We all start somewhere in the hobby. There is some event or person or car that flips the switch inside our head and leads us to follow the path of the car enthusiast. Some folks get addicted to horses or music or fishing, but if you are reading this, you are probably are addicted to cars. Our Video of the Week this go-round features the car that flipped the switch for a huge celebrity and even bigger car lover, Jay Leno. In this video about his 1954 Jaguar XK120, Leno recounts the tale of seeing his first real sports car, his first Jaguar XK. He tells how the owner of that car let the then only 9-year-old Leno sit in the car, and he tells of the effect that has had upon his life.
Mini owners are being offered a fantastic opportunity to be part of the idolized little car’s unmissable 60th birthday party at this summer’s Silverstone Classic (26-28 July). Plans to salute the diminutive icon’s diamond jubilee with the biggest-ever grid of racing Minis has already been announced – but now comes confirmation of an exclusive anniversary track parade and display, too.
Jaguar has announced the addition of a new Checkered Flag Limited Edition model to the 2020 F-TYPE model line-up. This limited edition model celebrates the brand’s rich sports car heritage dating back to the reveal of the XK 120 in 1948. Based on the Jaguar F-TYPE R-Dynamic Coupe and Convertible, and available with a powerful four- or six-cylinder engine, the Checkered Flag LE features a range of subtle visual enhancements to the exterior and to the driver-focused “1+1” cabin. Highlights include a Black Contrast roof on the Coupe and a luxurious Windsor Leather interior featuring Performance seats with embossed headrests, a Dark Brushed Aluminum center console trim finisher and – in recognition of the Jaguar brand’s motorsport successes – a steering wheel with a discrete Checkered Flag logo and red leather band to mark the 12 o’clock position.
Aston Martin Works, the world-renowned heritage arm of British luxury sports car maker Aston Martin Lagonda, is promising visitors to the upcoming Retromobile Show in Paris next month an unprecedented view of one of the brand’s rarest and most sought-after classic cars – Aston Martin DB4 Convertible, chassis no. 1173. This one-off model, built in 1963 at the historic home of Aston Martin in Newport Pagnell – now center of operations for the Aston Martin Works heritage sales, service, and restoration business – is unique as, of the circa 70 DB4 Convertibles made by the brand between 1961 and 1963, chassis no 1173 is the only car known to have been built by David Brown’s factory team with the more potent DB4 GT engine as an original fitment.
More than 130 dealer representatives attended MG Motor UK’s annual Dealer Conference and Dealer of the Year Awards in Birmingham last week, marking the start of an exciting and busy year ahead for the iconic British brand. Dealers were treated to the official unveiling of the New MG ZS EV, the iconic British brand’s first battery electric car which is set to launch in September 2019. They also heard about “Momentum & Growth”, MG’s mid-term sales plan which will drive the business to treble its sales volumes over the coming years. Significantly, MG also used the Dealer Conference to announce the launch of its aftersales customer retention programme, a key initiative to generate increased service profitability through the rapidly growing MG parc.
Beaulieu’s new events season gets off to a stylish start with Simply Aston Martin on Sunday, April 7th as it marks the 25thanniversary of the DB7 going into production. More than 300 Aston Martins are expected to gather in the grounds of the National Motor Museum for the fourth Simply Aston Martin rally, with an impressive display to celebrate one of the world’s most revered sports car marques. A special area will be set aside for Aston Martin DB7s, from coupes to Volante convertibles powered by smooth six-cylinders to brutal V12 engines. An important landmark in the company’s history, the DB7 reintroduced the legendary ‘DB’ title after a two-decade break – and all are welcome to join the display.
Bentley Motorsport embarks on a landmark racing campaign as the world’s most sought-after luxury car brand when it competes in the season-opening Bathurst 12 Hour for the fifth time. The opening round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge (IGTC) signals the first competitive outing in Bentley’s centenary year for the second-generation Continental GT3. The British squad returns to the challenging Mount Panorama circuit confident it can fight for victory in this year’s blue riband GT events, following a strong season of development in 2018.
Ginetta, the Leeds based racecar manufacturer, has confirmed that an all-new supercar is on the way. Full details will be announced soon, with highlights including a carbon fiber tub chassis, full carbon fiber body, race-derived 600+ bhp naturally aspirated V8 alloy engine designed and manufactured in-house, sequential gearbox and race-derived aerodynamic package.
The 570S GT4 scored McLaren a historic result at the Daytona International Speedway racing in the inaugural Michelin Pilot Challenge race (formerly Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge), with GT4 customer team Compass Racing and McLaren Automotive Factory Driver Paul Holton taking victory and Motorsports in Action securing the final podium spot. The result marks the first win of 2019 for the 570S GT4 and Holton, as well as the first ever win for McLaren at the world-famous Florida circuit. A strong performance during qualifying saw Holton secure the perfect start for the inaugural round of the Michelin Pilot Challenge, setting a new lap record and pole position for Compass Racing ahead of the four-hour endurance race. The result marked an eighth career GS pole and a record fourth consecutive pole position in the class for Factory Driver and Florida-local Holton.
MG Motor India is preparing for the launch of their first product, the Hector SUV in the Indian market. Just before the launch, the company has announced a strategic partnership with Myles, the carsharing and car subscription company from Carzonrent. The two companies will work together to provide mobility solutions to customers. The first car from MG, the Hector SUV will be the first one to be made available to the customers followed by every new launch from the SAIC owned company. This also would include the EV MG Motor plans to launch before the end of this year. MG Motor and Myles believe that the value of this tie-up will be over Rs. 250 crores in the first phase.
MINI USA today announced senior management changes effective March 1st, 2019. Steve Ambeau joins MINI USA succeeding McKenna as Department Head, MINI Brand Communications. In this role, Ambeau will be responsible for shaping the MINI US brand strategy, as well as leading the planning, positioning, and execution of customer-facing communications across MINI’s owned, earned, and paid channels. Patrick McKenna assumes the role of Department Head, MINI Product Planning and Consumer Events. In this role, McKenna is responsible for the MINI USA product strategy for present and future models in the United States. In addition, McKenna is responsible for developing and executing the strategy for consumer events. McKenna will transition from his current role as Department Head, MINI Brand Communications for MINI USA, a position he has held since May 2017.
This past Wednesday night the UK’s premier classic race organizer Motor Racing Legends (MRL) crowned their 2018 series winners in style at a gala awards dinner at the Royal Automobile Club in Pall Mall. The evening was hosted by MRL Chairman, Duncan Wiltshire and attended by many leading figures of the British motorsport scene including the CEO of Motorsport UK, Hugh Chambers, and Motorsport Vision Chief Jonathan Palmer. During the evening’s presentation, it was announced that MRL is to take on the organization of the two grids from the Historic Motor Racing News stable, the U2TC for under two-liter touring cars and the Pre63-GT series. Ownership of these two well-established series will remain with Carol Spagg, who is looking to step back from the day-to-day organization and administration.
Jaguar Land Rover has released a very short statement confirming their one-week production shutdown as was done last year. Today we have confirmed this year’s holiday dates to employees across all sites. As part of this, we have also confirmed that there will be an additional week of production stand-down 8th – 12th April due to potential Brexit disruption.
Jaguar Land Rover has developed a system that projects the direction of travel onto the road ahead of self-driving vehicles, to tell other road users what it is going to do next. The intelligent technology beams a series of projections onto the road to show the future intentions of the vehicle – for example stopping and turning left or right – as part of research into how people can develop their trust in autonomous technology. In the future, the projections could even be used to share obstacle detection and journey updates with pedestrians.
Goodwood is thrilled to announce that the theme for the 2019 Festival of Speed presented by MasterCard, which takes place from 4-7 July, will be “Speed Kings – Motorsport’s Record Breakers”. Motorsport has always been about pushing man and machine to the very limit, and this year, Goodwood will celebrate the people and machinery that set the benchmark or raise the bar. The focus will not just be on the Land Speed Record, but on every area of record-breaking in motorsport, from the most consecutive wins to most championships, fastest laps, most poles set by a manufacturer and many more.
Land Rover broke their United States sales record in 2018, moving 92,143 new trucks. This smashed the prior record from 2017 by a whopping 23 percent. Range Rover and Range Rover Sport also set new single-year sales records, moving 19,030 and 24,282 units, respectively. This December was the best ever, moving 10,617 vehicles, an increase of 33% over the prior record. Range Rover and Range Rover Evoque set new December records, at 2,231 and 1,594. By comparison, from the re-introduction of Land Rover vehicles to North America in March 1987, it took a decade, until mid-1997, to sell as many vehicles as they sold in 2018 alone. Full-size Range Rover sales for 2018 totaled more than half of the entire production of North American Range Rover Classics from 1987 to 1995.
Owners of the Aston Martin Valkyrie – the ultimate expression of hypercar design, engineering and performance – already know they’re due to receive a truly exceptional car, but the marque’s personalization service ‘Q by Aston Martin’ is set to realize the unique automotive dreams and desires of this exclusive collection. Borne of the partnership between Aston Martin and Red Bull Advanced Technologies, the Aston Martin Valkyrie is a real-life expression of the uncompromising pursuit of performance. As such, it is fitting that this 150-unit road-going hypercar can now be further optimized with the AMR Track Performance Pack. The pack’s track-only components – which can be interchanged with the existing road-legal parts – are set to deliver approximately 8%* quicker lap times on top of the standard Aston Martin Valkyrie.
MG ZR, ZS and ZT cars are quickly disappearing from roads in the UK; with over 78% of the cars ever built now gone. The MG Car Club and Zed Register are hoping to reverse this trend with the launch of Save Our Zeds; a campaign to highlight the decline of Zed MGs and help equip owners with the right tools to keep enjoying and running their cars, rather than consigning them to the scrapheap.
It was done in haste. It was to be an alluring delivery system to introduce Jaguar’s brilliant new XK engine intended to power the substantial Jaguar Mk VII luxury sedan. But the Mk VII wasn’t ready, so Jaguar Chief William Lyons and his men created a quick solution. They shaped it on a shortened Mk VII chassis, painted it bronze, named it the “Open Two-Seat Super Sports” and took it to the 1948 Earls Court Motor Show just to show off their new XK engine.
The 60th anniversary of the extraordinary Mini Minor will be celebrated with two record-breaking races at this summer’s Silverstone Classic (26-28 July). To mark this magical milestone in true Classic style, the packed on-track program will – for the first time ever – feature a pair of very special showdowns dedicated entirely to huge numbers of much-loved Mini racers competing for The Mini Celebration Trophy presented by Adrian Flux. The automotive icon’s enduring popularity with historic motorsport competitors is certain to create the world’s biggest-ever grid of racing Minis and, fittingly, another major crowd-pleasing highlight at this year’s running of the biggest retro-racing festival on the planet.