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MEET THE OWNER – NATHAN WILLMOTT AND HIS HEARTBEAT MORRIS MINI VAN

‘I don’t think there’s another programme quite like Heartbeat. I think younger people relate to it being a part of their childhood as many I talk to had to go to bed after it finished on a Sunday evening watching it with the family and it also meant school was in the morning. Us older people appreciate the vehicles and the music’.

Nathan Willmott is not just the owner of several fine classic police cars – including a Ford Anglia 105E and a Vauxhall XV2300 – he is the custodian of the Morris Mini Van once driven on screen by Mark Jordon’s PC Phil Bellamy. 

Heartbeat first aired on the 10th April 1992 and ITV screened the last of an incredible run of 372 episodes on the 12th September 2010.

Nathan came across BOA 430 B ‘on the 18th March 2019’ and he ‘brought her back to England to be shown at rallies and visit Yorkshire where she belongs rather than sat in a barn in Northern Ireland’.

HB1

The Mini has been treated to a ‘new fuel tank, new brakes all round and recommissioned her. She now starts every time the first time and in full driving order. We also did the bodywork and removed stickers, so she’s back how she was when she starred in Heartbeat’.

BMC introduced the Morris and Austin Mini Van (separate marque names were retained until 1969) in January 1960 as the light commercial with ‘Time saving performance’. Extras included a passenger seat, windscreen washers, a heater, front overriders and a radio.

The colour choices were limited to “Smoke Grey” or “Whitehall Beige” and your new Mini Van came complete with a driver’s sun visor, twin wing mirrors and even a form of “air-conditioning”. A vent on the roof boosted the through-flow of fresh air when the sliding windows were opened – ideal for summer motoring. However, donning a police-regulation greatcoat would have been essential for much of the year as the optional heater was not renowned for its efficiency…

The  Mini Vans offered, according to BMC, ‘far more payload in far less space’ and a compact vehicle with the ability to carry 5cwt was ideal for various public authorities.

The Post Office was one high-profile customer – we featured a 1962 ex-GPO Morris last year – and several constabularies used Mini Vans during the 1960s and 1970s.

Such was their fame that Corgi produced to a die-cast version of the London Metropolitan Police Mini – ‘for dogs and their handlers’. Production of the Mini light commercials ceased in 1982 and only one constabulary Van is believed to have survived -  Alex Lee’s 1978 North Wales Police Van.

Today,  BOA 430 B never fails to provoke a reaction from members of the public - we were going to say that it is quite an arresting looking vehicle – but we decided not to.

Nathan remarks that when the weather is dry ‘We drive her regularly around the quaint city of Wells and when people see her, they wave and point. If I leave it parked in the city or anywhere for that matter, there’s always a hoard of people taking photos’.

Cue Nick Berry singing the theme tune – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJy5xFenpVQ

WITH THANKS TO -  Nathan Willmott

Why choose Lancaster Insurance?

Here at Lancaster, we love classic cars as much as you do and we understand what it takes to protect them for future generations.

We have links with some of the top classic car clubs around the country and some of our policies even offer discounts of up to 25% for club members.

Other benefits of classic car insurance through Lancaster can include:

• Historic rally cover
• Static show cover
• Limit mileage discounts
• Choice of repairer
• 24-hour claims helpline

Give your classic the protection it deserves and get a quote for your classic today.

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NHS Volunteers

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Covid-19 Message

We appreciate you might be worried about the impact the coronavirus may have on your insurance with us. Please be assured that we are closely monitoring the situation and doing all that we can to provide the services you require at this time.

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25 February 2020

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24 February 2020

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'My late father was into classic commercials and did the steam rallies when I was a kid with his old AECs and Fodens. I wanted to do the rallies again with my kids, so it needed to be able to tow a caravan. I'm into 50s and 60s Fords so it had to be a Mk. II or Mk. III Zodiac or Zephyr'.

20 February 2020

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MEET THE OWNER – NATHAN WILLMOTT AND HIS HEARTBEAT MORRIS MINI VAN

‘I don’t think there’s another programme quite like Heartbeat. I think younger people relate to it being a part of their childhood as many I talk to had to go to bed after it finished on a Sunday evening watching it with the family and it also meant school was in the morning. Us older people appreciate the vehicles and the music’.

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14 February 2020

DO YOU REMEMBER THE SUNBEAM IMP SPORT AND THE SINGER CHAMOIS SPORT?

A select group of cars are instantly likeable – cars such as the Sunbeam Imp Sport and the Singer Chamois Sport. Their combination of looks, performance and charm, are quite formidable – ‘Sparkling sports performance with luxury saloon comfort’, as the Rootes Group put it.

12 February 2020

The UK’s best surfing hotspots

Before you strap the surf boards to the roof and jump into your trusty campervan, check out our top UK locations where you can find some serious surf action.

Fire safety when touring in your campervan

Fires in campervans are extremely rare, but when they do happen they can cause a huge amount of damage. If you have ever lost a campervan to fire or seen one go up in flames, you’ll know just how dramatic, upsetting, and costly it can be.

04 February 2020

MEET THE OWNER – MATT DEBBAGE AND HIS TRIUMPH DOLOMITE

When Matt Debbage takes LLW 911K for a spin, the reactions from members of the public are usually ‘any combination of “nice car, my Dad / Grandad had one” /”I had one - it was so rusty” / “awful cars”/ “ooh look - a ‘Doloshite’” / “Is it a Sprint mate?”’.

03 February 2020

THE FORD POPULAR 100E – A CELEBRATION

The Ford stand at the 1959 Motor Show famously hosted the new Anglia, but it also featured an old favourite with a fresh set of badges. The 105E did not entirely succeed all of Dagenham’s small cars, for the Prefect was upgraded with the 997cc engine as the 107E while the “New Popular replaced the venerable “sit up and beg” 103E.

DO YOU REMEMBER – THE SUZUKI WHIZZKID?

I recently had the pleasure of experiencing the SC100 “Whizzkid” in the metal – and I had forgotten just how small they are. There were moments when I was convinced that it was ankle-height and the Suzuki remains one of the few cars that makes an Austin A35 seem as large as a Ford Granada.

Best classic car shows of 2020

The start of a new year means a whole heap of new and exciting car shows to put in your calendar.

FIVE 1970S ENTRY-LEVEL LARGE SALOONS

Or, how to achieve style and comfort with a minimum of outlay. Austin/Morris 1800 “Wedge”. When BL unveiled their replacement for the “Landcrab” in March 1975 -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxgdRAuDsTEhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxgdRAuDsTE - the focus was inevitably on the flagship Wolseley, but the four-cylinder Austin and Morris was equally important.

January 2020

30 January 2020

MEET THE OWNER – PETER LINN AND HIS MAZDA 929L ESTATE

When you see the Mazda belonging to Peter Linn, a certain number by Spandau Ballet inevitably comes to mind. Yet, this is not only one of the most uber-gold cars on the road today but an immaculate example of the very rare 929L Estate.

ONE FAMILY FROM NEW – MICHAEL WRIGLEY’S RENAULT 20 TS

‘She’s a 1978 4 speed TS. The 5 speed came out May 1979, much to the chagrin of my father who bought her new’, remarks Michael Wrigley of his utterly magnificent one family Renault 20.

29 January 2020

DO YOU REMEMBER THE SKODA 1000 MB?

The 1000MB was not the first Skoda marketed in the UK, but it was almost certainly the first to capture the attention of the family motorist on a restricted budget.

CAR OF THE MONTH – MEIRION WOOLF AND HIS AUSTIN 8 CWT “MINOR” PICK-UP

Two years ago, Meirion Woolf brought himself a rather splendid present for his 40th birthday. ‘My parents owned a 1953 “Split Screen” and ever since then I’ve been a Minor fan’ - and so he acquired LEJ 443 J.

27 January 2020

Lancaster Insurance renews sponsorship of the MG Owners’ Club Championship

Lancaster Insurance is delighted to be continuing its support of the 2020 MG Owners’ Club (MGOC) Race Championship, its 17th year as the headline sponsor.

Club of the Month – The XR Owners Club

To celebrate the launch of our ‘win a 1984 Ford XR3i’ competition, our club of the month goes to The XR Owners Club. Formed in 1983 to bring together XR enthusiasts who share a common passion for the marque, the Club also caters for the Fiesta Supersport and the mk3 Escort 1.6i Cabriolet.

21 January 2020

DO YOU REMEMBER - THE FIAT CROMA?

2020 sees the 35th anniversary of one of the rarest cars in Britain – just one Turbo I.E. remains on the road: https://www.howmanyleft.co.uk/vehicle/fiat_croma_turbo_ie - and it is a Fiat that is unfairly overlooked. The Croma is the third member of the “Tipo Quattro” -Type 4 - family, following the Lancia Thema and the Saab 9000, but pre-dating the Alfa Romeo 164.

GEMS FROM THE SAINSBURY’S ARCHIVE - SOUTHAMPTON 1977

The year is 1977, and the people of Southampton are still amazed by the recently opened Sainsbury’s hypermarket in the Lordshill district. Some say that this is the biggest news to hit the city since the Silver Jubilee celebrations or the FA Cup Victory of the previous year.

20 January 2020

What is CarFest?

Do you love having fun as much as you love classic cars? If so, you’re not alone and there’s a festival just for you!

17 January 2020

DO YOU REMEMBER – THE AUDI SUPER 90?

Fifty-four years ago, you might have been reading the motoring press when a startling advertisement catches your eye; ‘ISL 1982 - dial it if you dare’. The challenge was to ‘tame Audi – the saloon that sports Mercedes power’. Furthermore, ‘All that power plus front wheel drive means Audi likes to go. All the way around curves. Do you?’.

“Forgotten Favourites” at the Beaulieu’s International Autojumble

As any visitor to the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show will tell you, the cars that often attract the crowds are the now rarer than rare family saloons of bygone years. Think Ford Cortina Mk. IV 1.6 GL, Austin Mini Metro L, the Hillman Super Minx Series III or the HB-series Vauxhall Viva SL.

Do you know your European speed limits for motorhomes?

Travelling around Europe in your motorhome can be so much fun! Don’t allow your trip to be spoilt by legal pitfalls. Before you set off, it’s important to familiarise yourself with the speed limits and regulations of each country, as they often vary.

16 January 2020

FORTY YEARS OF THE RENAULT FUEGO

Forty years ago, a new Fuego would have provoked second glances. It is not just that it looked so different to the 15 and 17 that it replaced; it is also that the Renault appeared to hail from another age in comparison with the Ford Capri Mk. III or the Opel Manta B.

THE CITROEN 2CV6 SPECIAL – AN APPRECIATION

My next door neighbour recently gained custody of a 1987 2CV6 Special, which gave me the opportunity to experience true economy motoring of the 1980s. Anyone who complains about the sheer amount of distracting luxuries in modern smalls cars would surely appreciate the Citroën, as here is a car that proudly lacks nearly everything.

10 January 2020

DO YOU REMEMBER THE FORD ZODIAC MK. III?

There is something undeniably imposing about a Ford Zodiac Mk. III. It is the sort of car that demands a camel-haired overcoat and a trilby hat, one for trips to Goodwood or at least a journey in style to the cash and carry.

4 of our favourite celebrity petrol heads

Celebrities with cash burning a hole in their pocket, are able to indulge their passion for classic cars in a way that the rest of us can only dream of. Which celebrity petrol heads are most aligned with your taste in classic motors?

THE AUSTIN ALLEGRO RE-VISITED

For (too) many years, the Austin Allegro was an easy punch line for tired comedians. If you believe the myths, the official press launch on the 17th May 1973 was the occasion for universal abuse from the motoring press.

The best motorhome clubs you can join

Owning a motorhome enables you to get away from it all. But did you know it can also provide you with a whole new community?

09 January 2020

THE BULLITT MUSTANG IS FOR SALE…

Any reader who has a spare million dollars or so might care to attend Mecum Auctions tomorrow (10th January) in order to acquire the world’s most famous Ford Mustang.

06 January 2020

DO YOU REMEMBER – THE LEA-FRANCIS LYNX?

The 1960 Earls Court Motor Show was the venue for the re-appearance of one of Britain’s most famous car marques. This famous concern, well known for its vintage sports cars, makes a welcome return to motor manufacturing with a roadster of distinctive styling to say the least.

03 January 2020

REMEMBERING THE TOYOTA CROWN S110

South Hampshire in 1979 was a bleak and lonely place. It was a realm where remote communities were reputed to regard the Test Card as a form of witchcraft and Children of the Stones was thought to be a public information film.

02 January 2020

FIVE CAR-RELATED RESOLUTIONS FOR 2020

A fresh encounter with one of the first Austin Mini Metros. Those of us of an age to recall the 1980s will almost certainly remember the sound of the A-series engine in full spate. In the very early part of the decade you were less likely to encounter the S (do any of those survive) or the HLS than the L or the basic model.

CELEBRATING – THE MORRIS 1100

Put simply, the British Motor Corporation’s ADO16 range is one of the most important family of cars in the history of the UK’s automotive industry. When the original Morris 1100 debuted on 15th August 1962, it was not just the Mini-formula writ large; it introduced thousands of drivers to the concepts of FWD and Italian-styling all at a price within reach of the average suburbanite.

December 2019

19 December 2019

Top tips for buying a car at auction

Auctions are a great place to pick up a classic car. Depending on which end of the market you’re operating in, you might be able to get your hands on a bargain or that rare gem you’ve always wanted. But to come away with a good deal, you’ve got to play your cards right.

TOP TEN SMALL ESTATES OF THE 1970S

Or, ten ways to convey luggage, children, dogs, cats and the weekly shopping at MacFisheries in style: AUSTIN ALLEGRO ESTATE Yes, its looks were controversial, although Allegro fans prefer the word ‘individualistic’.

The best UK pubs to visit on your next motorhome trip

Whatever your idea of the perfect motorhome holiday, you’re likely to want to include a visit to a pub while you’re away for a well-earned tipple after a day on the road.

The Austin Tasman/Kimberley – The Landcrab From Down Under

Thirty-nine years ago, British Leyland Australia introduced the X6 range, their rivals to the Falcon, the Valiant and the Holden. The advertisements modestly proclaimed that ‘At last the kind of car Australian motorists have been waiting for. The new Kimberley X6 and Tasman X6 from British Leyland.

THE VOLKSWAGEN TYPE 2 CAMPER

Sixty-eight years ago, the German coachbuilder Westfalia noted how many Type 2 owners would use their VW as overnight accommodation for weekend trips, and so they introduced their “camping box”. As the name suggests, it was a detachable compartment containing a folding bed, a two-burner cooker, a towel-rail, a “vanity mirror”, a washing up bowl and two drawers.

18 December 2019

How to cross the channel in your motorhome

Going abroad in your recreational vehicle is a great deal of fun. Planning your route and making the necessary preparations before you depart helps ensure your channel-crossing trip runs smoothly, so it’s well worth the effort.

MEET THE OWNER – SIMON HOAR AND HIS FORD CORTINA 2.3S MK. IV

‘When I was growing up my dad owned a 2-litre Cortina Ghia Mk. IV. He’d owned it from new, and it was his pride and joy’. The eight-year-old Simon Hoar not only ‘learned vehicle mechanics from a very young age’ but developed a great affinity with Dagenham’s most famous product.

DO YOU REMEMBER – THE FIRST RENAULT ESPACE?

It is hard to convey just how different the Renault Espace seemed from the majority of cars back in 1985 when British sales commenced. It bore no resemblance to the company’s 18 Estate and nor was it directly comparable with the likes of the Citroen CX Safari or the Peugeot 505 Familiale.

50 YEARS YOUNG

On the 20th December, I reach my half-century. So, in celebration of my great age, here are some totally random recollections: My First Automotive Memories: It all began with the paternal Vauxhall Viva HB De Luxe – a two-door model finished in Turquoise.

40 YEARS OF THE LANCIA DELTA

The 1979 Frankfurt Motor Show saw the launch of a crucial new Lancia. It was the belated heir to the Fulvia and an upmarket compact town car to complement the Beta and the Gamma. The Delta was declared Car of The Year 1980, but 40 years ago, there were considerable mutterings about the Delta’s relationship with the 1978 Ritmo/Strada; Fiat acquired Lancia in 1969.

16 December 2019

Lancaster Insurance’ Christmas Opening/Closing Times

From everybody at Lancaster Insurance, we hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a prosperous start to the New Year! Below are the opening and closing times over the festive period, should you need to speak to one of our team.

11 December 2019

We have a winner - Lancaster Insurance reveal winner of the MK1 Mazda Eunos Roadster!

Christmas came early for John Williams from Cheltenham as he received the keys to our prize-giveaway Mazda MX-5. Following our 2019 competition, which ran from March up until the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show with Discovery in November, John beat thousands of other entrants to be randomly selected as our winner!

05 December 2019

Why we love the Ford Capri

Slick, stylish yet still affordable, the Ford Capri was Great Britain’s answer to the Mustang. As it celebrates it’s 50th anniversary, the everyman’s classic still endures, boasting a loyal fan-base and an iconic vehicular and pop cultural status.

04 December 2019

THE TRIUMPH DOLOMITE SPRINT – A CELEBRATION

‘The Sprint must be the answer to many people’s prayers’. That is what Autocar thought of the latest Triumph back in July 1973, as the scribe raved about the ‘quite impeccable’ manners and how it was a ‘tremendously satisfying car to drive’. Today, thousands of enthusiasts would agree with those words.

03 December 2019

THE MINI FROM ITALY

The array of models produced by the overseas plants of BMC/BL do tend to prompt one question – could any of them have succeeded in the UK? The Australian-market Wolseley 24/80 - a 16/60 powered by the locally-designed “Blue Streak” 2.4-litre six - certainly had its merits but by 1964 it would have clashed with the Austin 1800 “Landcrab”.

02 December 2019

DO YOU REMEMBER THE ALFA ROMEO ALFA 6?

One of the few times that I ever encountered a new Alfa Romeo Alfa 6 in the metal was at a car dealership in Salisbury circa 1984. It was certainly an impressive-looking machine albeit faintly dated, redolent more of 1972 than a car launched in 1979. It also appeared to share its doors with the smaller Alfetta saloon.

November 2019

29 November 2019

Relive the 2019 Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show

The 2019 Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery, took place on Friday 8th to Sunday 10th November and was a Top Trump show not to be missed.

28 November 2019

TEN OVERLOOKED TV SERIES WITH GREAT CARS

You never forget the cars seen on television during your formative years, and so here are ten examples of fine machinery in now-forgotten series. Fans of The Danedyke Mystery, Touch and Go, Accident, King Cinder, Potter’s Picture Palace or The Freewheelers will have to wait for anther blog…

27 November 2019

MEET THE OWNER – THE JACK BARNES FORD ESCORT MK. I

Jack Barnes is the owner of a car that can be truly called a ‘time warp’ vehicle. He came by his 1968 Escort 1100 De Luxe Mk. I three years ago when there were a mere 18,000 miles on the clock and every detail reminds you of why the ‘small cars that aren’t’ made such an impact on British motorists

THE ORIGINAL AUSTIN-HEALEY

One of the most famous stories about the 1952 London Motor Show is that the new Healey 100 was parked behind a post as Donald Healey was so dubious about the appearance of the radiator grille.

40 YEARS OF THE TALBOT SUNBEAM LOTUS

“By any standards the first new model to bear the Talbot name has superb performance; by the standards of any other small three-door hatchback saloon — even the Vauxhall Chevette 2300 HS — the performance of this 2.2-litre, 150 bhp Lotus-engined Sunbeam is absolutely sensational.”

26 November 2019

Club of the month – Enthusiasts of British Motor Vehicles before 1985

Enthusiasts of British Motor Vehicles is a non-subscription Facebook-based group founded in 2014 and they have a worldwide membership of more than 25,000 and growing.

25 November 2019

MEET THE OWNER - ERIC CHRISTOFFERSEN AND HIS VESPA 400S

A few weeks ago, we featured a blog about the Vespa 400 – and Eric Christoffersen is the proud owner of two examples. Few people in the UK are familiar with this splendid machine and so when he is out and about, the public reaction is often one of confusion.

DO YOU REMEMBER THE CHRYSLER SUNBEAM?

In the late 1970s, a new Chrysler Sunbeam was the sort of car that cut a dash, one that seemed to belong in the same world as the hostess trolley and the Goblin Teasmade. A few people admiring one in the local shopping centre car park would have guessed it was developed at breakneck speed.

A MINI ALTERNATIVE? – THE VESPA 400

In the aftermath of the Mini’s 60th birthday, it is always interesting to consider some of its alternatives from 1959 – such as this gem. When the Piaggio company created the original Vespa scooter in 1946, it literally revolutionised Italian mass-transport.

21 November 2019

ENTHUSIASTS REJOICE AT NEC CLASSIC’S 35TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS

Once again motoring enthusiasts flocked to Birmingham’s NEC in their thousands to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery. Over 71,000 attendees joined the three-day celebration and grand finale to the classic motoring show season.

5 great British classics

We might be slightly biased, but we believe that British automotive engineering is the best in the world. So, trying to pick out just five great British-built classics is no mean feat.

Which campsites in the UK are open all year round for motorhomes?

With the colder season now drawing in, it’s time to think about putting the motorhome away until it warms up again… or maybe not! A winter tour can be a lot of fun – you just need to know what campsites are open at this time of year.

35 YEARS OF THE TOYOTA MR2

Signs That You Feel Old: Lesson Number 489 – when you realise the MR2 is now 35 years old. Virtually anyone who visited the 1984 Motor Show will remember the interest and the sheer excitement on seeing Toyota’s first mid-engine sports car – and the first mass-produced mid-engine car from Japan.

20 November 2019

THE MG 1100 – A CELEBRATION

1962 was the year of two crucial new MGs – the B and the marque’s first FWD car. The 1100 made its bow in October of that year, introducing motorists to the delights of the ‘Most Advanced MG of All Time'.

40 YEARS OF THE VAUXHALL ASTRA

If you paid a visit to the Scottish Motor Show back in 1979, you might well have encountered a very significant new model from Vauxhall, in the forms of an Astra 1300S GL Hatchback – ‘Aerodynamics in Action’ - and 1300S L Estate – ‘Designed with Flair, engineered with quality’.

Where are the best motorhome destinations this winter?

As a motorhome owner, you have complete freedom over where you go this winter. But, of course, you want to ensure you end up somewhere that’s going to make for a good time.

Tips for your first classic car restoration project

We’re here to help ensure you don’t become yet another classic car enthusiast with a half-finished restoration project sat in the garage forever. Or perhaps you’ve already reached that point and you need to be inspired to get your tools out again?

19 November 2019

70 YEARS OF THE VOLKSWAGEN TYPE 2

The 12th November 1949 marked the press launch of a rather remarkable commercial vehicle. It was a van that was essentially a box on wheels, with access to the load bay via side doors and a rear engine. Its standards of handling, gearchange and steering surpassed virtually all domestic rivals, and the new Volkswagen Type 2 looked set for a long career.

15 November 2019

THE MINI FROM SPAIN – SIMON WHEATCROFT’S AUTHI COOPER 1300

‘Most people think it is either an Innocenti or a British Mini with Innocenti bits – about one person per year recognises it as an Authi’.

70 YEARS OF THE VOLKSWAGEN TYPE 2

The 12th November 1949 marked the press launch of a rather remarkable commercial vehicle. It was a van that was essentially a box on wheels, with access to the load bay via side doors and a rear engine. Its standards of handling, gearchange and steering surpassed virtually all domestic rivals, and the new Volkswagen Type 2 looked set for a long career.

14 November 2019

£61,000 donated to charity from Classic and Supercar Show

Rotary Clubs distributed a total of £61,000 to one national and 18 local charities at Sherborne Castle on 8th November. Nigel Young, Chairman of Trustees for the Sherborne Classic Cars CIO, said ‘This was a truly astonishing result following 12 months of work by the Organising Committee from members of the Yeo Vale, Sherborne Castles and Brue Valley Rotary Clubs.'

13 November 2019

THE LANCASTER INSURANCE STAND AT THE 2019 CLASSIC MOTOR SHOW

You really could not miss the Ford Mustang on the Lancaster Insurance stand at the 2019 Classic Motor Show. It was a vehicle so stunning that Mr. Steven McQueen himself would have undoubtedly fallen in love with it, had he entered a time portal during the planning for Bullitt.

12 November 2019

The 2019 Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show

Such was the impact of the 2019 Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, no mere report could possibly do it justice. Here are just 50 impressions of the event from our resident blog writer Andrew Roberts:

08 November 2019

DO YOU REMEMBER – THE FORD ESCORT GHIA MK. II?

Growing up in a Hampshire village where the local newspaper would bear a headline such as ‘Chaos As Radical New Strawberry Punnet Design Is Unveiled’, a Ford Escort Ghia Mk. II appeared the epitome of high living.

Top Ten Limited Edition Ford Capris

Every Ford Capri is special, but some are more special than others. Here are ten examples from the Heyday of the Limited Edition Capri.

06 November 2019

Seventy Years of the AA Land-Rover

For the past 71 years, Land-Rover has been associated with serving the public – police, fire, ambulance, coast-guard, mountain rescue – and, of course, the AA and the RAC.

The Mini Cooper S MK.III - A Celebration

Many of you have been following https://www.facebook.com/italianjobmini/ and will be very familiar with Tanya Field’s Cooper S Mk III, which goes by the nom-de-Mini of “Paddy”.

05 November 2019

Top Trumps at the NEC

One of the many attractions of the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show is the opportunity to play Top Trumps – a game that will resonate with many of my vintage.

Car of the month: Andrew Bell's Ford Granada GL MK. I

‘A lot of people mention The Sweeney, and most assume it is the 3-litre - despite the badging on the wings’. But his splendid Ford is actually a 2-Litre G and, as it dates from April 1977, it is one of the last of examples of the Mk. I before the launch of the Mk. II.

04 November 2019

Meet the Owner - Lee Jones and his Austin 1100 Panda Car

If you watch virtually any British police drama of the 1970s, you might have the idea that every vehicle that was not a Flying Squad Ford Consul GT was a Rover P6B or a Triumph 2.5 PI Mk. II. However, one vehicle that was equally associated with law enforcement was the BLMC ADO16 Panda Car.

01 November 2019

Genevieve - A Celebration

As the London – Brighton Veteran Car Run 2019 takes place this Sunday - https://www.veterancarrun.com/ - we are proud to present (cue Tim Turner-style jolly voiceover), a tribute to one of Britain’s greatest films; Genevieve

The M1 at 60

Britain’s first motorway, the Preston By-pass, commenced operations on the 5th December 1958 but this new highway promised a brave new world, one where motorists would eventually be able to travel to and from London with no speed limits.

October 2019

30 October 2019

Celebrating the 1959 Earls Court Motor Show

Was 1959 the year of the ultimate Motor Show? Some readers might argue that this might be more applicable to the 1948 event. Others consider it was 1955, 1962 or 1970.

28 October 2019

40 Years of Minder

What is the most famous Ford Capri in the history of British cinema and television?

25 October 2019

The Italian Job 50th Anniversary with Art by Bex

THE ITALIAN JOB 50thANNIVERSARY with ART by BEX - BEX CELEBRATES THE ICONIC ITALIAN JOB ANNIVERSARY WITH HER EXCLUSIVE SIGNED ARTWORKS

24 October 2019

A Celebration of the Hillman Husky

We sometimes forget how slow-paced life in the recent past could be; telephone calls that took aeons for the local exchange to connect, television sets that took minutes to warm up and cars that appeared to take centuries to reach 60 mph. The Hillman Husky never had any pretensions to speed, but it provided reliable and honest transport for many years after the end of production.

23 October 2019

Meet the Owner - Steve Everest and his Austin-Healey 3000 MK.1

‘The public reaction to my Austin-Healey tends to be a selection of the following – “I had one of those in the past but had to because of wedding/divorce/university fees” - or something of the nature – or “I had to stop being silly when I got married and had to buy a practical car”’.

22 October 2019

The Mini from Spain – Simon Wheatcroft's Authi Cooper 1300

‘Most people think it is either an Innocenti or a British Mini with Innocenti bits – about one person per year recognises it as an Authi’. In 1965 the British Motor Corporation signed an agreement with Nueva Montaña Quijano S.A. to form Authi - Automoviles de Turismo Hispano Ingleses – and Simon Wheatcroft’s Cooper 1300 is one of over 140,000 Minis to leave the Pamplona factory.

Our tips for driving a motorhome for the very first time

If you’ve only ever driven cars until now, the prospect of getting behind the wheel of a motorhome might seem pretty daunting. The thought of scraping the side of your new pride and joy as you attempt to make a manoeuvre is not pleasant at all.

21 October 2019

The BMW Neue Klasse – A Celebration

When Autocar evaluated the BMW 1800 Ti their conclusion is best described as ‘uber-1965’; "For the sporting driver who is denied a two-seater for family reasons we would put this 1800TI high on the list. Yet this car would appeal as much to the young (but rich) bachelor who enjoys his driving, knows how to handle a fast machine and most of all appreciates quality engineering."

18 October 2019

Lancaster Insurance celebrates 35 years in the classic car game at NEC

Lancaster Insurance, headline sponsor of the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year alongside the show.

Why some people still adore classic cars

People who have never owned a classic car may wonder what all the fuss is about. They’re inconvenient, they break down, and they’re not as safe as today’s modern motors, with their high tech air bags and crumple zones.

The most amazing classic cars

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as they say. So, trying to come up with a list of the most amazing classic cars is fraught with subjectivity. But we think you’re sure to agree with at least a couple of the cars we’ve selected on this list.

17 October 2019

First Ten Classics Revealed in the Lancaster Insurance Pride of Ownership Autumn Final

The first ten classics to secure a place in the autumn final of the Lancaster Insurance Pride of Ownership will showcase the widely varied tastes of motoring. Always such a diverse display at the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery, the autumn final is no exception and includes the first ever Ferrari in the line-up.

16 October 2019

Meet the Owner - Paul Stokes and His 1978 Police Vauxhall VX2300

Any FE-series Vauxhall has the ability to turn heads – especially the 1978 VX2300 owned by Paul Stokes.

14 October 2019

Meet the Owner - Freddy Harris and His Fiat Pandas

‘You get a mixture of reactions – some people really love it and some people who don’t really get it’, remarks Freddy Harris of his 1982 Panda 45 – and this reflected the response to the first RHD examples in May 1981.

11 October 2019

Five Lancaster Insurance’s Special Edition Top Trumps packs to include exclusive golden ticket

To celebrate this year’s theme, attendees to the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery have the opportunity to buy a special edition Classic Car Top Trumps pack.

10 October 2019

40 Years of the Ford Escort Harrier

Towards the end of the Escort Mk. II’s run, Ford introduced a spate of limited-edition versions. There was the Linnet, the Goldcrest and the Huntsman Estate; the last-named much appealed to my younger self with its list of extras that included ‘Halogen Driving Lights’ and ‘Tailgate Wash/Wipe’.

09 October 2019

Classic cars sold at auction: The most expensive ever!

Every now and then, a classic car will go to auction with a price tag so high that only the billionaire enthusiasts stand a real chance of ever owning it. Let’s take a look at the 10 most expensive classic cars ever to be sold at auction. In reverse order...

Meet the owner - Adrian Pascu-Tulbure and his Dacia 1310

In the wake of our recent blog on the Dacia 1300/3010, the Romanian interpretation of the Renault 12, we are pleased to introduce Adrian Pascu-Tulbure, the owner of one of these fine cars.

Is my classic car eligible for MOT and road tax exemption?

You may have heard about the MOT and road tax perks of owning a classic car, but you might be unsure whether you can benefit from them. By the end of this article, you’ll know whether or not you’re eligible for MOT and road tax exemption, and how to declare your classic car as exempt.

08 October 2019

12 classic cars for your wedding day

If you’re the blushing bride, wedding day transport might be quite low on your priority list, after the dress, the cake and the photographer. But the car that’s going to get you to the church on time needs some careful consideration, too!

07 October 2019

Meet the owner - Nicholas Jervis and his Standard Vanguard Sportsman

‘Admiration as it is so different from a Euro box – but you do get the odd critic!’. These are some of public responses to Nicholas Jervis’s 1958 Standard Vanguard Sportsman, which is now one of the most exclusive British saloons of the 1950s.

04 October 2019

Our top tips for keeping your classic car secure

Car thefts have risen rapidly in the last five years, putting a greater emphasis on ensuring you are doing all you can to keep your pride and joy secure and in your possession.

03 October 2019

70 Years of the Volkswagen Type 2

The 12th November 1949 marked the press launch of a rather remarkable commercial vehicle. It was a van that was essentially a box on wheels, with access to the load bay via side doors and a rear engine. Its standards of handling, gearchange and steering surpassed virtually all domestic rivals, and the new Volkswagen Type 2 looked set for a long career.

Meet the Owner - Ed Herridge and his Vauxhall Cresta PB

‘An extra gear would be nice’ remarks Ed Herridge of his 1963 Cresta but this is a minor cavil about one of the most handsome - and underrated of all Vauxhalls. When the PB made its bow on the 3rd October 1962, the press and public alike were highly taken with its understated looks.

02 October 2019

How do you store a classic car?

With summer quickly turning into autumn and winter, it’s time to think about preparing your classic car for hibernation. Storing your vehicle so that it’s protected from the elements will help prevent corrosion and keep out those musty smells that can permeate your car’s interior.

NEC Classic Launches '35 Years of Motoring' with Greatest Hits Radio

Another exciting new display has been added to this year’s Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery, as part of its 35th anniversary celebrations. A special ‘35 years in motoring with Greatest Hits Radio’ display will show how motoring has evolved since the first show opened in 1984.

Meet the owner - Liam Dover and his Austin A105 Vanden Plas

‘A lot don’t know what it is. Or have never heard of an A105 Vanden Plas and are shocked. But everyone loves them - young and old’.

September 2019

30 September 2019

A Celebration of the Daimler DC27 Ambulance

There are three types of vehicle that you might reasonably expect to encounter in a British film of the 1950s – a police Wolseley 6/80, an RT double-decker bus and a Daimler DC27 ambulance.

Club Of The Month - The Jaguar Drivers' Club

This month’s accolade goes to The Jaguar Drivers' Club. Formed in 1956, the clubs’ headquarters are in Luton and it is the only Jaguar club officially recognised by Sir William Lyons.

27 September 2019

Lancaster Insurance support the MX-5 Owners Club/Motorsport Club Race of Remembrance team

This year, we are supporting the MX-5 Owners Club/Motorsport Club team in the Race of Remembrance 2019. Held at Anglesey for the sixth year, the annual event weekend includes an endurance race taking place on the Sunday over 12 hours.

25 September 2019

Car of the month: Jake Clappison's Triumph Spitfire 1500

‘There’s a lot of pointing, and saying wow!’, for a car such as Jake Clappison’s 1979 Triumph Spitfire 1500 is always going to cause a minor sensation when it is out and about. Firstly, there is that Inca Yellow paint finish, secondly it is in stunning condition and thirdly, the Spitfire must be one of the most handsome British sports cars ever made.

24 September 2019

Lancaster Insurance ‘Classic & Supercar Show’ donating £60,000 to charity

The show will donate a total of £60,000 this year which is to be shared by The British Heart Foundation and 16 local charities. Over the last few years, £231,000 has been donated to a selection of causes and in early November a cheque presentation will be held at Sherborne Castle with representatives from this year’s charity recipients.

20 September 2019

Meet the owner - James Ross Sinclair and his Volvo 343

For many years, James Ross Sinclair craved a Volvo 343 and so XRU 557Y recently joined his Triumph 2000 Mk. II and his Renault 10. ‘I have an odd almost unexplainable liking for them. Partly the multicultural background, partly the DAF history, the questionable British snob value of a small Volvo, the odd design - and they are genuinely fun to drive too’.

18 September 2019

Always Acceptable - The Dacia Denem

Many of us, over the years, compile a shortlist of cars that we read about in brochures but never encountered in the metal. For example, I cannot recall ever seeing the single-headlamp Vauxhall Cresta PC “Standard”, a Citroën LNA, a Lancia Prisma or a Mitsubishi Tredia on the road.

17 September 2019

Alex Cursley Review – Snetterton

The Hyundai Coupe Cup mid-season meeting was held at a sunny Snetterton, so for me it was like a home coming. It had already been a fantastic week, as I got married and celebrated my birthday, so I was going into the race meet on a high.

Meet The Owner – Peter Frost and his Wartburg 311

‘Most people haven’t got a clue what it is. Some think it is a Volvo while others read the badging on the front and get it confused with a Borgward’. But to be fair, Peter Frost’s 1963 Wartburg 311 Luxus-Limousine is a fairly exclusive sight, even by the standards of the classic car world.

MX5 30th Anniversary Rally

2019 sees the 30th anniversary of the MX-5 and Lancaster Insurance were proud to be headline sponsors for the MX-5 Owners Club celebrations. This year also sees the Owners Club mark their 25th anniversary, so last weekend’s National Rally was one not be missed!

12 September 2019

Meet The Owner – Tim Mullings and his Morris Marina Jubilee

‘I receive so much respect when I take it for a drive; thumbs up and waves from pedestrians and headlamps flashed by other drivers. And it is small wonder that Tim Mullings’s Morris Marina Jubilee attracts such positive attention for if you owned one of these fine cars some 46 years ago, you would have enjoyed enhancing status in your community.

03 September 2019

50 Years of the Triumph 2000/2500 MK.II

In the early 1970s, the sort of person who owned a new Triumph 2000 or 2.5 PI Mk. II was an instantly familiar type. They would dress fashionably but not outrageously – think Terry Scott as opposed to Jason King – and they would regard Watney’s Red Barrell as an abomination and Hai Karate aftershave as totally naff.

02 September 2019

Do you Remember the Triumph Renown?

We never learned if the Miss Marples of the Margaret Rutherford series of films for MGM-British owned a motor-car – but if she did, it was likely to have been a well-polished Triumph Renown Limousine.

50 Years of the Renault 12

In the 1970s, a Renault 12 was a vehicle that stood out in virtually any car park. The radiator grille was angular, there were height adjustment levers next to the headlamps (to compensate for heavy loads) and the roof sloped upwards over the rear passenger compartment.

August 2019

30 August 2019

Club of the month – Talbot Express Owners Club & Forum

For owners seeking technical expertise on a Talbot Express, the Talbot Express Owners Club & Forum should be your first point of call for the sheer breadth of knowledge and experience.

28 August 2019

The Mini at 60 Cavalcade

On the morning of August Bank Holiday, certain residents of Cowley must have thought they were experiencing a Doctor Who-style time warp, as 60 Minis thundered along the road from the Mini Plant Oxford. The Cavalcade was, of course, a 60th birthday celebration of one of the select few cars that merit the term ‘icon’ and was an event that involved the resources of BMW UK, BBC Radio Oxford, Tanya Field, and countless enthusiasts who gave their time and effort.

27 August 2019

Car of the Month - Roy Williams and his Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth

On 10th January 1989 Roy Williams acquired a 1987-vintage “Diamond White” example of one of the greatest sporting saloons of its era. In the words of Andrew Frankel, ‘in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC), the Cosworth RS500 won 40 races on the trot, a number unapproached by any other car before or since’.

Aston Martin steals the show at Lancaster Insurance Passion For Power!

HUNDREDS of classic, super and performance cars guaranteed a fantastic weekend to remember as the Lancaster Insurance Passion for Power show lived up to its name.

23 August 2019

Formidable! - Guylaine Bouriad's Citroen Dyane 6

Guylaine Bouriaud would be the first to say that few people brought a Citroën Dyane 6 for its blistering top speed, but then it is a car that offers so much else.

22 August 2019

SIXTY YEARS OF MINI MEMORIES

My earliest memory of the Mini dates from 1974 when every Thursday a neighbour’s maroon ten-year-old Morris Super De Luxe would transport us to the delights of the Hedge End branch of Fine Fare (‘Jacob’s Cream Crackers – 2p Off!’).

19 August 2019

Ian Creese's Apache - The Austin from South Africa

‘I’ve had people ask me “have you cut and welded three cars, because the front looks like an Allegro, the rear looks like a Triumph and the middle section is from an Austin 1300?”’. Ian Creese is used to such comments, as on 4th July 2016 he acquired a version of the ADO16 that was never marketed in the UK – the Austin Apache.

17 August 2019

Sixty Years of the Mercedes-Benz Fintail

A Mercedes-Benz “Fintail” (“Heckflosse” in Germany) is a car that exudes gravitas and menace in equal measure.

15 August 2019

ENTRIES OPEN FOR LANCASTER INSURANCE PRIDE OF OWNERSHIP AUTUMN FINAL 2019

Now in its fourth year, the Lancaster Insurance Pride of Ownership has become a popular feature for competitors and classic car enthusiasts alike at the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery. Entries are now open for the autumn final to be held at Birmingham’s NEC from Friday 8 to Sunday 10 November.

13 August 2019

Lancaster Insurance introduces two years agreed value

Classic car insurance specialist, Lancaster Insurance, has revealed it has introduced a two year agreed value added benefit. Live now, the new option allows enthusiasts to carry on their agreed valuation with their renewal should nothing happen or change.

12 August 2019

BRSCC Mazda MX-5 Championship

This weekend Brian Chandler and his team will be at Donington Park for the latest round in the BRSCC Mazda MX-5 Championship – good luck from everyone at Lancaster!

09 August 2019

Join in Ford Capris’ 50th birthday celebrations with the Capri Club!

This year sees the Ford Capri celebrate its 50th birthday and The Capri Club is marking it in style.

The Latest Star of the British Motor Museum - A 1971 Morris Marina De Luxe

Many readers will have learned to regard the term ‘time warp classic’ with suspicion as it all too often refers to an eBay “bargain” that Albert Steptoe, let alone Arthur Daley, would have rejected.

06 August 2019

Seventy Years of the Bond - The Original British Minicar

Stan Cornock of the Bond Owners’ Club is more than familiar with the myths surrounding the Minicar, not least because he has been driving them ‘since 1958’.

July 2019

31 July 2019

Lancaster Insurance Classic & Supercars Show 2019 review

We’re thrilled to announce that over 10,000 people attended this year’s Lancaster Insurance Classic & Supercars show! On the day, over 2,100 classic, motorsport and supercars were displayed over 36 acres of Sherborne Castle Estate, with 37 car clubs attending.

Hyundai Coupe Cup 2019 Race Reviews with Alex Cursley

Expectations were high as Lancaster Insurance and I started the 2019 Hyundai Coupe Cup together for the 5th season!

30 July 2019

Car Club of the Month: Three Counties Vintage & Classic Car Club

Based in the Bournemouth Area, the Three Counties Vintage & Classic Car Club primarily draws its members from the counties of Dorset, Hampshire, Wiltshire and Somerset but does have members from as far afield as Cornwall, Worcestershire and Yorkshire.

War and Peace Revival 2019

Lancaster Insurance are immensely proud to have been the classic car sponsors of the five-day military and vintage show – the War & Peace Revival which ran from 23rd – 27th July held at the beautiful Hop Farm in Paddock Wood, Kent.

Car of the month: David Frost's 1966 Ford Mustang

On 17th April 1964, Henry Ford II unveiled a car at the New York World Fair, one that sold 22,000 units on that same day. It was, of course, the Mustang, the car Ford intended as ‘the working man’s Thunderbird’.

26 July 2019

From 1984 – The 35th Anniversary Hall’ – More Details of NEC Classic Celebrations Revealed

As 2019 marks the 35th anniversary of the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery, the organisers have chosen to theme Hall 8 as ‘From 1984 - The 35th Anniversary Hall’. Held at Birmingham’s NEC from 8-10 November, this part of the show is dedicated to marques, models and clubs that have appeared since 1984.

25 July 2019

Phew - What a scorcher!

As the nation braces itself for what could be the hottest day on record, here are a few memories of past heatwave motoring

24 July 2019

What makes a classic car valuable?

Nothing conjures up an image of laidback luxury quite like a classic car. But if you’re considering buying a Bentley or purchasing a Porsche, it’s important that you don’t just leap into the driving seat without checking a few things first.

22 July 2019

Meet The Owner - John Fisher's 1966 Austin Mini Convertible

When the Mini collector John Fisher takes his Tweed Grey 1966 Austin Convertible for a spin he often encounters one of the following questions - ‘did you cut the roof off it yourself?’ or ‘why hasn’t it fallen in half?’ To which the answer is always, the work was undertaken by Crayford of Westerham in Kent - and their standards were renowned in the UK and overseas.

18 July 2019

Meet The Owner - Garry Dickens and His Austin Super Seven

At first glance, 272 NHY is a prime example of the early Mini, one that bears the “Seven” badging that adorned all pre-1962 Austin versions. But then you notice that the grille does not quite resemble that of a typical De Luxe model, the two-tone Grey and “Almond Green” paint finish and the elaborate interior. Garry Dickens is the proud owner of an “Austin Super Seven”, one of the most short-lived and fascinating aspects of the Mini story.

Lancaster Insurance unveils sponsorship of War and Peace Revival

Lancaster Insurance has announced it is the classic car sponsor of next week’s War and Peace Revival. The show, a five-day military and vintage festival, will take place from 23rd – 27th July at Hop Farm in Paddock Wood, Kent and is set to welcome thousands of enthusiasts.

16 July 2019

Lancaster Insurance Classic & Supercars 2019 preview

This Sunday (21st July) is the Lancaster Insurance Classic & Supercars Show 2019. The show is once again taking place in the picturesque grounds of Sherborne Castle and we’re thrilled to be headline sponsor for the third year.

15 July 2019

The Lancaster Insurance Classic American Stars and Stripes

Last weekend (6th & 7th July), the Lancaster Insurance team made their way to Tatton Park as we were honoured to headline sponsor of the Lancaster Insurance Classic American Stars and Stripes.

Overlooked? Eddie Rattley's Nissan Cherry Europe GTI

‘The Arna/Cherry Europe has more myths surrounding it than most cars’ observes Eddie Rattley, Nissan expert extraordinaire.

War & Peace Revival 2019

War & Peace Revival - The five day military and vintage festival takes place at The Hop Farm in Paddock Wood, Kent and brings together not only thousands of classic military vehicles but vintage, cars, commercial vehicles and tractors too! Lancaster Insurance are proud to be the official Classic Car Sponsor for the event.

12 July 2019

Beyond Rare – Terry Cooper's Two-Door Fiat 127

Terry acquired VUR 404 S some four years ago, and he restored it in honour of his late mother. One of the most challenging aspects of the process was acquiring the parts.

11 July 2019

Lancaster Insurance up for top industry award

Lancaster Insurance is celebrating the news that it’s been shortlisted in the UK Broker Awards, where it will be competing for the prestigious ‘Marketing & Customer Engagement Award’ title. Taking place on Friday 13th September at The Brewery, London, the awards celebrate ‘the superheroes of the insurance industry’.

Ten Reasons to Watch British Pathé Newsreels

For many years, the British Pathé newsreel was as much a part of a visit to the cinema as the B-film (‘I tell you, Inspector, I was nowhere near Southampton Docks that night!’), the travelogue, the main feature and the over-priced confectionary. Their final newsreel was produced in February 1970, and today the Pathé back catalogue is free to access on YouTube. Here are just ten reasons why we so enjoy showcasing this quite incredible historical resource

Ten Tropes From Old Motoring (and Car-Related) Adverts

Or, the joys of the days when almost every new product seemed to be available in the ‘giant “economy” size for just 6d extra!’

A Cracking Turnout For The Stars & Stripes Weekend At Tatton Park

The Lancaster Insurance Classic American Stars & Stripes Car Show shifted up a gear at the weekend as thousands of visitors admired a superb line-up of Mustangs, Corvettes, Cadillacs and many more American dream machines in the spectacular backdrop of the National Trust property, Tatton Park.

10 July 2019

Meet The Owner – Emily Meunzberg and her Opel Manta A

In late 1974 Emily Meunzberg’s grandfather took delivery from Bridge Motors of Skellingthorpe of a Manta A 1.9 Berlinetta, one that has been part of the family for the past 45 years.

09 July 2019

What are the benefits of owning a motorhome?

Jumping into a motorhome and taking off into the wilds without a backwards glance – it’s a dream for many of us. If you’re still mulling over whether you should make that dream a reality, we’re here to help.

What are the most popular classic cars in the UK?

Few things beat owning your very own classic car. It feels good to have a little slice of history in your garage, and to own something no longer in production.

6 most common types of campervan to use for a UK holiday

Exploring the great British Isles by campervan is one of life’s little pleasures. In fact, there are an estimated 225,000 campervans and motorhomes on the UK’s roads right now, meaning more of us than ever are choosing those mode of transport as a way of getting out and seeing our amazing country.

08 July 2019

The World's First Hatchback? – The Citroen Traction Avant Commerciale

The world's first hatchback? - the Citroën Traction Avant. Citroën naturally promoted it as one of the most versatile cars you could hope to find.

05 July 2019

An Arresting Triumph - Southend-on-Sea Police's TR4

The summer of 1962 and you are cruising down the A127 towards Southend-on-Sea in your new Sunbeam Alpine Series II. The hood is down, the sun is shining, and you are wearing a particularly tasteful cravat. In short, you have not a care in the world until you hear the unmistakable sound of a police car bell – only the vehicle seen in the rear view mirror is not an Austin Westminster but a Triumph TR4…

04 July 2019

TOP TRUMPS! LANCASTER INSURANCE CLASSIC MOTOR SHOW, WITH DISCOVERY, REVEALS ICONIC CARD GAME AS SHOW THEME

The theme of the 35th anniversary Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery, has been revealed as ‘Top Trumps’, the iconic card game that has been played across the world for over 40 years and is now more popular than ever!

03 July 2019

50 YEARS OF THE PELICAN CROSSING

Early summer in 1969, when many Britons were talking of the impending moon landing and of the new album being recorded by John, Paul, George and Ringo at Abbey Road. But in London, the major news on the 14th of July was the inauguration of a new type of crossing, one that opened with this faintly bizarre ceremony – Pelican Pedestrian Crossing (1969). Its name was Pelican, derived from “pedestrian light controlled” after the Government had rejected “Greenways” and “Lightways”.

02 July 2019

Meet The Owner - Stuart Scrivens and his Datsun 100A Cherry

‘It gets a lot of attention believe me - most people do not even know what it is! All I get is “ what is it?’ – to which Stuart Scrivens replies, ‘it’s a Datsun 100A’.

June 2019

02 June 2020

THE OTHER JAMES BOND CARS

In this blog we’re not focusing on the major “Bond Cars” but the sort of vehicles that were within reach of the average cinema patron.

28 June 2019

Seventy Years of the Rover P4

Just imagine you had obtained tickets for the 1949 London Motor Show and were eager to mentally plan your latest car, even if the domestic waiting list meant a possible delivery date in 1952.

26 June 2019

Club Of The Month - The Jaguar XJS Club

Formed in 2012, the Jaguar XJS is a relatively new club on the scene and is passionate about raising the profile of the marque.

Meet The Owner - Jason Himpson and his two-door Vauxhall Cavalier Mk.I

‘Filling up can take a while’, remarks Jason Himpson of his 1980-model Cavalier 1600L, for this, is a classic that attracts attention at virtually every filling station or supermarket car park.

Porsche 917 and 962 to star at Lancaster Insurance Classic and Supercars Show - Sherborne Castle 2019

Derek Bell is to be reunited with the iconic Le Mans winning 917 and 962 Porsches at the Lancaster Insurance Classic and Supercars Show.

24 June 2019

BRSCC Mazda MX-5 Championship - Anglesey Circuit

Brian Chandler and his team were out in full force earlier this month at Anglesey Circuit for the latest round in the BRSCC Mazda MX-5 Championship. Check out their latest video to see how the team got on!

Sarah Coombes - MG Owners' Club Championship

Here our sponsored driver, Sarah Coombes, talks about her past two rounds of the MG Owners’ Club Championship.

Car Of The Month - Aaron Britton's Datsun 240Z

There are various forms of courage in returning a classic car to its former glory – such as embarking on the refurbishment of a 240Z despite having a background in finance rather than engineering.

21 June 2019

The Ultimate Summer Car? - Bob Hart's Beach Mini

As the 60th anniversary of the Mini approaches, we will be featuring blogs on the many facets of its story – including the version aimed at the “Jet Set” of bygone days.

19 June 2019

The Allegro From Italy - The Innocenti Regent

You are looking at one of the more exclusive cars to hail from Italy – one that is now less seldom encountered than a Ferrari Testarossa and rarer than Lamborghini Espada.

Drive It Day 2019 - The Austin Maxi's 50th Birthday

Cowley on the 28th April was the venue for a rather special “Drive It Day”.

17 June 2019

60 Years of the BMW 700

This August sees the 60th anniversary of a small car that changed the destiny of one of Europe’s most famous car manufacturers.

13 June 2019

LANCASTER INSURANCE CLASSIC MOTOR SHOW, WITH DISCOVERY, PLANS ‘SUPER SHOW’ FOR 35TH ANNIVERSARY

The organisers of the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery, are planning a ‘super show’ to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the UK’s biggest indoor motor show this November.

12 June 2019

Brian Holdworth's Hindustan Ambassador

“Icon” – a term that is so overused as to be virtually meaningless.

11 June 2019

An Ultra-Rare Renault - Steffan James Mather's 1973 5TL

Which was the first European FWD hatchback to really impact on the great British motorist?

10 June 2019

The Story Of 200 FGN

Picture the scene – the year is 1963 it is wet, cold and your Hillman Minx Series III De Luxe has failed to proceed one October evening.

07 June 2019

Classics World Roadtrip Day 2

Our journey continued on the A30, one of the UK’s longest A-roads, through the picturesque Devon countryside eventually arriving at Honiton, a market town famous for its lace and pottery.

Who are the top 5 Motorhome bloggers in the UK?

Once you’ve caught the road trippin’ bug, you’ll be desperate for a regular slew of inspiration. There’s no better supply of trip ideas than bloggers who have made it – quite literally – their job to travel across the UK and further afield and report back on their findings.

Classics World Roadtrip Day 3

On the final day of our road trip, we arrived in the A30’s true home, Cornwall. Traversing from the rolling hills of Devon to the stark expanse of Bodmin Moor, through the Cornish picturesque villages our journey was nearing it’s end.

The Ultimate Convertible? - Andrew Burford's Ford Skyliner

Andrew Burford is the owner of what might well be the ultimate convertible on British roads.

06 June 2019

A Walk On The Mild Side - Andrew Thomson's Talbot Horizon 1.1 LE

Back in the early 1980s, to buy a Talbot Horizon 1.1 LE was to enter a world of luxury that was almost beyond human comprehension.

05 June 2019

Classics World Roadtrip

This week, we’re thrilled to be joining Classics World on their roadtrip to celebrate the 30th anniversary of four incredible cars; Mk1 Mazda MX-5, Land Rover Discovery, Rover 200 and Citroen XM.

04 June 2019

MotoFest Coventry

You can usually see Alex Cursley, one of our sponsored drivers, in the Hyundai Coupe UK but last weekend he was at MotoFest Coventry for the first time! Check out the video below to see how he got on.