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Classic, Electric, Alpine, Squirrel - This Week

Cadillac V-16 Sedan

Astonishing Andrews car collection to be sold

Millionaire entrepreneur Paul Andrews and his son are selling 75 classic cars from their collection, any one of which is worth an estimated fortune.

US based RM Auctions is due to sell the cars in Texas, all with no reserve, and all expected to go for at least half a million pounds. The sale catalogue reads like a museum brochure, and includes coveted Ferraris, incredibly rare US classics, unique racing prototypes, and a green Nissan Micra. Just kidding.

Many of the most sought-after models will inevitably fetch several millions. Examples like the 1963 Shelby Cobra 289 Competition, the 1935 Duesenberg Model SJ, and the 1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB have all drawn multi-million pound bids in the past.

Also appearing is the Cadillac V-16 Sedan (with an actual 16 cylinder engine), and the Buick Blackhawk, a GM racing prototype and one-of-a-kind amalgam vehicle, built with Buick components from the 1930s through to the 80s.

Buick Blackhawk

The 75 cars up for auction represent the majority of the Andrews collection, but by no means all of it. According to RM Auctions, the Andrews said they wanted “to get down to a smaller number of cars - perhaps 15 to 20 - that we very much enjoy driving and that we can use on events with the family.”

Volvo's electric cars are ready when we are

Volvo have fully electric cars ready to launch, but only when the time is right. Lex Kerssemakers, Volvo's senior VP of product strategy, has said that the Swedish company will focus solely on hybrids until the law or the market demands otherwise.

The manufacturer's current hybrid models have already proven a success, and with such high anticipation for the XC90, Volvo feel like they have the market covered - for now.

“Once there is a more sustainable business case behind full EV we can do it. Our platform is scalable and fully flexible, but we must see how the EV business evolves and what pressures there are from fuel efficiency requirements and cities closing borders.” explained Kerssemakers, “With plug-in technology we have some answers now - good efficiency and the option of driving in and out of cities on electric power alone. For now, we can offer the best of both worlds.”

Renault reveal Alpine Vision Gran Turismo concept

A top speed of almost 200mph, a 4.5 litre V8 engine giving 445bhp, a carbon-monocoque chassis weighing only 900kg, and a blue and orange colour palate in homage to the 1960's racers - the Alpine Vision may yet only be a concept, but it's a really good concept.

As the name suggests, it was designed for the Gran Turismo series, but fear not - this Alpine Vision signals the return of the AV brand proper. While you can only drive it via the Playstation for now, the real thing is débuting in Paris at the 2015 Festival Automobile International.

Renault have also stated that the new model will bring in “a new chapter in the make's revival”, hinting at possibilites in motorsport and production. The reveal follows a promise in 2013 that the AV moniker would return. If the Alpine Vision Gran Turismo is any indication, Renault are set to deliver on that promise and then some.

Renault Alpine Vison Gran Turismo Concept

Toyota Aygo becomes a feast for squirrels

The owner of a brand new Toyota Aygo in South London has been forced to change cars after suffering repeated attacks from local rodents. Tony Steeles had his Aygo repaired five separate times, before eventually giving up and trading for a Yaris.

Steeles fumed, “The aerial's been chewed off twice, the oxygen sensor's been damaged, and various rubber-like trim parts have been chewed and damaged. The car's been back for repairs four or five times.”

With no other vehicles on the road falling victim, blame has been hung on Toyota's forward-thinking usage of plant-based plastics. The Japanese car maker uses “natural” plastics, such as from castor oil plants, to make seat cushions, boot liners, door trims, and more. It's a growing trend among manufacturers keen to appear green. Last year, Ford confirmed reports that it had been working with the Heinz food company to research the potential of tomato fibre plastic.

A handful of oil companies, who are set to lose out as plant-based plastics become more common, have predicted more rodent attacks on cars with plant-based plastic in the future.

And finally 

Watch an unlucky bus driver make a 140 point turn

A video uploaded online this week has brought global attention to the plight of one bus driver in Norwich, UK. The double-decker driver found himself trapped in a narrow street when a mislabelled roadworks sign failed to mention the road was closed. Much to the amusement of onlookers, there was nothing for it but to make the 140 point turn necessary to escape the situation.

With the help of waving shopkeepers, he managed the manoeuvre in a rather impressive three minutes - though not without some nervous near misses.

Pawnbroker Chris Gosbell dashed to help after the bus hit the sign outside his shop, “I went out to try and help him to make sure he didn't reverse into the building. He said thanks. I felt for him a bit.”

It's safe to say the number 11 to Sprowston won't be stopping on Magdalen Street anytime soon.