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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.

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Keeping your motorhome in pristine condition

There's nothing that says 'summer holidays' quite like a motorhome gleaming in the sun. Keeping your motorhome in pristine condition will not only win you admiring looks as you hit the roads, it will also protect your investment by stopping it developing mould or damp.

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

Written by
Andy Roberts

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.

British Motor Museum Morris Marina

But on rare occasions, you do encounter a such a car, and BJN 638 K is not just one of the oldest surviving Marinas, it is one of the most uber-1971 vehicles you are ever likely to see.

The blue Morris was registered at a time when a colour television set was an object of aspiration, when decimal money was causing confusion in the nation’s grocery shops and when a factory worker could expect to earn £2,805 per year.

Milk was six “New Pence” a pint and beer 15p. For that memorable dinner, Fray Bentos braising steak was a mere 19 1/2 p per tin, followed by a box of After Eight Mints.

 

For younger Britons, the latest culinary sensation was 5p worth of Amazin Raisin bar, and the Raleigh Chopper was already a must-have item, although the “T-Bar” gear selector would not be available until 1972.

Today, the Marina is a resident of the British Motor Museum and the curator Stephen Laing reflects ‘the reason we accepted it is two-fold.

Firstly, it is the kind of car, so many people have an emotional connection with, more so than more “glamourous” models; it is more relevant to them. Secondly, the gentleman who donated the Marina used it as his sole car for more than forty years, and he cherished it’.

 

Mr. Gooding is now aged in his 80s and, as the Museum notes, he ‘wanted it to go to a good home’.

 Today, the Morris appears so immaculate that it could have emerged from a BL dealer some 48 years ago.

IT is also one of the few surviving examples of the 1.3 De Luxe, for in the early 1970s. a 1.8 TC was a car for aspirational regional sales managers and dynamic estate agents with Mungo Jerry sideburns.

 

You were far more likely to encounter the entry-level Marina with its ‘Moulded rubber floor covering’ and upholstery in ‘knit-backed expanded vinyl’.

 

At least the specification included two-speed wipers and the list of extras ranged from a cigar lighter and reclining front seats to an alternator, radial-ply tyres and a heated rear window.

It is sometimes forgotten that by 1973 the Morris Marina was second only to the Ford Cortina Mk. III as the best-selling car in the UK.

Every detail – the door handles, the fresh air vents, the fog lamps that look as though they hail from Unipart – is enough to cast this writer back to the days when a trip to Sainsbury’s in Bitterne High Street for Tizer and their own-brand chocolate biscuits was a highlight of the week.

Others might recall a trip by Marina to an evening performance of On the Buses, the most popular British film of 1971 or a day trip to Bournemouth (‘are we nearly there yet?’).

And then there were those occasions where you hurried along the B3051, hoping that you would be in time to catch Jon Pertwee battle with Roger Delgado in The Daemons.

And this is why BJN 638 K is such an important exhibit – the memories it conjures are is beyond any price.

With Thanks To:

Stephen Laing and The British Motor Museum - www.britishmotormuseum.co.uk/

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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