Raymond Mays' Magnificent Obsession
Classic Cars

Raymond Mays’ Magnificent Obsession

Last Thursday, Bournemouth-based author and former Anglican Priest, Bryan Apps, launched his new book at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu. Laced with fascinating anecdotes, Raymond Mays’ Magnificent Obsession reveals a pivotal figure in motor sport history and describes the author’s enthusiasm for BRM, detailing his visit to Raymond Mays in Eastgate House, Bourne, in 1963. An intimate congregation of friends and motor racing enthusiasts gathered around the National Motor Museum’s Mk1 BRM for a talk by the author, followed by a presentation of the book to Beaulieu’s Chief Executive, Russell Bowman, and a signing session. Bryan Apps said: “I was given a very warm welcome at Beaulieu by Russell Bowman and Museum Manager, Doug Hill and was delighted to give a signed copy of Raymond Mays` Magnificent Obsession for the Museum Library, which is an essential resource for any student […]

Aston Marting with a Misfire

Random Misfire, Maintenance and Depreciation

Ok Let’s see… Random misfire and misfire on cylinder #11 … Looks like you need the basic ignition service. When would you like to do that? How much you ask? Oh, about $4,000. That was a nasty fall, can I help you up, get you some aspirin? Well of course I can break it down. Twelve spark plugs at $40.91 each, twelve coils at $157.56 each, a manifold gasket set at $407.36, and then around $900 labor …. How often?  Well, about every 25 or 30 thousand miles. Perhaps you should sit down again, you look faint. What I’m trying to point out here is that it’s possible to drive a spectacular car as your secondary “real car” for the kind of people that for instance left the 3 year old ‘Benz in the driveway this morning and drove the […]

Bentley Inspirator

Bentley Introduces Inspirator Configuration App

Personal style preferences can now be transformed into recommendation, with Bentley’s latest innovation: the Inspirator. The application monitors the users’ facial expressions and reactions and interprets them in order to configure the perfect Bentley for them. Utilising any iOS device’s camera function, the application’s facial and emotion recognition software measures and analyses the viewer’s emotion based on nuanced facial expressions. 34 facial landmarks are identified at 15 frames per second, as the viewer reacts to stimulating film content. The accurate emotion metrics algorithms are built using the world’s largest emotion data repository – 3.4 million faces have been analysed in 75 countries amounting to more than 12 billion emotion data points. The viewer’s reactions dictate a unique film narrative; the film changes according to what the user responds to most positively, but also deciphers their preferences, creating a unique configuration […]

Auctions & Sales

Rare Range Rover Convertible to Auction

A rare early Range Rover convertible conversion is due to be sold at Silverstone Auctions’ last auction of the year, The NEC Classic Motor Show Sale, on 14-15 November 2015. Starting life as a 1973 Range Rover ‘Suffix B’, the car was converted in the late Eighties by Special Vehicle Conversions, who specialise in bespoke convertible conversions for Range Rovers of the period. The rare right-hand drive convertible has covered just 62,500 miles from new and having recently been restored to its original Special Vehicle Conversions specification, it will be sold at The Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show auction with an estimate of £35,000 – £40,000. The car was apparently won by the previous owner in a card game in the Nineties, who then stored it in a lock-up as he didn’t have space in his garages. The vendor heard […]

Christmas Table
Classic Cars

Trip to Victorian England for Christmas?

Barely auto related, but we like it anyway. Visit Beaulieu this Festive Season, between 19th December and 3rd January 2016, to experience the magic of a traditional Victorian Christmas. See one of the largest outdoor Christmas trees in the New Forest, adorned with seasonal decorations and follow the fairy light path to Palace House, the home of the Montagu family since 1538, which is a place of enchantment at this special time of year.  Children can follow the Christmas Cracker quiz trail, hear how festive traditions have developed over the ages and play Victorian parlour games. All the family can wrap up in beautiful coats, hats and scarves and climb aboard the stunning full-size sleigh to pose for a photograph – perfect for the family Christmas card. Visitors can talk to characters from Victorian times to discover what life was […]

Aston Martin full electric RapidE concept
Aston Martin

Aston Martin Unveils Rapide S Electric Concept

Aston Martin is today showcasing a fully electric concept of its Rapide S four-door sports saloon outside Lancaster House in London – the venue for a meeting between Their Royal Highnesses Prince William, Duke of Cambridge; Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and President of The People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping. The new RapidE concept has been developed in collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering at its facility in Grove, Oxfordshire. It is on display today in support of a creative summit organised by the British government’s successful GREAT campaign to showcase the best of what the UK has to offer and encourage people to visit, do business, invest and study in this country. Aston Martin CEO, Dr Andy Palmer, said: “We see luxury electric vehicles as an intrinsic part of our future product portfolio and welcome ChinaEquity into the next phase […]

From a pile of parts to a complete car in under a day

From Pile of Parts to Caterham

No matter how many cars are on display at the free-to-view Regent Street Motor Show at the end of this month (Saturday 31 October) – and there will be hundreds – one more will leave than arrived. Four technicians from Caterham Cars will be building a car from scratch throughout the day. The four-strong team will start the day surrounded by a number of boxes full of parts to build up a Caterham Seven, and just six hours later they plan to drive the finished car away. Caterham Cars was founded in 1973 to manufacture and sell the self-assembly Seven two-seat sports car, and they’ve been doing it ever since. Based on the Lotus Seven from the 1950s, the current Caterham shares the same ‘back-to-basics’ looks as the original and it still shares the ethos of the original – performance […]

VotW - Morris Oxford and Wolseley Fifteen

VotW – Morris Oxford and Wolseley 1500

Our video this week is from deep in the vaults for something a little more esoteric – a brief history of the Morris Oxford and Wolseley Fifteen-hundred. These fantastic old cars were two of the stalwarts of the British automotive industry in their day. The Morris Oxford is a series of car models produced by Morris Motors in many different forms. Although the name was used from the 1913 bullnose Oxford to the Farina Oxfords V and VI of the 70s, the cars being referred to in this video are the models produced from 1948 and up until 1959. Those interested in the Morris Oxford should check out the Cambridge Oxford Owners Club as well as the Morris Oxford site. The Wolseley 1500 was first introduced in 1957. The Wolseley 1500 was produced at Longbridge with a detuned version of […]

Bentley Berkshire 2

Bentley Berkshire Implements New Corporate Identity

Bentley Berkshire today becomes the first of Bentley’s UK showrooms to implement the brand’s new corporate identity, following an extensive upgrade to the Pangbourne sales and aftersales centre. Drawing inspiration from the British luxury marque’s rich 96-year heritage, as well as the best in modern luxury retailing, the template for the new design was first showcased with the opening of CW1 House – a flagship showroom concept at Bentley’s headquarters in Crewe. Bentley Berkshire has integrated the new, modern façade within the site’s existing footprint; the powerful and contemporary new look perfectly complementing the dealership’s familiar Georgian brick-built frontage. Sarah Simpson, Bentley Regional Director UK, commented: “The new-look Bentley Berkshire site has been designed to give our customers a bold, clear and contemporary vision of the Bentley brand, and is finished with the same level of luxury for which our […]

Aston Martin

DB10 Roars into Aston Martin Works

The Aston Martin DB10 built exclusively for James Bond in the forthcoming movie, Spectre, roared into Newport Pagnell on Saturday as part of a tour of the British sport car maker’s UK dealers. The relaxed, family-friendly, event saw more than 500 people visit Aston Martin Works to get a close-up view of the exclusive new sports car. DB10 is limited to just ten examples, all of which are used in the highly anticipated new Bond film which premieres in London on Monday October 26. Stunt driver Mark Higgins – the man behind the wheel for the extreme driving scenes in three Bond films – was also at Saturday’s event to share his fascinating insights into both the making of Spectre and the experience of driving the exclusive DB10. Aside from the rare chance to see the stunning Aston Martin DB10 […]

Building Cars Live - BBC Documentary
Corporate Business

Building Cars Live – BBC Documentary

Contrary to what some people may think or say – the British car manufacturing industry is in pretty good shape. Every 20 seconds, a brand new vehicle rolls off the production line somewhere in Britain. Last year, Britain built more cars than France, and one single plant, Nissan Sunderland, made more cars than the whole of the Italian car industry put together. Meanwhile, seven out of 10 Formula 1 teams are based in Britain, including Red Bull, McLaren, Mercedes, Lotus, Williams, Force India and Manor (Marussia). And the UK doesn’t just make cars, they also build engines – one in three Fords sold globally in 2014 had their engine built in either Bridgend or Dagenham. Building Cars Live is a new two-part documentary that takes viewers into the fascinating world of the car manufacturing industry, with presenters James May, Kate […]

Corporate Business

The Joy of Six – MG6

Six months ago, MG Motor UK launched the new MG6 and it has been a great success with customers enjoying the numerous improvements made to the value-for-money fastback. With the range starting from £13,995 and the top specification coming in at £17,995, customers have been really taken with the MG6. To mark the six months, MG spoke to six owners to find out how they’re getting on with their MG6 and what they love about it the most. Kevin Wright bought his MG6 from the Sales Centre in Longbridge. He said: “We owned the previous version of the MG6 and decided to upgrade to the newer model after seeing that MG had made so many great changes to it. We’re so happy with the car and find it nice to drive. Plus, the emissions and fuel economy have been made […]


Caterham Closes Season at Silverstone

The 2015 season of Caterham’s five official race series reached their conclusion in a gripping finale at Silverstone on 17-18 October, with four championships going down to the wire and six champions being crowned in total. The GQ Caterham Academy, Caterham’s introductory race series designed exclusively for rookie racing divers, saw two full grids compete for the title. The season saw the competitors gaining their race licence at the start of the season and then progress from sprint events to circuit racing. In the Green group, Rui Ferreira had already sealed the title prior to the final weekend with three wins throughout the season. Andy Perry secured the championship in the White group with a second place finish at Silverstone proving enough to secure the title. The next step up the Caterham Motorsport ladder, the Roadsport class, saw 2014 Caterham […]

MG in Birmingham Half Marathon
Corporate Business

Run MG! Run!

Yesterday (Sunday 18th October), 13 employees from MG Motor UK’s technical centre conquered 13 (plus 0.1) miles in the Birmingham Half Marathon for Macmillan Cancer Support. The team of thirteen had been training hard in preparation for the run that took place through the streets of Birmingham’s city centre. The team were running for Macmillan Cancer Support and, with money still rolling in, they have managed to raise an impressive £5,700 – which is almost £2,000 over their original target. The team leader for the baker’s dozen, Richard McAllister, said: “It was a great day all round, but my legs certainly aren’t saying that today! The weather held off for us making running conditions ideal. “We were all really proud of our times, as we all had our own goals; even if it just meant getting round in one piece! […]

Lotus Driving Academy adds Evora 400 to new driving experience fleet
Corporate Business

Evora 400 Added To Lotus Driving Academy Fleet

The Lotus Driving Academy is pleased to announce the addition of the new, critically acclaimed Evora 400 to its fleet. What’s more, the entire fleet is renewed, with five Elise 220 Cup, two Exige S and one Exige S Club Racer model joining the new Evora 400 and now available to drive on the famed Hethel test track at Lotus’ Norfolk HQ. Jean-Marc Gales, Chief Executive Officer of Group Lotus plc, commented: “We are pleased to offer potential customers and track driving enthusiasts the opportunity to drive the new Lotus Evora 400 and our other high-performance models at our Hethel test track. Lotus prides itself on offering benchmark handling and pure driving experience and the Evora 400, developed at Hethel, is the latest proof of this concept. To drive the Evora 400 at the very track used throughout the model […]

1976 Jaguar XJ12 C Broadspeed 3
Auctions & Sales

Avengers Jaguar Fetches £62,000 at Auction

The original Jaguar XJ12-C Broadspeed that appeared in the cult 1970’s TV series, The New Avengers, sold at auction Thursday, October 15, for £62,000 – some £50,000 over initial estimates. The iconic Jaguar, driven by secret agent John Steed (played by Patrick Macnee) in the hit series, began life as a pre-production prototype vehicle for the marque. Bought by a private collector at the H&H Classics’ auction at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, Cambridge, the XJ12-C completed its early development and testing work with Jaguar before being sent to Broadspeed Engineering Ltd. to be fitted with upgraded bodykit including wider bumpers and wheelarches plus bigger wheels and tyres in preparation for filming.

1964 Solitude Grand Prix. Solitude, Germany. 18th - 19th July 1964. John Surtees (Ferrari 158), 2nd position, action. World Copyright: LAT Photographic. Ref: 25827.
Classic Cars

Historical Photographs at Classic & Sports Car – The London Show

Visitors to Classic & Sports Car – The London Show will not only be able to feast their eyes on the world’s most amazing period cars – but they will also be treated to a host of eye-catching historical photographs celebrating British motoring and motorsport. The inaugural show will take place from 30th October to 1st November 2015 at Alexandra Palace. Located in Alexandra Palace’s West Corridor, these amazing installations will provide real insight into automotive history featuring images celebrating Jaguar Land Rover and British F1, thanks to pictures sourced from the world’s leading automotive image agency, LAT Photographic. Jaguar Land Rover is sponsoring a 24-metre gallery featuring the top 20 iconic moments that have defined 80 years of Jaguar and 45 years of Range Rover. Entitled ‘Jaguar: 80 Glorious Years 1935-2015’, it will feature a range of imagery from […]

Tor Johnson

Zombie Apocalypse – Caused By Your Car

Your “modern iron”, “rain car”, “grocery getter” or whatever you want to call it is turning you into a zombie! Yes it’s true, and a lazy one at that! Auto wipers, auto lights, seats that move at the touch of a button, navigation the responds to voice command! They even put controls right on the steering wheel so movement of your muscles is almost gone… Even the kids are not safe – the TV screens in your headrests are part of the evil plot. The kids won’t know what’s going on outside the car unless you feed the backup camera into the the TV headrests! And the list goes on. The start was the automatic transmission, and few took offense. But then they got the Zombie Plan up to speed – although electronically limited to prevent engine damage. Satellite navigation, […]

Lotus 3-Eleven
Corporate Business

Lotus 3-Eleven – Two Weeks in Germany at the Nürburgring Nordschleife

The new Lotus 3-Eleven completed a successful two-week test session at the fearsome and challenging Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit. The video documenting this comprehensive test and development programme can be found on the Group Lotus YouTube channel. Individual areas of expertise and vehicle set-up were a specific focus – aerodynamics, engine calibration, chassis tuning and suspension geometry – as the model continues its development towards start of production in early 2016. The Lotus 3-Eleven is the quickest and most powerful production Lotus road car ever produced, offering the ultimate pure driving experience. Heralding the next generation of Lotus high-performance sports cars, the 3-Eleven re-affirms Lotus core values as the perfect demonstration of “lighter, faster” and benchmark handling which comes from Lotus’ roots in competitive motorsport. Prices start at £82,000 for the Road version (including VAT and on the road costs) and […]

VotW - Jensen Healey

Jensen Healey – Video of the Week

Our Video of the Week this time round features the short-lived collaboration between the folks and Jensen and Donald Healey. The Jensen Healey has long been one of personal favorites with a body style that seems somewhere between a muscular Spitfire and a slimmed down Mustang, a Lotus engine, and a comfortable, almost plush, interior. For those who don’t know, or have forgotten with our increasing age, the Jensen Healey was a two-seater convertible sports car, in true British fashion, produced from 1972 to 1976. Even though it was only produced for about 4 years, it was the best selling Jensen of all time. In total 10,503 (10 prototypes, 3,347 Mk.1 and 7,146 Mk.2) were produced by Jensen Motors Ltd. in West Bromwich. A related and rare fastback, the Jensen GT, was introduced in 1975 but did not include the […]