x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Week in Motoring: Rat Pack star Dean Martin's unique Ghia L6.4 for sale

Plus boy racer parks up wrong tree; car testing is monkey business; Ferrari in big trouble in huge China; and an F1 star teaches you to race, in your own home.

Dean Martin's unique Ghia car goes on sale

Few men were cooler than Rat Pack crooner Dean Martin and, when you're as cool as him, you inevitably need to drive around in a cool car. So Martin chose the classic 1962 Ghia L6.4 - of which only 26 were built - as his wheels of choice. But even that wasn't individual enough for him and he got famous custom car builder George Barris to add some personalised touches. The good news for car enthusiasts today is that Martin's car still exists and is on sale for US$199,550 (Dh733,000) from Hyman Cars Ltd (hymanltd.com), according to Jalopnik.com. The car has a 335hp Chrysler V8 engine and looks in great condition, so it's a bit of a bargain for a car once owned by an icon.


Boy racer parking up wrong tree with locals

Residents of a sleepy village were so fed up with a boy racer driving them around the bend that they took his car and lodged it up a big willow tree, The Sun reports. The Ford Escort belonging to Zbigniew Filo, 24, who doesn't have a driving licence, was hoisted up the tree overnight in Lubczyna, Poland, by the anonymous resident using a mobile crane. Villagers are keeping tight-lipped about the prank but one said: "It's probably a good thing as he was a dangerous driver and could have killed someone." Police told Filo to remove the car himself and the tearaway has promised to change his ways when behind the wheel.


Car testing is nothing but monkey business

We at Motoring know that not everyone will always agree with our opinions on cars but Hyundai has opted to get the lowdown on its i30 from a wholly different bunch of reviewers - a group of 40 baboons. The Koreans wanted to test the durability of the saloon, which was launched in the UAE last week, so it was parked in a field of monkeys at Knowsley Safari Park in England for 10 hours. The car was left with a few scrapes, bite marks on the steering wheel and a dislodged rubber door seal but it still passed the test, according to the Daily Mail.


Ancient Chinese wall feels wrath of Ferrari

Ferrari has had to apologise after one of its cars damaged a Chinese monument ahead of a publicity event. A 458 Italia was filmed wheel-spinning on top of the 600-year-old Ming dynasty era wall in the city of Nanjing, BBC News reports. The incident has provoked anger online, with one Chinese web user calling it a "rude insult". However, most fury has been directed at city officials, who reportedly agreed to rent use of the wall for about Dh50,000 to Ferrari for a celebration to mark the company's 20 years in China. Ferrari said a dealership employee, who's not Ferrari staff, caused the tyre mark damage to the wall.


Learn to race with help of F1 and Nascar stars

Now here's an opportunity that doesn't arise every day - the chance to learn from Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton and Nascar's Tony Stewart. But not only can you pick up the stars' best tips, you don't need to leave the house as the tutoring all takes place in a new free online game, Mobil 1 Racing Academy. In the game you can follow Hamilton's career, racing in karting, F3 and then F1 as the Brit lends advice for each series, while you will follow Stewart from Midget Car to IndyCar and then Nascar, with him also mentoring throughout. Play the game at grid1.tv/game.