The 2019 Insurance Classic Motor Show The 2019 Insurance Classic Motor Show
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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.

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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.

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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”.

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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.

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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…

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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.”

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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’.

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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'.

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