflect his spirit and his vision. A spirit of innovation and breaking the mould which is in his opinion totally absent in this new design: ‘I have built my identity as a designer, especially when working on supercars for Lamborghini, on a unique concept: each new model I would work on would be an innovation, a breaker, something completely different from the previous one. Courage, the ability to create a break without sticking to the success of the previous car, the confidence in not wanting to give in to habit were the very essence of my work,’ explained Gandini. ‘It is clear that markets and marketing itself has changed a lot since then, but as far as I am concerned, to repeat a model of the past, represents in my opinion the negation of the founding principles of my DNA.’”

Exhaust: Gandini hasn’t held anything back in his criticism of the new Countach and we respect him for sticking to his principles. You have to wonder whether this marks the end of a five-decade relationship and what impact Gandini’s words will have on the marketability of the latest model.

Fabio Quartararo ties up MotoGP Championship with two races to spare

Fabio Quartararo of France MotoGP
Steve Wobser/Getty Images

Intake: It’s been a season full of both literal and figurative twists and turns for the MotoGP paddock, but no rider has experienced the ups and downs quite like Yamaha rider Fabio Quartararo. Despite a year rife with disappointments, Quartararo was able to stitch together a season that clinched the season-long riders championship with two races to spare in the season. The race in Italy yesterday tied it up with a commanding 15th to 4th place run, just missing the podium after a last-lap pass from Enea Bastianini. Race leader Francesco Bagnaia—the rider in hot pursuit of Quartararo in the season-long race—suffered a heartbreaking crash in the closing stages of the race. Bagnaia’s zero points in Italy meant that he would be unable to accrue enough points in the closing two races to catch Quartararo, handing the Frenchman the title.

Exhaust: From the controversy around his leathers coming unzipped at the Barcelona GP in June to winning his home race at Le Mans, Quartararo has been putting up a serious fight this race season. We’re pleased to see Fabio the Frenchman take home the crown this year.

Resto-mod Renault 4 is a tiny hotel room on wheels

Intake: As part of its celebration of 60 years of the Renault 4, the French firm has handed over one of its cute classics to designer Mathieu Lehanneur who has turned it into a “nomad hotel suite”. In a different take on the concept of carchitecture, the tiny Renault has had its entire rear section replaced with plexiglass that reveals a cabin stuffed with comfy cushions and chic fabrics. “SUITE N°4 opens the door to a new kind of mobility that strives to make people live experiences,” says Lehanneur. “I wanted to merge the worlds of cars and architecture to create an open-air hotel room. Even better than the finest palatial suite, the car is exactly where you want it to be, whether that’s by the sea, in the middle of a field or driving around the city you’ve always dreamed of.” The 4 has also undergone electrification with solar panels on the roof to keep the batteries topped up.

Exhaust: An all-new, all-electric Renault 4 is coming soon and it’s expected to be a modern take on the original 4’s cost-effective, utilitarian ideals. There may even be a commercial version which could see the #vanlife crowd turn it into a mini mobile home, something like what we see above.

Jay Leno takes a drive in a brand-new Aston Martin DB5

Intake: Tell your friends you bought a new Aston Martin, and the last thing they expect to find behind your garage door is a DB5 that sports machine guns behind the turn signals. For 25 lucky buyers, however, that is exactly the case. In this week’s episode of Jay Leno’s Garage, Jay takes a look at one of the 25 1964 DB5 Goldfinger continuation cars. He explores the notion that this stunning silver chariot is not just a restoration, but a brand new production car that’s been fitted with all the proper gadgets that Q-branch would have put on for Bond. To stay as true as possible to the original units, the continuation cars utilize the same tools, suppliers, and equipment that the period DB5s were built with.

Exhaust: There are few cars more iconic than the Silver Birch Aston Martin wheeled by a dapper Sean Connery as he played James Bond in Goldfinger. That film debuted in 1964, and the DB5 used for the film was pre-production car that had to change from an original red paint job to the silver color to match the Ian Fleming novels. Between the 4-liter inline-six burble and seemingly endless Q gadgets, the car instantly became timeless. These new ones carry a timeless price tag, too; each one costs about $3 million, according to Terence Jenkins of Aston Martin. Nevertheless, all 25 have been spoken for.

Hertz bounces back from bankruptcy and orders 100,000 Teslas

Tesla model 3 front three-quarter
Tesla

Intake: Hertz was forced to declare bankruptcy in 2020 when the pandemic brought both business travel and personal road trips to a screeching halt. Now it’s working to build a fleet of electric vehicles, and Tesla is the first big beneficiary. Hertz has ordered 100,000 Model 3s to fill fleets in major U.S. and European markets. Deliveries begin in November and will continue for the next 14 months. The deal is reportedly worth around $4.2B, and the news caused Tesla stock to surge, bringing the company’s total valuation to exceed one trillion dollars.

Exhaust: Aside from the huge order making a real difference in the bottom line, putting a whole lot of potential consumers behind the wheel of a Model 3 could be a really big deal for Tesla—especially since the company doesn’t spend any money advertising. And for Hertz, the move to electric vehicles will likely mean lower maintenance costs. If your Tesla order recently got delayed, you may now know the reason.

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