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If you have an $800,000 Lamborghini Aventador or a $6 million Lamborghini Veneno sitting under the carport don’t let the kids over-rev it because the makers of the VW-owned Italian supercar have just let the world know they (the cars, not the kids) could catch fire.

In a prime example of motor manufacturer clear talking, Mr Lambo told the US regulator on Tuesday that “EVAP system components faults could cause fuel vapours if not treated properly. With improperly treated fuel vapour, particular manoeuvres, for example the engine over-revving at idle, could cause contact between fuel vapour and hot gases. Especially if combined with a non-approved aftermarket exhaust system, this could lead to risk of fire.”

Translation, if you start the engine and leave it running for a while then whooshka, things start getting hot.

A few years ago, Lamborghini recalled their cars because the stainless-steel screws that hold the brake rotors on could break and fall out. You don’t get a lot for $800,000 these days, do you?

All cars are an emotional purchase and Lambos are no exception. Cars project who we would like to be and who we would like people to think we are. So, Citroen buyers are architects who are still waiting for the duffel coat, desert boots and pipe to make a comeback. Jaguar owners don’t feel comfortable being Australian, they can trace their English ancestry, but they can’t afford an Aston Martin.

The online research firm YouGov tracks how 4 million people around the world think of brands, issues and politics. Last year they looked at what the personalities of owners of various car brands reveal about the brands and the owners.

“The results were striking. BMW customers are likely to ­consider themselves more ­knowledgeable than most people, yet they are less mechanically intelligent than owners of most other brands, while people who drive a Mercedes-Benz see themselves as both leaders and highly adventurous.”

That important scientific journal Men’s Health analysed the data and found that Audi owners work in consulting or advertising, like Coldplay, Rihanna, leek and potato soup, invest in risky stocks, and consider themselves sharp dressers.

BMW owners feel strongly that foreign-made cars are higher quality, they are more likely than other people to have a fish for a pet and dread the thought of going bald more than any other driver surveyed. This is a pity as I own three BMWs but no one can see my devastating hair loss and it wasn’t my fault the fish died.

Now, talking of BMWs, if you own a BMW X3 that is out of warranty or on an extended warranty, can I give you a hint that will save you about $6000. Let’s say you are driving along and experience severe juddering and snatching on the transfer case. No need for a technical explanation, you will know it when you feel it. So, you take your X3 into the factory BMW dealer and he or she says, “We know this problem, new transfer case, $6500. If you have an extended warranty with a reputable insurance company they will pay it, otherwise you do.”

But now you have read this you will know that it’s not a $6500 transfer case problem but a $600 tyre problem. It is absolutely crucial to have tyres both on the front and the back that have an identical rolling circumference. The same issue occurs even if the tyres on the car are worn to a different extent, even if the tyres and sizes fitted are as specified by BMW.

This is an issue the insurance companies should be worried about since they are paying out $6500 for an issue the dealer is fixing for $600. Whatever car you drive you need to be careful about extended warranties. In the trade, we all know that most extended warranty suppliers disappear the moment you have a claim.

The only two companies, and they are expensive, but worth it, that I would recommend are Allianz and Swan.

Having just given expensive car and Maserati owners a hard time can I just mention RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island sale on March 10? Rob Myers will be selling two cars that belong in David Walsh’s Mona art museum in Hobart. Yes, there’s a 2004 Saleen S7 for $700,000, a 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Cabriolet at an affordable $13m, a 1965 Lambo with no fire or brake problems for $700,000 and even a 1970 Nissan Fairlady for $150,000.


This is a shortened version of the original article. Read the rest at the Australian here

But have a look at the 1950 Ferrari 166 MM, and the 1936 Lancia Astura with coachwork by Mario Revelli di Beaumont for Pinin Farina that won last year’s Pebble Beach best of show.



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