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It’s Not A DAF! – Graeme Aiken’s Volvo 66GL

Graeme Aiken is not only the proud owner of one of Britain’s rarest cars, he also delights in the confusion it often causes. ‘My best overheard conversation was in Sainsbury's car park: Wife: What's that little yellow car dear? Husband: It's a DAF love, rubber band gearbox. Wife: But is says Volvo on the back... Husband sighs No Dear, it's a DAF...’

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CULT VEHICLES

This is a sweeping question but what are the ingredients for a “cult” vehicle? What are the elements that are guaranteed to draw onlookers to a car, whether it is parked on the street or attending a classic show?

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The Chiltern Hills Vintage Vehicle Rally

When you are visiting a car show, the first vehicle that you immediately head towards often says a great deal about your classic-related tastes. On Sunday 20th May, I visited the splendid Chiltern Hills Vintage Vehicle Rally and my initial call was not to the Austin A110 Westminster, looking resplendently municipal, the Pontiac with the famous silver streaks decorating its bonnet.

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50 Years of the Citroen Mehari

There is one very important aspect of the Citroen Mehari – i.e. it is not a car for a poor climate and indeed it was never officially marketed in the UK. It belongs under the Mediterranean sun and indeed I first encountered it in Santa Ponsa some 36 years ago.

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WHAT WERE THEY THINKING – THE AMC PACER

Some cars are genuinely individual but in ways that are not entirely to be recommended. We are talking about the automotive equivalents of taking off all your clothes and dancing the twist in the tinned soup aisle of Asda or having Albert Steptoe as a sartorial role model for a crucial job interview. In other words, vehicles such as the AMC Pacer.

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DO YOU REMEMBER THE ORIGINAL MAZDA 323?

Such is the association between the Mazda brand and rotary engines that it is sometimes easy to overlook that for many British drivers their first experience of the brand was not in a RX7 but a slightly more mundane form of transport.

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CAR OF THE MONTH – JAGUAR XJS

You never forget your initial sight of a Jaguar XJS. For some it was a tantalising glimpse in a showroom, others thrilled to Ian Ogilvy in “ST1” defeating sun-shaded villains in Return of the Saint but for me the location was a yachting marina on the River Hamble in 1977.

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60 YEARS OF THE AUSTIN-HEALEY SPRITE FAMILY

The 20th May 1958 marked the debut of a very compact two-seater with unmistakable looks and unmissable charisma. It was of course the Austin-Healey Sprite and to celebrate six decades of ‘The Car That Offers So Much” here are six stages in its 21-year career

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MORE MOT NOTES

If, like me, you are not technically minded, quite a few aspects of the forthcoming changes in the MOT on 20th May are, at first sight, rather bewildering. So, firstly, let us consider what happens if your car was constructed over 40 years ago.

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Tessa the Triumph - Rob Johnson

At this year’s Restoration show, we had two classic beauties on our stand; the first was our prize giveaway Golf GTI and the second was courtesy of our friends at Kelsey Media - a Triumph 2500TC.

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TEN TREMENDOUS FUEL ADVERTS

The photograph of the A1 services near Doncaster is more than an illustration of the fine vehicles you might have seen on the Great North Road circa 1963 – a BMC J4 van, a Morris Minor 1000, Ford Prefect 100E, a VW Beetle and, at the pumps, a very rare Ashley Sportiva.

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60 YEARS OF THE AUSTIN-HEALEY SPRITE FAMILY

The 20th May 1958 marked the debut of a very compact two-seater with unmistakable looks and unmissable charisma. It was of course the Austin-Healey Sprite and to celebrate six decades of ‘The Car That Offers So Much” here are six stages in its 21-year career

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THE CHANGES TO THE MOT TEST

The forthcoming changes to the MOT rules is an issue that will impact on many of us and, as a recap, here is the announcement on https://www.gov.uk/government/news/mot-changes-20-may-2018

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