With this being the height of show season, we decided that this week we should take a moment to look at the judging process in a concours d’elegance. Now, different shows do judging differently. There are, of course, the popular choice car shows, but even within the concours shows the judging can be varied. Our video is The Judging Process at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Some shows that I have attended have cared more about the presentation and condition of a car than its originality. Other shows have stressed original equipment and options even if that meant that condition may suffer a bit. Still, other shows want every part of the car to be of an original type and quality or be period correct, but the part itself does not need to have been original. Again, there are many variations and it […]
British firm JD Classics, a dealer of classic cars but also an expert restorer and organizer of classic racing events, entered administration last Friday. This is the UK equivalent process to entering bankruptcy protection here in the US. And yes, this is the same JD Classics firm the only just a few months ago hired as its CEO former Lotus CEO, Jean-Marc Gales.
For our Video of the Week, let’s take a spin with something a bit on the lighter side. This is perhaps one of the world’s smallest races – in terms of the number of entrants, size of entrants, and the size of the cars. This is the Settrington Cup at Goodwood Revival, and the 2018 edition was held this past Sunday. Held annually at the Goodwood Revival since 2012, the Settrington Cup race is for children ages 6 through 9. Cool, you think … so go grab a pedal car and let your kind hit the track, you think. But no. In addition to the age restriction of the drivers, the only pedal cars allowed are Austin J40 models built by disabled coal miners beginning in 1949 (true story). Here is a quote from an original brochure for the car, which […]
In this clip from Extra Gear in 2016, Rory Reid heads to MG Live at Silverstone to get the verdict on the MGB Abingdon Edition. From the Frontline website: The concept was the easy part, the design a greater challenge and the implementation even more so, but welcome to the all-new MG Abingdon Edition. Conceived for the driver that appreciates quality and craftsmanship but wanting something more than just understated class, style and charm. The Abingdon Delivers literally earth shattering performance transporting you from 0 – 60 miles per hour in just 3.8 seconds. Combine this with the latest in suspension and braking design, add in the most detailed of finishing’s using the finest materials available in the world and you have a car that will not only make you smile every time you see it, but find every excuse […]
Most folks who own a television set are familiar with Dennis Gage and his show My Cassic Car. Well, our video this week is from a show he shot at the McPherson College C.A.R.S. Club show. It just so happens that two of the cars he featured in this episode are a 1967 MG 1100 and a 1964 Indy car racer featuring MG 1100 liquid suspension. The cars belong to Richard Morrison who has painstakingly restored them both. The footage of these cars starts at 5:40. For the 1964 Indianapolis 500 Kjell Qvale, who imported and distributed several British Marques, asked the head of his racing department, Joe Huffaker, to build 3 cars incorporating the hydrolastic suspension from the MG 1100 Sports Sedan. The cars raced at Indy as the MG Liquid Suspension Specials in 1964 and 1965. A. J. Foyt […]
Father’s Day is coming up soon, next Sunday, June 17 to be exact. So, I thought that I might give you a few ideas of things to get the car-loving father in your life. And if you yourself happen to be that car-loving dad, well then feel free to pass this list along to your kids. Or, as one car-loving dad to another, I give you complete and utter permission to go pick up something for yourself. Go ahead, you know you deserve it. First of all, how about a couple of Union Jack beach towels. I keep two of these things in the car at all times and they are great. Don’t go to the beach a lot? Well, that is fine. I use mine to cover my hot seats. I also use them to cover the dash or […]
Our Video of the Week for this first week of June features another, and first of the well known, designs that took place under the leadership of Alec Issigonis. This is the story of the Morris Minor. Over one-and-a-half million Minors were produced between 1948 and 1972. Initially available only as a two-door saloon and convertible, the range was quickly expanded to include a four-door saloon in 1950, a wood-framed estate (the Traveller) in October 1953, and panel van and pick-up truck variants from May of 1953. It was the first British car to sell over one million units and is considered a classic example of automotive design, as well as typifying “Englishness”. Eric Lord, the director of Morris Motors, said that Lord Nuffield thought that the new Morris Minor looked like a poached egg and that the car was narrow […]
Our video this week comes from our friends over at Take to the Road. In fact, the featured car, a Vauxhall Viceroy, belongs to the site’s own Niall Julian. He told me this about his car and the video: I own a 1982 Vauxhall Viceroy, a car that I doubt many in N America have ever heard of, despite the General Motors connection. It was a mid range luxury saloon, based on the Opel Commodore C from West Germany. The car was first registered to Vauxhall UK in Luton and a couple of weeks ago I took the Viceroy back to where its journey first started. I went to the Vauxhall Heritage Centre and also got some shots outside the factory in Luton. How could I resist a car going back to its home? In the article on Take to the Road, […]
Abingdon Spares is happy to announce that they have recently acquired Restoration Decal, the vintage decal enterprise of the well known automotive artist and illustrator David Townsend. Abingdon Spares is now your exclusive source for vintage decals for your British car restoration. These beautifully reproduced decals are printed in the most accurate colors and designs, printed on 3M ControlTac and laminated for durability, giving you years of excellent service. They are guaranteed to add that finishing touch to your project. Restoration Decals are accurate reproductions of labels and decals that are so often missing or damaged on older classics. Now you can complete the restoration of your classic MG, Austin Healey, Triumph, Jaguar and many other classic British automobiles with these exact replicas of the factory installed decals. You can see all the decals that are available at on the […]
A recent data breach revealed the records of hundreds of employees at Jaguar Land Rover’s factory in Solihull, England. This breach, which was first reported by the Huffington Post, included employee names as well as personnel issues such as sick days used and disciplinary issues. What is worse, the records were also flagged to indicate who might be let go during the company’s upcoming layoffs. In a bit of a public relations snafu, instead of accepting blame and attempting to apologize for the data breach, JLR initially denied the reports calling them “fake news”. Obviously, employees are none-too-pleased. As we reported last month, Jaguar Land Rover is planning to cut approximately 1,000 manufacturing jobs due to the diesel scandal and falling sales numbers. The company is cutting the jobs at the Birmingham factory that manufactures the Jaguar F-Pace, Land Rover Discovery, and […]
The Royal wedding. Yes, I am going there. Not being a true Royal follower myself, when I tune in to events such as this it is the cars that catch my attention more than there ceremonies. Although I will have to admit, this was actually a touching and important ceremony as it bridged not only the US and Great Britain but also the past and the future. That bridging could also be seen in the combination of heritage and modernity seen in the most talked about car of the day. That most talked about car was the Electric E-Type used by Prince Harry and his bride when leaving the Windsor. We featured this amazing car a few months ago when it was first unveiled by Jaguar Land Rover Classic. The Jaguar E-type Zero not only drives and looks like an E-type, it […]
Our video of the week this go around is actually more of a series. But since I can’t put the entire series in here (can I?) I will choose just one. The series is Britain’s Greatest Machines hosted by Chris Barrie and produced by The National Geographic Channel. The series, of which there were two seasons for a total of eight episodes, shows the technological progress of the 19th and 20th centuries from a British point of view. Each episode covers one decade. The episode I am choosing for this week’s feature is the first – Season 1, Episode 1, and showcases the 1930s. Note that the episodes do not go in order. This technological achievements highlighted in this first episode include the De Havilland Dragon Rapide, Sentinel S6 Steam Wagon, Morris Eight & Cat’s Eye, LNER Class A4 Locomotive, […]
Speed and performance expert Jamal Hameedi has left Ford Performance to become part of the Jaguar Land Rover SVO. According to his new LinkedIn profile, his title is listed as Engineering Director, SVO at Jaguar Land Rover. On one of his social media threads, Hameedi said: After an incredible 27-year career at Ford Motor Company, it is time for something new! I am moving to England to join Jaguar-Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations creating amazing vehicles, such as the SV coupe.
In our video of the week, Christopher Glancy’s tastefully refreshed Jaguar XJ6 Coupe makes Jay Leno envious with its lack of B pillar, comfortable seats, and British racing green styling. The XJC’s, otherwise known as the XJ Coupes, are a rare two-door version of the standard four-door saloons. When Sir William Lyons began styling exercises for the new XJ models in the mid-1960’s, it was clear that he had the notion of a two-door coupe in mind for eventual production. They were first shown in 1973 at the International Motor Show when it was announced that both 4.2 liter six cylinder and 5.3 liter twelve-cylinder versions would be available for the 1974 model year. However, production was delayed until the 1975 model year due to a combination of labor disputes at the Brown’s Lane factory and engineering troubles with the coupe […]
Our Video of the Week this go-round comes from our friends over at Petrolicious and features the story of the Jaguar XKR-15. In their “Made to Drive” episode from Januar of this year, they fold themselves into the cockpit of Jasbir Dhillon’s 1991 Jaguar XJR-15 to experience one of the rarest and rawest supercars built in the 20th century. Aimed at transferring the Le Mans-winning XJR experience to the road, just 53 examples of the XJR-15 were produced with the help of Tom Walkinshaw under the banner of Jaguar Sport, and only 27 were optioned for road use. Powered by a beautifully shrill six-liter V12, it’s a lesser-known but no less sexy staple of 1990s supercardom, and one of the finest examples of a “race car for the road,” of any decade. See the photoshoot and further info here: http://petro.li/JaguarXJR-15
For our video of the week this time, we have an MG factory publicity video that comes to us via Pathé. This film, Sports Car of the Year 1955-56, focuses on the newly introduced MGA. Starting with competition films from Le Mans, the Alpine Rally, and the Mille Miglia. The MGA, as most readers know, replaced the MG TF 1500 and represented a complete styling break from MG’s earlier sports cars – that styling having been developed for racing and records cars. Announced on September 26, 1955, the car was officially launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show. A total of 101,081 units were sold through the end of production in July 1962, the vast majority of which were exported. Only 5869 cars were sold on the home market, the lowest percentage of any British car. While now what one would call “impartial”, […]
There are many types of books in an MG collection. There are shop manuals, marque histories, racing stories, advertising records, and on and on. There are few however that standout is completely different. MG, Made In Abingdon: Echoes from the Shop Floor by Bob Frampton is one such book. This book is one of the few that while dealing with the MG factory, doesn’t actually have a ton of information about the cars. Instead, it is about the people and is told in their own words. MG, Made In Abingdon will give you a feel for the people and the time and the place made famous by the sacred octagon. In the book, we hear from the true voices behind the cars. We hear stories that range from tea-girls bringing cinnamon buns to the line-workers to fist fights in bars to men […]
Our video this week features a car you rarely see anymore, especially in the US, the Hillman Imp. The video takes a look at the production of the Hillman Imp at the plant in Linwood, Renfrewshire, Scotland. The program includes interviews with past members of the Linwood workforce. It also examines the wider workforce, trade union, management and government relationships which existed throughout much of UK manufacturing in the 1960’s and 70’s. The Hillman Imp was a small economy car made by the Rootes Group and its successor Chrysler Europe from 1963 until 1976. It was made in many different forms and in addition to the Hillman marque was also marketed as both Sunbeam and Singer. Unveiled in 1963 after much advance publicity, it was the first British mass-produced car with the engine block and cylinder head cast in aluminum.
MG Guru John Twist demonstrates the inner working of an MG transmission using a cut-a-way model. This video was taken in 2010 at a tech session hosted by Brit Bits, Inc. in Rye, NH. This demonstration was part of John’s “Complete Lubrication and Lucas Electrix” talk.
With Spring coming and car show season starting, we wanted to feature some car show activity, but maybe something a bit out of the norm. So, this week’s video features that British car show favorite rocker or valve cover racing! Yup, that’s right, our video this week comes from Doug Pelton at From The Frame Up and covers the finer points of vintage MG Rocker Racers. In valve cover racing, competitors must construct a vehicle using a valve cover from a car’s engine. In the case of British car events, the requirement is normally that this be from a British car. Additionally, the norm is that the racer must have four wheels. It can be decorated or modified within the rules set by the organizing body. The valve cover is powered by gravity. In a valve cover race, two or more racing valve covers […]