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While watching certain Australian television shows during the 1970s and 1980s, I sometimes noticed a very peculiar looking car in some background shots. Whether the programme was Skippy – which I will admit to enjoying, Prisoner: Cell Block H (which I won’t) or the early BBC screening of Neighbours (ditto), there might be a vehicle resembling a love-child of a Wolseley 1500 and a Ford Anglia 105E.
Ian Mackenzie is an intrepid classic enthusiast whose fleet already includes a Wolseley 1100 and a Ford Escort Ghia. However, as we all know, there is always room for one more vehicle and he came across this second-generation Fiat 127 entirely by chance.
1) There were circa 2.5 million cars on the road in 1952. 2) Only one in twenty Britons had access to a car. 3) Some British car marques of 1952 that are no longer with us: Armstrong Siddeley, Austin, Hillman, Humber, Jowett, Morris, Singer, Standard, Sunbeam-Talbot, Triumph, Riley and Wolseley.
As part of their dedication to car clubs, classic car insurance specialists Lancaster Insurance have recently recruited another dedicated Car Club Liaison.
A select group of cars are instantly likeable – cars such as the Sunbeam Imp Sport and the Singer Chamois Sport. Their combination of looks, performance and charm, are quite formidable – ‘Sparkling sports performance with luxury saloon comfort’, as the Rootes Group put it.
There it was on the Simca Club UK stand at Hall 5 of the NEC at the Practical Classics Classic Car & Restoration Show with Discovery last weekend.
About forty years ago, I encountered a car that truly mesmerised my younger self. As the focus of my village was a large yachting marina, it was not uncommon to see unusual LHD vehicles used by owners and their crews – but I had never seen anything like that small ivory-coloured saloon with the French licence plates.
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.
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.
News: The Mini at 60 Cavalcade
On the morning of August Bank Holiday, certain residents of Cowley must have thought they were experiencing a Doctor Who-style time warp, as 60 Minis thundered along the road from the Mini Plant Oxford. The Cavalcade was, of course, a 60th birthday celebration of one of the select few cars that merit the term ‘icon’ and was an event that involved the resources of BMW UK, BBC Radio Oxford, Tanya Field, and countless enthusiasts who gave their time and effort.