Some old, some new

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By Robert Harland


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

NEW cars are great. They're comfortable, fast, reliable, and they handle well. But most are missing something important – namely, character.

I'm often tempted to buy an old car. I came close last week while looking at old Mercs, but my enthusiasm waned when I saw the state of the cars on offer.

I have a friend in Negros who has a late 1940s Dodge which is rusting away in a garage. She said it was her late father's pride and joy and she could not bear to part with it. I appreciate the sentiment, but what a tragedy to let it rot.


If I had the car, I'd restore the body and interior and sort out the cosmetics, but I'd install all new mechanical parts. I'd then have the best of both worlds - a car of character, but without the fear of conking out every five minutes.

With that in mind, it was a pleasure to see the launch recently of the American-made1930s-inspired Vicci 6.2 Convertible.

The car combines the latest automotive technology with classic 1930s styling and flair. This car is certainly a head-turner. It will soon be joined by the DiMora Vicci 6.2 Coupe and the DiMora Adina two seater.

The Vicci 6.2 Convertible is the first of three new series of handcrafted, luxury sports cars built by DiMora Motorcars in Palm Springs, California.

It comes with the 430-hp General Motors LS3 6.2 liter V8 engine. Paired with the GM 4L65-E 4-speed automatic transmission, it powers the 1,280 kg car from zero to 60mph (97kph) in 4 seconds.

The car features Italian leather seats, Wilton wool carpets, fiber optic interior accent lighting, built-in Wi-Fi, an 8-speaker Kenwood Excelon stereo system, Garmin GPS navigation, a backup camera, and 360-degree imaging.

Additionally, 25 of the cars will be festooned with autographed original exterior artwork by noted Taiwanese artist Master Lee Sun-Don.

The red and black DiMora Neoclassic Vicci 6.2, made its debut last week at Art Revolution Taipei 2014.

Artist Lee says each car will feature a unique painting from his "Great Treasure Gate" series, which combines traditional Chinese craft work with Western-style paintings.

"The reason why I picked Lee Sun-don is because I think he's the best contemporary artist in the world and... the artwork on the car, it shows for itself," said Alfred DiMora, founder and chief executive officer of the car maker.

DiMora revealed that the car unveiled in Taipei has already been sold. Alas, once again out of the range for most of us. A whopping $1 million (P44.5 million).

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on April 30, 2014.


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