Wednesday September 13, 2017
The latest updates on the #ClassicRumble projects
The latest updates on the #ClassicRumble projects
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.
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
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?
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.
Are modern supercars really better than the old-timers? We delve into the big supercar debate
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[CN1] 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.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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….
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.
‘Lada’ and ‘Glamour’. For many, the two words go together about as well as Take Me Out and ‘Television programmes that do not make you want to put your set on eBay’ but you cannot deny that marketers tried their hardest over the years. One brochure features an elegant young couple, she in mink and him resembling an extra from a 007 film, as their 1300 is poised to whisk them to an evening of romance, elegance and other phrases not automatically associated with Lada ownership. Another 1986 gem for the Canadian market points out the ‘classic European styling’ of the four-door and the station wagon that was ready for a ‘wilderness weekend’.
We were split into two groups for qualifying as entry numbers again were very high which is very encouraging to see!
With six races left in the Hyundai Coupe Cup, we caught up with the championship leader, and Lancaster Insurance sponsored, Alex Cursley as he looks to continue his good form in the last rounds.
"I was back in the UK for a whirlwind week during a break from filming Wheeler Dealers to catch up with business, charity and to host an event. First up it was off to Sheffield to film at my Mike Brewer Motors Dealership, then it was a blast down south to pop into the impressive Moss Europe where I collected the parts I need for my 1959 MGA project. A quick look around some special cars at Rally Preparation Services in Oxford before I finally got to Swindon and Cross Street Garage to meet the team from Lancaster Car Insurance and see how things are progressing with the #ClassicRumble Escort XR3i Cabriolet.
In those distant days before the introduction of the Transit in 1965, a remote time when listening to Adam Faith’s records was regarded as evidence of mild decadence, the van of choice for many a builder, grocer or jobbing gardener was the Ford Thames 400E.
Nearly all of us are familiar with the Aston Martin DB5, the Lotus Esprit and the other cars prepared by the Q division, but this is a tribute to those often unsung four-wheeled heroes of the Bond films.