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DO YOU REMEMBER – THE CITROEN AMI?

Watching an Ami 6 negotiate a roundabout was one of the most alarming, yet fascinating, sights ever experienced by my younger self - at one point it looked as though the body was at a 45-degree angle to the tarmac as its engine sounded like an irate banshee. A Citroen Dyane looked dramatic enough when cornering but the Ami 6’s distinctive styling made the entire process even more entertaining.

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DO YOU REMEMBER – THE VAUXHALL ASTRA Mk. I?

I imagine nearly everyone will recall the original Astra; the first Vauxhall-badged car with front wheel drive and one of the defining cars of the early 1980s. The Astra was more than a very worthy competitor for the VW Golf and the soon to be launched Ford Escort Mk. III, it was as typically early 1980s as listening to Madness’ House of Fun on a Sony Walkman while hiring a Betamax tape of Jaws 2 at your local video library.

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Car of the month - Citroen AX GT

For this month’s ‘Car of the Month’ I look back fondly through my own car history and the only car I have ever owned twice, my Citroen AX GT. Sadly, DVLA records show that H220 TUB disappeared off their radar and was probably scrapped early in 2002 so I’m unlikely to own it for a third time.

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Club of the month – Porsche 924 Owners Club

Being a 924 Owners Club member brings far more benefits than just events; for a start there's the first class, full-colour, club magazine, 'TwoFour', which has been 'club magazine of the month' in Classic Car Weekly twice and also received an honourable mention at the Classic & Sports Car awards!

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DO YOU REMEMBER – THE DATSUN 100A CHERRY?

The Datsun 100A Cherry is an exclusive sight these days and a well-preserved survivor that has the power to evoke days of Cola Rola ice lollies and Kenny Everett announcing Celebrity Squares on ATV. It was also the first Nissan with front wheel drive and a car that helped to radically alter British attitudes towards Japanese imports.

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SEVEN MORE FOUR-SEATER CONVERTIBLES

Summer is nearly upon us, although I refuse to take any responsibility if you are reading this in the middle of a Force 9 storm, and the criteria for this magnificent pricing is ‘reasonable’ seating for at least a quartet of adults and enough room in the boot for a decent-sized picnic hamper. For those missing the Reliant Scimitar GTC or the VW Golf Cabriolet, these and many others will all feature in future Top Tens – watch this space. But, for now - Citroen Visa Decapotable

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DVD OF THE WEEK – THE ADVENTURER

Viewing too much late-night television can often lead to your mind playing tricks. Did Harry H Corbett once play a gangster with a taste for Ford Consul Mk. IIs? Was there really a British Z-film in which the private eye anti-hero drove an Austin A30 saloon? And did I dream a 1972 adventure series packed with FE-Series Vauxhalls in which the leading man appeared to have covered himself in glue and then ran through the nearest branch of Brentford Nylons?

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DO YOU REMEMBER – THE MOSKVITCH 412?

Before names such as Lada, FSO and Polski Fiat had entered the vocabulary of the average British motorist, one of the best-known marques from the former Eastern Bloc was Moskvitch. Well into the 1970s, the saloon and the estate with their faintly retro-1950s enjoyed quite a following with drivers who needed a medium-sized car on a Mini sized budget, while the vans and pick-ups were positively luxurious compared with your average Bedford HA.

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OLD ADVERTS - STANDARD

In the late 1940s and early 1950s the marque name of Standard spoke quality, dignity – and a decidedly lack of spivvishness. For many years their key model was the Vanguard although the illustration in this 1948 brochure for the original Phase 1 model does not actually do justice to its trans-Atlantic styling. Inside, such phrases as ‘accommodates six grown persons within moderate overall dimensions’ would have given hope and frustration in equal measure to thousands of motorists. The new Standard really was ‘Made in Britain…Designed for the World’ while UK drivers would have to put their names on a waiting list of literally years. By 1950, petrol rationing had finally been abolished but many would-be Vanguard owners could still only dream of owning the Standard with ‘suction controlled automatic ignition advance’.

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Car of the Month - August 2017

This month’s club of the month features one of my favourite ‘modern classic’ 2-seater roadsters. Whilst Lancaster Insurance can usually arrange specialist insurance for all models of MX-5, even the newer ones, the Car of the Month looks back at where it all began with the MK1.

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Club of the Month - August 2017

This month’s Club of the Month goes to Capri Club International, who’s aim is to guarantee a following of owners and enthusiasts who realize that the Ford Capri is a modern day classic and wish to keep the legend alive. The club was originally established in 1982 and is the largest single marque Ford club in existence.

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ADVERTS OF THE WEEK – VAUXHALL CHEVETTE

This advert may be as naff as Alan Partridge, but it does give an idea of why the Vauxhall Chevette was the best-selling hatchback in the UK as it was very cleanly styled, reasonably priced, versatile and very enjoyable to drive. It was also instrumental in altering the image of the Vauxhall marque - this promotion fronted by Patrick Macnee shows just how different the Chevette and indeed the Cavalier looked in comparison with the early ‘70s quasi-Detroit appearance of the HC Viva and FE Victor.

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DVD OF THE WEEK – RETURN OF THE SAINT

Return of the Saint was the last of the ITC ‘International Man of Mystery’ series and the only one that I can recall seeing on its first airing, probably because of the opening credits. Who could not be enthralled by the instrumental theme tune by Brian Dee and Irving Martin as an animated Saint logo evaded irate stuntmen and leapt from Bedford TK lorries into MGB Roadsters?

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Nice Cars - Shame About The Film

There is a select group of British films in which the viewer thinks a) what great cars b) the poor cast and c) I have just wasted at least 70 minutes of my life on this utter tripe. Here are just seven pictures which are always worth watching for various Jaguars, Triumphs or Wolseleys, even if they have the dramatic impact of the BBC Test Card. Enjoy….

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Peter Sallis and the World's Most Famous Austin A35 Van - A Tribute

What are the great Austin A35 moments in cinema? Well, there is Leslie Phillips driving a van in Carry On Constable, the taxi in The Great Muppet Caper and the spectacularly dire Austin van/Land Rover chase in the 1967 horror film The Deadly Bees, a picture involving bored actors being attacked by black and yellow Styrofoam on a regular basis. If we expand our remit to include the A35’s predecessor we have the even worse Clegg, a 1970 second feature where everyone is out-acted by an A30, various lampposts and their own hair. But, of course, little could equal the sheer drama and excitement of Wallace and Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

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