Vintage racing isn’t just a hobby, it is a passion. And an art. We are quite pleased to have a guest article by Don Racine of Mini Mania about using the ribcase transmission from the ubiquitous “Spridget” in the vintage racing application. The most conventional gears in the everyday manual transmission are helical cut. The single biggest advantage of this design is the reduction of noise that is inherent in the more efficient, easy to manufacture straight cut gears. The helical patterns allow for a much less violent meshing of the gears. But, the decreased noise comes with a few penalties. The first of which is sideload – because the gears are helical, some of the thrust is lost in the rotational direction and thus must be controlled with a thrust surface. The thrust surface most often used is called thrust […]
Thanks to Melody Laurel we have a special event report on the 2017 America British Reliability Run, Pennsylvania Chapter. This event was held at the end of September. Melody is currently assistant director of the Delaware Valley Triumphs and is also on the board of directors for the Pennsylvania chapter of America’s Reliability Run. This year, the event will be held the first weekend of October. Another year’s America’s British Reliability Run has come to a close. $27,000.00 has been raised for New Jersey’s Children’s Specialty Hospitals, Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Program and the Traumatic Head Injury Programs. These programs receive no government funding and all of the proceeds will go directly to buying much-needed beds and other items, not funding the front office. The America’s British Reliability Run has been in existence for over 12 years. It is not a race. It is […]
Did you ever think about the vintage of the cars you collect? Do they fall into a particular time frame? I was thinking about this today as I was cursing a job that I have done innumerable times before on different cars – refitting the plastic steering cowl. I realized that I had cursed this same job many times before. Then I realized that I had done so because most of my British car purchases fall within the time period of the 1970s – when British Leyland had a plastic fetish. During this same period, engineers had a preference for putting things in with screws where you would have to have three hands and stand on your head to replace them. Such were the 70s.
Reader Russell Browne sent in these pictures from the recent Regent Street Motor Show. This show was held on November 4, 2017, on Regent Street in London from Piccadilly Circus to Oxford Circus.
I hear a lot how young people aren’t into our older British cars, but I think that sometimes that is just because they haven’t been given the chance. To show how some younger folk view our classic sports cars, our video this week is from a guy who goes by the YouTube handle of ThatDudeInBlue. The video, a review of a nice MGB, is quite honest and although he approaches the car from a distinctively modern viewpoint, it is clear that he enjoys the ride. The reviewer is very honest in talking about both the successes and the shortcomings of the MGB. He mentions how the cars have a reputation for unreliability, though it seems he doesn’t take much stock in that. In contrast to being a bit small and perhaps underpowered, he talks about how the MGB and other […]
David Townsend of Sports Car Art has announced a new collection of prints featuring the evolution of different models of classic British sports cars. These works are available either as prints for framing or as backlit or unlit box displays. Currently available titles include: • Triumph TR3 • Triumph TR4-TR6 • Jaguar XK • Jaguar E-Type • MGA • MGB • Austin-Healey 100 • MG T-Type
Loving this one. Our video this week is from our friend John Clancy who brings you TriumphDVDs. But, this week’s video is not about Triumphs. No, this week we are looking at the history of Rover. Rover is one of those brands that was never very popular here in the US but was a standard in England. Additionally, the Rover brand was had heavy influences on almost all other British car brands and contributed one of the most famous engines of the classic period – the Rover 3500 V8. This video is a preview of the documentary DVD charting the full story of Rover from the introduction of the safety bicycle in 1895 to the last cars in 2005.
For our Video of the Week this last Wednesday of October we are going to let the famed British brand dunhill do the duties. When dunhill first laid plans to enjoy the ultimate Flying Scotsman Rally experience, there was only one man they could turn to for the job – William Medcalf. Supported by dunhill, The Flying Scotsman Rally is Britain’s premier vintage car rally that comprises three days of open-road motoring against the most picturesque backdrops in the north of the UK. And William Medcalf has one of the greatest competitive histories at the event.
This week our video comes by way of Scotland and features the immortal Austin Healey. This event may have taken place four years ago, but I think you will agree that the cars look as good today as they did then, or even 50 years ago. Coming to us from the Austin Healey Club in the UK, the footage is actually from 2013 when Crieff Hydro in Scotland hosted over 250 Austin Healey cars and their owners at the 4th European Healey Meeting. The above video was taken at the Knockhill Circuit in Dumfermline, Fife, which played host to the event’s Auto Test. Fastest time of the day went to Oliver Chatham’s 3000 Mk1, which completed the 1.3-mile course in 37.7 secs. The Austin Healey Club is a group of 1,600 enthusiasts dedicated to preserving the Austin Healey Marque and […]
Our Video of the Week for this second week of October comes all the way from the 2017 All MG Collier Cup race at Watkins Glen, NY, put on by the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA). So buckle up and take a ride with Mike Barstow in his MGTD. The “Collier Cup” took place during the U.S. Vintage Grand Prix which was held from September 6 through 10. More than 400 vintage and historic race cars competeD in 11 vintage race groups. The race groups showcaseD many well-known marques, including Lotus, Porsche, Shelby, Alfa, Ferrari, Corvette, MG and Jaguar. Running as a part of this event this year ASs the Trans-Am Series presented by Pirelli.
“I’ve never seen one of these before. What kind of car is it?” the police officer asked, his cruiser parked behind us on Massachusetts’ Route 13 to provide some protection against the stream of commuter traffic rushing north, toward the New Hampshire border. “It’s a Rover,” I replied. “An SD1. It’s a British car.” “Rover, huh? Never heard of those,” he said. This didn’t surprise me, given that he probably had not yet been born when Rover made its last stab at selling cars in the U.S. in 1980. “You know Land Rover and Range Rover?” I asked, employing my standard response. He nodded. “Well, the same company that made those built cars, too, going all the way back to the early 1900s.” He found this surprising. People always do. The car’s owner, my friend Dirk Burrowes, is far more […]
Our video of the week this go-round comes from Goodwood. In it, Patrick Blakeney-Edwards gives an in-depth look at one of the favorite Goodwood Revival cars: the 1928 Frazer Nash Saloon dubbed the “Owlet”. It’s an all-consuming experience to race and with an updated engine, and it was one of the craziest cars to be thrown around Goodwood. Thanks to Goodwood for not only a great event that was great entertainment, but for the amusing video.
Our video this week comes from the popular British television show Wheeler Dealers. Even though one of the main guys on the show has recently been replaced, the episode we are looking at is before that. Back when Edd China was still on. But he is not the focus of the video, a 1980 Triumph Spitfire is. In case you don’t know, Wheel Dealers features two presenters (in this case Edd China and Mike Brewer) on a mission to save old and repairable enthusiast vehicles, by repairing or otherwise improving an example of a particular make and model to a budget, then selling it to a new owner. Basically, we are talking flipping cars instead of houses. Along the way, you learn the finer and not so fine points of these cars and have fun watching other folk muck about in […]
You can never have too much of a good thing, and Aston Martins are certainly a good thing. Our friends at Take to the Road recently produced an excellent video review of a 1959 Aston Martin DB4, and we are featuring that review here as our Video of the Week. Make sure to check out their site for additional pictures and other great articles. We are going to quote from the Take to the Road review: Off all the British automotive brands that have come and gone, there is one that is guaranteed to stir the emotions. And that is Aston Martin. It is a name that evokes style, luxury and speed. And of course a certain fictional spy. The Aston Martin DB4 was never a Bond car but its design laid the foundations for the legendary DB5. It is […]
Our video this week comes in from Goodwood. The annual Goodwood Revival is the coming weekend, and the new TVR is due to be unveiled there. In celebration of that, Goodwood has released the “A History of TVR in 4 Cars”. While obviously using only 4 cars leaves out quite a few remarkable vehicles, this is still an excellent and entertaining history.
It is with a heavy heart that I must let you know of another passing in our ranks. Dick Knudson, MG evangelist and recent inductee into the British Sports Car Hall of Fame, has passed away last Friday, September 1st. Services will be held Friday, September 8th, in Schenevus, New York. The Reverend Dr. Richard L. Knudson was a co-founded the New England MG ‘T’ Register in 1964 and has been the register’s backbone ever since, guiding the register and its many events over the years. He was editor of the Register’s “Sacred Octagon” magazine for many years. He became an “MG Expert”, even traveling to England to do MG research. He authored a number of books on MGs, including “MG – The Sports Car America Loved First”. Although I had been a fan of the man and his work for […]
The new Range Rover Velar is one of Land Rover’s most desirable cars yet, but while the model is new, the Velar name is not. Our video this week comes from the folks at AutoExpress and is a drive in one of the original Velars – the vehicle that became the Range Rover. The first Velar-badged cars appeared on the roads in the UK in the late 1960s, when Land Rover wanted to hide its Range Rover prototypes during testing. Taking its name from the Italian word ‘velare’ – which means ‘conceal’ – seven prototypes were built, and later crushed. However, a handful of pre-production models survived, and we’ve been for a spin in one to get a sense of the new Velar’s heritage. If you are interested in AutoExpress’s take on the new, and much more modern, Range Rover […]
Our video of the week this time is from the 2016 Portland All British Field Meet. This year’s edition of the show will be held the first weekend in September. I attended this show back in 2005 (wow, that seems like a long time ago now!) and can attest to it being a great show. It not only has a large number of cars, somewhere in the 800 area, but is well managed and in a great location. In addition to the show itself, SOVREN’s Columbia River Classic is held on the same weekend at the adjacent race track. Two days of racing follow a limited test ‘n tune day on Friday.New this year is our stop on the CrossFlow Cup, a five-event West Coast series for Formula Fords.
Update: The contest is now closed! We would like to congratulate Ray Whitley on his win which was determined at random from all entries received. We would also like to thank all of those who entered the contest. Entertaining stuff! I bet you didn’t know that July is my birthday month – well it is. But, I am going to give you the present. Aren’t I generous? We Leo’s are like that! Since this book is proving to be so popular, I thought you might like another contest chance to win a copy of Robert Morey’s Philosophy and Psychology of British Car Restoration. This is a great little book, and a fun read for any fan of old British cars. So, you might be asking yourself how you enter the contest. I gave a lot of thought to that and decided that […]
The New Jaguar E-PACE has set an official Guinness World Records™ title during its world premiere in London. Leaping into the record books, Jaguar’s compact performance SUV achieved an epic 15.3 metre-long jump, complete with a 270-degree corkscrew-like barrel roll. Behind the wheel was legendary British stunt driver Terry Grant. One of the best things about watching this barrel roll, other than the sheer marvel of such a stunt, is that you get a full 360-degree view of the E-PACE. Let’s face it, it is hard to hide much when you soft white (or aluminum) underbelly is exposed for all the world to see.