Latest news

MEET THE OWNER – JOHN LONERGAN AND HIS FORD ESCORT POPULAR PLUS

I have lived at my present address since 1985 and didn’t know my close neighbour Keith had a car until about seven years later’.  In 1992 a garage door ‘was opened for the first time that I could recall since moving there and revealed a white S reg. Mk. 2 Ford Escort’. Today, John Lonergan is the custodian of that same four-door Popular Plus – a car that looks as though it has only recently arrived from the local dealership.

It is often forgotten that 42 years ago you were less likely to have seen an RS2000, Mexico, Sport or Ghia than the likes of FPT 665 S. The fact that heads were unlikely to have turned on seeing a Popular Plus is a testament to the success of the Escort Mk. II. When Ford replaced the “Coke Bottle” shaped Mk. I with “Project Brenda” in January 1975, they extolled the virtues of the ‘slimmer, leaner look’, with advertisements hinting at an 007 lifestyle - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rktivs3zjl8

In late 1975, Dagenham revived the Popular badge, which had been last seen on the 100E in 1962, for their new entry-level Escort - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctQqkv_yanU. For a mere £1,299 you gained a Ford with ‘stylish looks, comfort and roominess’ while the list of equipment included ‘two circular semi-sealed beam headlights’ and ‘Black painted windscreen wipers’.  Plus, a floor covered in the finest of rubber matting.

What Car thought ‘for the people who want a car which will return good mpg yet hold four people and their luggage, the Popular is a must’, even if they did complain it was ‘rather spartanly finished’. The logical solution was to order the decadence of the Popular Plus, which came with reversing lights, a dipping rear-view mirror, fabric upholstery and even a front parcel shelf.

The FWD Mk. III succeeded the Mk. II in September 1980, while FPT remained in the garage until July 2010. John asked for the first refusal on the Escort and stated he ‘didn’t wish to sell the car on but wanted to recommission it and take it to classic car shows’. The polite response from Keith was that ‘it was not for sale, but if ever he wished to sell, he would let me know’

However, by early 2008 work on the house of John’s neighbour meant that ‘the garage door was going up and down like a yo-yo with workmen going in and out, revealing the car again covered in dust and boxes.  I guess a lot of people saw the car and around that time and Keith was inundated with strangers knocking on his door asking to buy the Ford but again he would not sell.  I think all the attention troubled him somewhat as he is a very private person.’

And so, one evening in mid-2008 John was approached by Keith, who asked him if he still wanted the Escort. ‘I said I would be delighted to own it and with a little haggle the deal was done. I asked why he had not sold it to someone else, and he said he would like the car to be looked after by someone he knew and would take care of it and not just sell it on’.

Unfortunately, ‘not long after that, I suffered some health problems, and the car had to wait until July 2010 to come out of its hibernation’. It was at this point John’s challenges with the Popular Plus really commended. ‘First I had to enlist some help from friends and relatives’ while the initial task was ‘to tie back the overgrown bushes on the drive, then I lifted the garage door, and there it was covered in dust, boxes and an old carpet’. Furthermore, ‘all the tyres were totally flat, the inside was covered in white dust, and the handbrake was on’.

But John has the determination and fortitude of all true Escort enthusiasts and so he ‘let the handbrake off while my son James dragged over the portable compressor. He inflated all the tyres then he and my wife Cath gave the car a shove, there was a little clunk, and the handbrake came off. I couldn’t believe it 18 years it was on, and it came off so easily!’ Once the rubbish sitting on top of the Ford was removed ‘it was pushed out of the garage and over the road onto my drive’.

John recalls that ‘the car looked in great condition’ despite the dust inside and out, and ‘the speedo read an amazing 3,131 miles - it had covered just 30 miles since that 1992 MOT, and it looked great’. In preparation for running the engine, the Longerans ‘changed the oil and filter, air filter, plugs, points and condenser and fitted new plug leads as the old ones were green looking’, plus a new battery.

The fuel tank needed to be drained of ‘18-year-old fuel’ and then came the moment of John starting the engine. ‘Everything looked fine, but it would not fire up. A little investigation led to the coil, so straight down to my local auto centre for a new one’. The result was a power plant that ‘fired up without hesitation and soon settled down to a smooth tick over’. The Escort also benefitted from ‘Ziebart treatment from new; the only job under the car was to change both rack boots which had split when the wheels turned for the first time’.

The next task was to check the brakes. John was amazed to find ‘all checked out ok - nothing leaking, nothing sticking, all going on and off with each application’.  In fact, he had never ‘known a vehicle stand so long without something sticking, seizing or leaking, so I carried on and checked out the rest of the vehicle’.  As he discovered ‘everything was working as it should’ the Escort was booked for a MOT.

The ten-mile journey undertaken by John and his wife Cath was the Escort’s ‘first trip in 18 years. The car performed well once the brakes had settled in, though I have to say not having a brake servo felt a bit weird for a while. The only thing to show up on the trip was those 32-year-old tyres’. The MOT examiner was so incredulous at the 3,141-mileage reading and the Ford’s condition ‘he even had his workmate and some friends have a look’.

The Popular Plus gained its MOT certificate ‘with flying colours, and after a steady trip home, all the wheels were removed.   I had them blasted and repainted at Stella Blasting and Painting of Chester-Le-Street and had new tyres fitted at Tyre Plus Durham’. The Escort now ‘drives as it should’. One drawback of the Ziebart treatment is ‘they sprayed the stuff everywhere, under the bonnet was totally black, but I am slowly removing it a bit at a time to reveal the pristine original paint underneath’. It should also be noted that Escort’s interior ‘is totally original’ and, as far as John is aware, ‘it has never had a passenger in the rear’.

Mr. Lonergan has also rectified an issue with the nearside front wing, owing to a minor scrape incurred by Keith – ‘this was attended to by Dick Francis and his team at Carrosserie of Barnard Castle. Its former owner recently visited the Escort, and he was very pleased with its progress’. John also remarks that ‘you would not be surprised at how many people said they would have modified it’, but he has no such plans. ‘On seeing it outside on my drive, I immediately realised this car was a rare and almost perfect survivor and had to be kept that way’.

Escort Mk. IIs are indeed frequently the subject of modifications, and some believe there are more RS1800s on the road than actually left the factory. This is why FPT is such a valuable machine, for it truly is social history on wheels. It was registered at a time when television consisted of three channels, when many households lacked a telephone and when the idea of a small car with air-conditioning as standard was a fantasy on a par with Blake’s 7.  In John’s words ‘it doesn’t get any better than this - a one owner ultra-low mileage vehicle been locked away for years and taking very little to recommission’.

WITH THANKS TO – JOHN LONERGAN

 

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 Ford today. 

Share this story, choose your platform

Recent Posts

Tags

News from the last 12 months

July 2020

03 July 2020

Classic cars that are family friendly

Many classic car lovers dread having to give up their beloved motor when they start a family. But having kids doesn’t mean your days of stylish motoring are behind you. In fact, there are several models of classic car that will suit your love for all things retro and still fit two child seats in the back.

02 July 2020

THE MANY CARS OF PETER SELLERS

Peter Sellers, who died forty years ago today, was quite possibly the greatest actor of post-war British cinema, despite a spate of dreadful pictures towards the end of his life.

Mandatory MOTs to be reinstated from August

Update: The government has confirmed that mandatory MOT testing will be introduced from 1st August in England, Scotland and Wales. The announcement comes with the gradual easing of lockdown restriction and rising traffic levels.

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.

June 2020

30 June 2020

Club of the month – Renault Owners’ Club

The Renault Owners’ Club is run by a group of volunteers and is recognised and supported by Renault UK.

CAR OF THE MONTH – CHRIS POLLIN’S PONTIAC TRANS AM

When Chris Pollin takes his Trans Am for a spin, the public reaction is sometimes dramatic. This is hardly surprising, for not only is the Pontiac a rather magnificent vehicle in its own right, but it is also a doppelganger for the star of a certain television programme.

DO YOU REMEMBER – THE MISTER SOFTEE ICE CREAM VAN?

The arrival of an ice cream van was once as much a part of a summer evening as a schedule of television programmes that you would generally avoid.

26 June 2020

How to keep your classic car germ free

How do you keep yourself and your family protected from the small but potentially serious risk of becoming infected by germs that have lingered on your dashboard or steering wheel? Our quick guide gives you the basics.

How to manage on-board water in your motorhome

Read on for our quick guide to water in your motorhome. And remember – a good water system is just one of the motorhome essentials you need to put in place.

MEET THE OWNER – JAMES BARNES AND HIS MG METRO TURBO

As the Metro approaches its 40th birthday, it seems only appropriate to pay tribute to one of the rarest and most desirable versions.

25 June 2020

60 YEARS OF THE COMMER “SPACEVAN”

As recently as the 1980s, you might regularly encounter a medium-sized van that resembled an inverted soap-dish.

24 June 2020

Overnight restrictions lifted for motorhome and campervan users in England

UPDATE: the latest advice from the government yesterday makes it clear that camp sites and caravan parks in England can open from 4th July, if they are Covid-secure.

23 June 2020

DO YOU REMEMBER – THE MILK FLOAT?

When the world was young and The Goodies ruled BBC2, the sound of a Wales and Edwards electric motor was as much a part of the morning’s routine as hearing the postman’s BLMC J4.

MEET THE OWNER – STEVE WATKINS AND HIS 1982 TOYOTA HI-ACE DEVON CAMPER

‘I bought my Toyota Hi-Ace Campervan in 2018 having looked at VW “Bay Window” Vans, but I wanted something a bit more a) unusual and b) reliable’.

18 June 2020

MEET THE OWNER – CHRIS JAMES AND HIS NISSAN STANZA

When looking at photographs of 1980s traffic, you often encounter Japanese cars that have now almost entirely vanished – the Mitsubishi Spacewagon, the second-generation Honda Accord, and the Nissan Stanza

60 YEARS OF THE VOLVO P1800

If you were watching ITV in the 1960s a Volvo P1800 would have seemed almost impossibly glamorous.

16 June 2020

DO YOU REMEMBER – THE ORIGINAL ALFA ROMEO ALFASUD?

An Alfasud 1200 has to be one of the most popular choices for the ‘How Many Are Left” lists of cars.

THE RANGE ROVER AT 50

The 17th June saw the launch of one of a select group of cars that deserves to be referred to as ‘iconic’. And so, here are 12 facts about the Range Rover:

MEET THE OWNER – ANDREW JONES TURTON AND HIS TRIUMPH TOLEDO

‘I always get the “nice Dolomite mate” - I can’t help but put them right by telling them it’s a Toledo’. Andrew Jones Turton‘s 1973 example is now an unusual sight, but in their heyday, they were the Triumph that you were most likely to encounter outside of the Co-op.

12 June 2020

DO YOU REMEMBER THE STANDARD VANGUARD LUXURY SIX?

In the 1970s I would occasionally encounter a well-polished blue & cream Vanguard Luxury Six.

60 YEARS OF THE LANCIA FLAVIA

There are some cars that revel in their exuberance – their very appearance proclaims to the world ‘I’ve arrived and to prove it I’m here!’.

10 June 2020

WHEN DID YOU LAST SEE – A BOND 875?

Some cars seemed destined to become remembered as only a “missing link” between two popular models, yet the 875 deserves a better fate.

MEET THE OWNER – DOUG MOODY AND HIS FORD CORTINA “WOODY” ESTATE

Doug Moody is the proud owner of a very fine collection of Consul Cortina Mk. Is – including a version that is widely remembered, despite it enjoying a limited production run.

09 June 2020

MEET THE OWNER – JOHN LONERGAN AND HIS FORD ESCORT POPULAR PLUS

‘I have lived at my present address since 1985 and didn’t know my close neighbour Keith had a car until about seven years later’.

SUMMER MOTORING – 1970S STYLE

As the summer approaches, here are seven recollections about the joys of holiday motoring during the 1970s

DO YOU REMEMBER – THE PEUGEOT 604?

1975 saw the introduction of the three cars that shared the 2.7-litre V6 PRV engine.

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.

May 2020

29 May 2020

Are you planning on buying a new classic?

With lockdown being gradually eased and from Monday, car show rooms in England being able to trade, people appear to be turning their attentions to purchasing a new car.

CAR OF THE MONTH – DAVID BROOKS AND HIS 1961 FORD PREFECT 107E

Since we last met David’s Ford Prefect 107E, it has been treated to new main bearings and a fresh coat of paint. There have also been ‘little repairs’ to the off-side wheel arch and the bottom corner of the bonnet – and last year the Prefect appeared on the Boston Classic

How to spot a gem when buying a classic car

Buying a classic car should be one of the most exciting purchases of your life. These cars are treats for most people - a significant investment of money, time and emotion. Yet the reality is that many people find it a process fraught with danger and risk.

27 May 2020

DO YOU REMEMBER – THE ORIGINAL FORD CORTINA GT?

‘Pure Ford fire, neatly packed into the race-bred, over-square engine’. That is how Dagenham marketed their first post-war car to bear the “GT” badge.

CLUB OF THE MONTH - THE "BEARS"

The “Bears”, as they are affectionately known, are a dedicated group of classic car and sports car enthusiasts. Since the club was formed in 1989, their primary aim has been to raise money for children’s charities through their own social, dream rides and touring events, and to support other charitable events.

REFLECTIONS ON THE 1970S CAR SHOW

Our mission, should we decide to accept it, was to create an online event on the Classic Car Enthusiasts Forum – Powered by Lancaster Insurance that people could engage with throughout the Bank Holiday Weekend. It would embrace all forms of 1970s motoring life, from Dr. A.F. Kendal’s Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith II and Peter R.

19 May 2020

MEET THE OWNER – LEWIS BUCHAN AND HIS 1964 SCAMMELL SCARAB

In the 1950s and 1960s, you were as much likely to see a Scammell Scarab in red & cream British Railways livery as a Lyons Corner House or a police constable on point duty.

15 May 2020

Meet the Owner - Rich Philpot and his Triumph Herald 1200 Coupe

‘The original Herald design sketch was of a coupé. To my mind, it is the best-looking body style for a Herald, and the two-tone red and white paint is also my favourite colour combination’. And Rich Philpot’s 1963 example is the epitome of the Triumph that you could ‘Park With Pride!’

13 May 2020

MOTORING – 1955 STYLE

As road traffic is now reduced to 1955 levels, here is a glimpse into a lost world.

MEET THE OWNER – SHANE FENTON AND HIS 1958 BEDFORD CA

‘I restore cars as a hobby and intended to give it a makeover, but to be honest, it’s too original, and I love it the way it is like a time machine’.

THE ISETTA – THE BMW FROM BRIGHTON

In the 1950s there were three British towns or boroughs associated with the assembly of overseas vehicles – Acton for Renault, Slough for Citroën and Brighton for the BMW Isetta.

12 May 2020

Can I drive my classic car during the coronavirus pandemic?

UPDATE: the latest advice from the government makes it clear that non-essential travel in England over greater distances is now allowed. We have been receiving a lot of enquiries so have put together the guidance below to ensure you stay within the law as you take your classic car out again.

07 May 2020

THE TALBOT SOLARA – AN APPRECIATION

Gavin Bushby is not only the Chairman of the Fiat Motor Club; he is also the proud owner of a very unusual Coventry-built saloon: a Talbot Solara Rapier. ‘Beautiful gold, with brown, brown, beige, and brown velour’. And the colour scheme was not the only attraction of this fine car as it presented the driver with plush ‘inserts on the door trim pads and ‘front hockey-stick armrests’.

04 May 2020

MEET THE OWNER – PATRICK BRADLEY AND HIS AUSTIN MONTEGO HL

Thirty-four years ago, Patrick Bradley’s Austin Montego HL was as familiar a sight as people fleeing from Sigue Sigue Sputnik on Top of The Pops. He came this now rare car ‘last year as my dad had Maestros and Montego when I was a kid. I wanted to get one to remind me of my childhood. These cars were everywhere when I was growing up in the 90s – now there is hardly any left sadly.’

April 2020

30 April 2020

Affordable classics from the 90s

Nostalgia for the 90s is in full swing at the moment – it’s enough to make those of us old enough to vividly remember the decade feel very old indeed.

CLUB OF THE MONTH - The Fiat Motor Club

The Fiat Motor Club (GB) is dedicated to enhancing and promoting the motoring enjoyment of its members. You don’t have to own a Fiat to join, just a love for all things Italian such as cars, food and lifestyle.

Ways you can save money when taking out insurance

If your insurance is up for renewal, we’d encourage you to give the team a call directly to discuss your circumstances. As a specialist classic broker, we truly understand the industry and can offer a number of benefits with our policies including a two year agreed value option, vital protection such as salvage retention options and choice of repairer are available.

29 April 2020

CAR OF THE MONTH - IAN QUARRY’S MORRIS MINI TRAVELLER

Ian Quarry remarks that his 1965 Morris Mini Traveller is often 'smiled at and noticed…'. This is not surprising, as the car that represented 'Wizardry at work again!'

28 April 2020

Top tips for reversing a motorhome

Manoeuvring a motorhome on Britain’s busy roads can be a challenge at the best of times. Narrow, congested lanes can mean getting your motorhome from A to B takes a fair amount of skill and precision.

27 April 2020

The Alfa Romeo 1900 Berlina – A Celebration

May 1950 saw the debut of a car with a fair claim to being the most important post-war Alfa Romeo. The 1900 was both their first with unitary bodywork and their first with LHD. The Italian rule of the road had changed from left to right in 1924.

23 April 2020

Lancaster Insurance Classic & Supercars show 2021 date revealed

Organisers of the Lancaster Insurance Classic & Supercars Show have announced the 2020 event has been cancelled, due to the on-going climate, but can confirm the date for the 2021 show is Sunday 18th July.

22 April 2020

When did you last see - a Ford Consul "Base"

It would be fair to say that Dan Godley is a dyed in the wool Ford Granada enthusiast. ‘After I passed my driving test in 1994 I bought a 2-Litre for £40’.

21 April 2020

JASON JORDAN’S ESSEX POLICE FORD GRANADAS

‘I’ve always had retro or classic cars. I was just looking for a new project and found the Granada. The fact it was an old police car was an added bonus, and it’s just opened up a whole new world’. B 457 AHJ is ‘a 2.8 Automatic’, and the mileage is just under 104,000.

20 April 2020

The Renault 4CV - A Celebration

The 4CV is, without any sense of hyperbole, one of Renault’s most famous cars. It was their first to sell more than a million units, and it was developed in circumstances that are hard to envisage.

16 April 2020

MEET THE OWNER – BRIAN HALL AND HIS MG 1100

An MG 1100 has to be one of the most attractive cars of its generation - especially when finished in Connaught Green. Brian Hall came across his 1967 example five years ago – ‘it appeared at local shows having just been bought from the original owner who had kept it for 40 years, I had the first refusal on it, but I thought he wanted too much for it so I didn’t buy it’

MARK CLINTON’S FIAT 130 BERLINAS

As a child growing up in rural Hampshire in the early 1970s, there was a select group of cars that seemed to exemplify an impossibly remote world of glamour. Admittedly, I was raised in a village where Marty Wilde was still regarded as a young Teddy Boy and watching BBC2 a sign of dangerous radicalism. The fact that my family ran a succession of near wrecks also shaped my views concerning automotive excellence. At that time I classed any vehicle where the passenger door did not actually fall off as a “luxury car”.

When Did You Last See – A Vauxhall Royale Coupe?

John Worth’s splendid Royale Coupe is a ‘not quite one family’ car. It belonged to his father ‘until 1985. He liked six-cylinder Vauxhalls, needed a hatchback and four seats - and enough towing capacity for a horsebox’.

15 April 2020

HAPPY 40TH BIRTHDAY PRACTICAL CLASSICS!

In the spring of 1980, a new motoring title hit the W H Smiths and Martins of the nation. The front cover featured an Austin A40 “Farina” and a Riley 4/47 while the name of this new publication was Practical Classics. And, in the words of the 2020 editor Danny Hopkins ‘the 40th anniversary edition is the May issue which goes on sale on 15th April’.

Sir Stirling Moss 17th September 1929 – 12th April 2020

Sir Stirling Craufurd Moss passed away on the 12th April at the age of 90. His racing career commenced in 1948 as an 18-year-old racer in a Cooper 5000 and ended 14 years later with his crash at the International 100 race at Goodwood. During that time, as Giles Richards wrote in The Guardian, he went on:

Mazda MX-5 winner joined Brian Chandler on track day

On Friday 6th March John Williams, the winner of our MX-5 competition last year, joined Lancaster Insurance and Brian Chandler at Donington Park to test the Mazda at one of the most internationally renowned and historically significant circuits in the world.

14 April 2020

10 of the best American muscle cars

Just as with cinema, food and literature, every country has its own unique take on car manufacture. Historically, the Europeans and Japanese have highlighted handling, while the traditional American approach was to go for power. And they don’t get much more powerful than the American muscle cars of the 60s and early 70s.

08 April 2020

Meet the Owner - Georg Dönni and His Daimler Ladbroke Avon Estate

‘People usually believe that the car is a hearse. As almost every car is now a hatchback, she does not generate that much attention anymore, but Jaguar folks are all highly amazed that there was ever a five-door XJ’. And this is quite understandable for the marque expert Georg Dönni owns one of the most exclusive cars ever to wear the famous Daimler fluted grille.

07 April 2020

Classic car rallies around the world

There are some quite incredible classic car rallies to be found out there. As long as your classic car is up to the challenge (rallies can be quite the endurance test), you should really consider participating in one. But where?

02 April 2020

Coronavirus and your car insurance - Lancaster Insurance is here to support you

For many, spring signifies starting the engine of our classics and looking forward to the season ahead. This year, however, we understand enthusiasts will be unsure when they’ll be able to do this. We’ve been receiving a lot of queries from club members during this time, so Andrew Evanson, Senior Operations Manager at Lancaster Insurance, answers a number of these questions.

March 2020

31 March 2020

THE RAREST CARS IN BRITAIN - THE CIMITAN FAMILY'S FIAT 127 GT 1300

‘When we bring her out the amount of people that come up and start asking about it…’ remarks Chris about the Cimitan family’s Fiat. And this is hardly surprising, as any 127 is now a very unusual sight – let alone the third-generation GT 1300.

30 March 2020

CAR OF THE MONTH – STEPHEN PARRISH AND HIS 1934 CITROEN ROSALIE

The public reaction to Stephen’s Citroen Rosalie 10CV (who, of course, goes by the name “Rosie”) is often one of surprise – ‘most people have never seen one or didn’t realise that Citroen’s were ever built in the UK and the fact it is a RWD surprises most’.

27 March 2020

PHIL CAUNT AND THE PRISONER MOKE

On the 29th September 1967, ITV screened the first episode of The Prisoner which featured an unusual taxi cab - one that offered a ‘local service’ only.

MID-BEDS VEHICLE RESTORATION AND THE SWEENEY FORD CONSUL GT

The 2nd January 1975 saw the first episode of a new police series entitled The Sweeney and the major automotive star was a Ford Consul GT.

TONY POUNDER AND HIS 1954 STANDARD TEN RALLY CAR

It would be fair to say that Tony Pounder is quite the fan of the  Standard Eight family and one prize member of his fleet is a 1954 Ten that was ‘built by the works for pre-war racer Leslie Brooke it took part in the 1955 Monte Carlo and RAC Rallies and the 1956 Monte Carlo Rally – alas without much success!’

AUBONE BRADDON AND HIS 1967 FORD ANGLIA PICK-UP

Aubone Braddon is a gentleman who clearly appreciates the Anglia 105E family as his fleet comprises twelve examples of “The World’s Most Exciting Light Car”.

TONY BROOKS AND HIS ROVER P5B MOTOR CARAVAN

This  P5B 3.5 Litre Motor Caravan owned by Tony Brooks goes by the name “Apollo”, and it is one of the most distinctive classics you are ever likely to encounter.

FREDDY HARRIS AND HIS TWO MK. I FIAT PANDAS

Fiat GB marketed the original Panda as “The car that ‘knocks spots off its rivals”, and today they are as rare as a watchable episode of East Enders.

MEET THE OWNER – PETER COBB AND HIS MGB LE ROADSTER

Peter Cobb finds the best aspect of driving his MG ‘is when you get it out on the B-roads in Surrey where I live, with the hood down it transports me back to the ‘eighties.’

MEET THE OWNER – PAUL HAUGHEY AND HIS FIAT CROMAS

To see one Croma on the road is an unusual sight – but Paul Haughey’s fleet includes two! The blue one is a CHT with just over 48,000 miles, and the Green one is an IE Super with just over 21,500 miles.

Club of the month

Our accolade this month goes to the Traction Owners Club. The clubs’ aim is to promote interest in all pre-1957 water cooled Citroën cars including rear wheel drive models and the iconic front wheel drive Traction Avant.

26 March 2020

NHS Volunteers

If you wish to become a NHS volunteer using a vehicle insured with Lancaster (whether this is for delivering food, medicine or transporting patients to routine medical appointments) we will extend cover at no additional cost. Click here to find out more.

PAUL WALSH AND HIS EX-GREATER MANCHESTER POLICE FORD CAPRI INJECTION SPECIAL

When Greater Manchester Police commissioned a fleet of twenty Injection Specials in 1986 marked the end of an era for the region’s traffic police. Fifteen years earlier the force first employed the 3000GT form, but by 1992 the Sierra RS Cosworth succeeded the last Capri Mk .IIIs

1965 Morris LD30 Mk. III “Wandsworth” Ambulance

This is our tribute to the London Ambulance Service whose personnel voluntarily maintain a priceless historic fleet. One of the star exhibits is the Morris LD30 Mk. III “Wandsworth”.

ADRIAN FELL AND HIS 1964 LAND-ROVER FIRE ENGINE

To restore a Land-Rover Fire Engine is a significant achievement – especially one that was once used by your father. Lees Fell worked for the Aylesbury printing firm Hazell, Watson and Viney where 16 members of its staff doubled as part-time firemen.

23 March 2020

MEET THE OWNER – BERNIE PEAL AND HIS RILEY TWO-POINT-SIX

The Two Point Six was a highly exclusive machine even when new – the production run was just 2,000 - and the Gerald Palmer designed coachwork, with its slight overtones of the Lancia Aurelia Berlina, must be some of the most elegant of the 1950s.

MEET THE OWNER – JON HARPER AND HIS ROVER 2600

'Never been painted or welded, which goes to show miracles can happen'. And Jon Harper's 1978 Rover 2600 is believed to be the only example in Avocado, that uber-1970s BL colour scheme, still on the road in this county.

MEET THE OWNER – TONY POUNDER AND HIS STANDARD TENS

To say Tony Pounder is an aficionado of the Standard Eight/Ten family would be a mild understatement. For starters, his fleet includes two 1958 Tens – one blue, one white – that are very much on the road.

The Jabbeke Triumph TR2 Joins The British Motor Museum

It is Wednesday 20th May 1953, and the location is the Jabbeke highway in Belgium. When Ken Richardson took to the wheel of MVC 575, he set a new record for a two-litre production sports car. As the narrator puts it ‘it’s safe to predict a great future for new Triumph sports car’.

19 March 2020

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.

16 March 2020

MEET THE OWNER – BUDD BIRKITT AND HIS HILLMAN MINX

The very handsome Audax Series Hillman Minx owned by Budd Birkett is a prime example of a “Ronnie Stevens” motor-car. For those readers not devoted to 1950s and 1960s British comedy films, Mr. Stevens would often enter a scene wearing a snappy sports jacket and uttering the words ‘Hello, old man!’.

DO YOU REMEMBER - THE FORD CORSAIR?

One of the most popular films of Ford Heritage’s superlative YouTube collection is a 1963 gem entitled Jim Clark Drives Corsairs - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yybJ5yRzbA4.

13 March 2020

MEET THE OWNER – STEVE WADDINGHAM AND HIS AUSTIN ALLEGRO 1100 DE LUXE

There is one question that Steve Waddingham is often asked regarding his 1975 Austin Allegro – 'where's the square steering wheel...?'.

THE SHORT AMERICAN CAREER OF THE “AUSTIN MARINA”

What was the final Austin-badged car to be officially marketed in the USA? It was not the ADO16 or the Mini, for that honour goes to the Marina.

11 March 2020

THE FIRST BRITISH “LIMITED EDITION” CAR – THE MORRIS MINOR MILLION

During the late 1960s, 1970s and 1980s there appeared to be seven main approaches to "Limited Edition" cars. The first was to adorn the tail-end of a long-running model with as many extras as possible.

09 March 2020

DO YOU REMEMBER THE VOLVO PV444 AND PV544?

Some motor-cars look upon fashion with disdain – cars such as the Volvo PV444/544. The advertisements may have hinted at a world of excitement, glamour and Trad Jazz.

06 March 2020

Do you Remember the Singer Hunter?

The answer to the question is probably ‘no’, as the Hunter was in production for just two years, and it was never a major seller. Yet, as the swansong to the independent Singer marque and a motor car of integrity, it deserves to be better remembered.

03 March 2020

40 YEARS OF THE AUDI QUATTRO

'A car awe-inspiring enough to be part of any tale too good to be true' wrote Ronald Barker in Car magazine of April 1981.

DO YOU REMEMBER THE FIAT 850 COUPE?

‘There are three types of GT’ proclaimed Fiat GB in 1968. The ones that are little more than an ordinary saloon cars, nicely packaged. The ones that are hot but leave you cold aesthetically. And the ones that are real stoppers to look at – real goers when you get behind the wheel. In short, cars such as the 124 Coupe and the 850 Coupe – latter representing ‘11’ 10” of sheer excitement’.

MEET THE OWNER – JOHN GORDON AND HILLMAN AVENGER SUNSEEKER

‘When I passed driving test my driving test forty years ago, my first car was an Avenger 1250 De Luxe’ remarks John Gordon. ‘I’ve driven at a lot of classics since that Hillman – but I was unable to resist the call of the Sunseeker’.

60 YEARS OF THE MINI VAN

The British Motor Corporation unveiled the Austin and Morris Mini Van in 1960, and when production ceased twenty-two years later, they were as much part of everyday life as ageing punks mooching around the local Wimpy Bar.

February 2020

28 February 2020

Top Gear – The Early Years

Sunday, March 1st marks the last of the current series of Top Gear - nearly 44 years after the first edition. Memories of the programme are often defined by the first presenter you recall, rather in the manner of your favourite Doctor Who. Some will recall Noel Edmonds, who seemed to really dislike the Strada and whose report incurred the wrath of Fiat GB. Others will always associate the programme with Chris Goffey. Sue Baker or Frank Pope. And, of course, there was the great William Woollard of subsequent "Woollarding" fame, seen here reviewing a Lada, an FSO, a Yugo and a Skoda.

27 February 2020

The countdown is on for the Practical Classics Classic Car and Restoration Show!

Lancaster Insurance is thrilled to be returning to the NEC for the Practical Classics Classic Car and Restoration Show, with Discovery!

MEET THE OWNER - ROB FOSKETT AND HIS HILMAN SUPER MINX CONVERTIBLE

'I have had a few runs out with the roof down, but as I only bought it last September, I am looking forward to using it in better weather'. With a car such as a Super Minx Convertible, it is quite understandable why Rob Foskett is anticipating the summer.

26 February 2020

Club of the month

In 1960 The Morris Eight Tourer Club was formed, now known as The Morris Register, after a name change in 1968, the club admits all cars and commercials that were designed before 1940.

25 February 2020

MEET THE OWNER – MARTIN KEEPING AND HIS MORRIS A60 “SUN-TOR”

At this time of the year, many of us dream of summer holidays; a time when the skies are not an almost permanent shade of grey.

CAR OF THE MONTH – MICHAEL WALL AND HIS 1970 HILLMAN AVENGER SUPER

‘The younger generation sometimes say, “is that a Mk.1 Escort?” – much to my annoyance! I am very occasionally asked “is it a Viva?” but the most common reaction is “what is it?”.

24 February 2020

MEET THE OWNER – LUKE HARWIN AND HIS FORD ZODIAC MK. III FARNHAM ESTATE

'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

MEET THE OWNER – STEPHEN HITCHCOCK AND HIS AUSTIN A35 VANS

‘I’ve always been more a van man than car man’ remarks Stephen Hitchcock and, as proof, he is the proud owner of not one but two Austin A35s. The 1959 orange example has been a part of his fleet for the past two years and the grey (and red) 1960 model since 2004 - ‘I used it to advertise my business’.

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’.

50 YEARS OF THE HILLMAN AVENGER

The Hillman Avenger is one of the most uber-1970s cars that you are likely to encounter - one that firmly belongs to the realm of Fletcher Maths, How We Used To Live on ITV “Schools Television” and those strange “Pink Panther” chocolate bars from the corner newsagent.

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

03 July 2020

Classic cars that are family friendly

Many classic car lovers dread having to give up their beloved motor when they start a family. But having kids doesn’t mean your days of stylish motoring are behind you. In fact, there are several models of classic car that will suit your love for all things retro and still fit two child seats in the back.

02 July 2020

THE MANY CARS OF PETER SELLERS

Peter Sellers, who died forty years ago today, was quite possibly the greatest actor of post-war British cinema, despite a spate of dreadful pictures towards the end of his life.

Mandatory MOTs to be reinstated from August

Update: The government has confirmed that mandatory MOT testing will be introduced from 1st August in England, Scotland and Wales. The announcement comes with the gradual easing of lockdown restriction and rising traffic levels.

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.