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 […]
Let’s hit the road! Our Video of the Week this time goes all the way back to 1964. Part of me honestly wishes that wasn’t so long ago, and part of me finds it hard to believe that 54 years have passed since then. But anyway, our video is of a RAC rally from ’64 and features some great cars. From Minis to MGBs, you will find them in this video. There is also an Austin Healey, a Rover, and a host of other cars of the period both British and non-British. One of the things that always strikes me when I watch these old films is how safety standards have changed. These days you would never get as close to the actual racing as spectators used to do. Also helmets and other protective gear just don’t figure into the […]
The First Three Shelby Cobras – The Sports Cars that Changed the Game is the fourth in the Exceptional Cars series from Porter Press. Produced with the same handsome attention to details as their other books, this volume details the story of three cars important to modern sports car history and Cobras in particular – the first AC Cobras created by the legendary Carroll Shelby in 1962. The prototype Cobra, CSX2000, has been described as ‘the most important modern American car’, although it was built on a British AC Ace chassis with an American Ford V8 engine. CSX2001 was the first production Cobra and CSX2002 the first to race, leading to a series of competition successes that made Shelby’s Cobras famous and a favorite of sports-car enthusiasts throughout the world.
E-Type UK – one of the leading authorities for all things Jaguar E-Type – has opened a brand new, state-of-the-art bodyshop at its Kent headquarters to bring all operations in-house and ensuring every demand can be met to the highest standards. The Hadlow-based company identified the need to have a fully-fledged bodyshop on site to ensure it delivers the very best service in one place. To accommodate the expansion, the decision was taken to move the showroom to an adjoining building which allowed more cars to be displayed. Later this year work will commence to further redevelop the showroom area in order to enhance the customer experience.
Our Video of the Week this time comes from Moss Motors and their “magic hands”. Since winter is hopefully drawing to a close soon, we thought it would be a good idea to talk about starting up an engine that has been sitting for a while. Of course, the procedure will vary depending on where that time is just a few months or maybe a few years. So, as always, your mileage may vary.
Bugeye Sprites. Who doesn’t love them? They capture all of the fun and tradition of a British Sportscar in a package that is both adorable and adaptable. You can do anything with them from take a leisurely drive in the country to run full out in vintage racing. And, as many have said, you can have more fun going 50 to 60 miles per hour in a Sprite than you can by going 120 miles per hour in a larger car. Our video this week comes from the BugyeyeGuy and goes into the identification of the differences between the very first 1958 Bugyeye and the later models.
How about something a bit more eclectic? For our Video of the Week this go-round we are going to feature some early footage with Bill Fink of Isis Imports describing his love of the Morgan car. This video also features footage of Bill in his Morgan SLR, one of 3 Morgan racing coupes built. The SLR name was actually short for Sprinzel LawrenceTune Racing, noting Lawrence’s collaboration with John Sprinzel, who is best known for creating and racing the Speedwell Sprites. The lightweight body’s rough lines were penned by Chris Spender. His design was further refined by Charlie Williams of coach-builder Williams and Pritchard. The final product looked nothing like any Morgan that came before. Isis Imports, now changing its name to Morgan Cars USA, is the work of Bill Fink. Named for the river on which Bill rowed while at Oxford, Isis […]
It is with great sadness that we must report the passing of another great member of our hobby, Ken Smith. Ken was a founding member of the North American MGB Register (NAMGBR) and served as the first editor for the MGB Driver Magazine. Later he also served as editor for Classic MG Magazine. Ken was one of the most recognized people in the Little British Car (LBC) world. Along with his wife, Barby, Ken shared his passion for the MG Marque throughout the world for most of his 80+ years on earth. Ken worked at Moss Motors for 25 years and, with Barby at his side, traveled across the country for many years supporting British car events and representing Moss.
New from David Townsend at Sports Car Art has released an art print of the Sunbeam Tiger Targa Florio. The #192 Sunbeam Tiger that ran the 1965 Targa Florio may possibly be the most famous Sunbeam Tiger on the planet. Immortalized in the Castrol film Mountain Legends, the Rootes competition prepared Tiger finished a respectable 14th in the grueling Sicilian race. Starting with a stock 1964 Alpine, the legendary Carroll Shelby was brought in to modify the Sunbeam by the addition of a Ford 289 Hi-Po V8. The small-block Ford was chosen for the modification due to its small profile and the relative ease with which it could be installed into the Alpine chassis. Most of the other modifications—large fuel tank, oil cooler, a few special additions for the navigator—were pretty typical fare for the era. One of the more interesting changes was the […]
Let’s look at Minis. Our Video of the Week this week is a brief history of the Mini Cooper. And in this case, we mean the class Mini Cooper, not the more modern version from BMW. The video comes from the guys over at Donut Media and is, shall we say, irreverent. To quote Donut: It’s the most Iconic British car of all time: The Mini. It was an engineering marvel that revolutionized economy car design and became a motorsport legend along the way. Join us as we explore the Mini’s rich history and design quirks that made it one of the best selling cars in the U.K.
We have received an announcement that Abingdon Spares, founded in 1968 and the world’s largest MG T-series parts specialist, is adding MGB parts to their ever-expanding catalog of MG parts. Ed Cooke of Abingdon reports that many of their customers have multiple MGs, and MGB seems to be the most popular second MG model. We will be sourcing many of the MGB parts from our existing T-Series suppliers. For convenience, we will be using the Moss part numbering system as it has become the industry standard. We will be offering some Moss products but at a discount. We will be sourcing parts from many suppliers for the best value. We will not be printing a catalog for MGB parts, our complete line of MGB parts is featured on our website. — Ed Cooke The MG T-series will continue to be Abingdon Spares […]
In this video we go behind the scenes at British Motor Heritage Limited, to show you the processes of manufacturing an MGB door. I knew that there were multiple layers of an MGB door but never realized how much actually goes into it. The way these reproduction doors are made in the video is exactly the same way they were made by the factory back in the day.
I teased it last week but to my surprise, you reacted with encouragement so this week our Video of the Week is about British model trains. The video we have below is one part of The Joy of Train Sets. Don’t worry, the other parts are linked further down. This 2012 documentary is from BBC Four’s Timeshift series. Fully titled The Model Railway Story: From Hornby to Triang and Beyond, this documentary explores how the British have been in love with model railways for more than a century. What began as an adult obsession with building fully-engineered replicas became the iconic toy of the 1950s and 60s childhood. With unique archive and contributions from modelers such as Pete Waterman, this is a celebration of the joys of miniaturization. Just don’t call them toy trains.
According to an article in Australia’s Motoring Magazine, the design of the new Land Rover Defender, still yet to be unveiled, will be aimed for the future, technologically advanced, and probably polarizing to old-school Land Rover Defender fans. Speaking to the Australian press at a roundtable discussion at the Los Angeles motor show today, McGovern declared that the all-new replacement for the 69-year old original would become the “backbone of the Land Rover brand”.
For our video of the week this time, we turn to a video by NorthAmericaOverland. Back in July of this year, the Muddy Chef Challenge was held up in Manchester, Vermont. This is an annual gathering of Land Rover enthusiasts that, as the name implies, involves both cooking and off-road driving. The Muddy Chef Challenge was established in 2008 in Stowe, Vermont. A handful of Land Rover aficionados got together with the crazy idea that off-roading could be combined with a vehicle-based gourmet cooking challenge and the Muddy Chef Challenge was born. Since then, the Muddy Chef has grown to become the largest Land Rover event of its type in the world. We are often described as “Top Gear meets Top Chef” and that’s perfect description. Over the course of three days, competitors will setup African Safari style campsites, experience challenging off-road […]
As an update to our story last week on the sale of Jaguar parts retailer XK’s Unlimited to Moss Motors, we would like to announce and make clear that Jason Len, proprietor of XKs Unlimited, has only sold the parts department. Jason’s has retained the restoration department which is now known as XKs Motorsport. Jason and XKs have been in business for 45 years offering classic Jaguar and British car restoration and expertise. To quote Jason: XKs Motorsport is dedicated to quality repairs and restorations on all classic British and European cars. We have restored an amazing variety of cars for collectors all over the world. We have also been racing these cars for over 45 years. Unlike other so-called restoration shops, we do most all aspects of the restoration in-house. We have our own machine shop, engine building room, […]
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.
This week we are going to take a look at a scarce true classic, the Triumph Roadster. In the case of this video from Classic Cars UK series by Ian Sandall, the car is, in fact, a beautiful red 1948 Triumph Roadster 1800. The Triumph Roadster was produced by the Standard Motor Company from 1946 to 1949. It was first available as the Triumph 1800 Roadster from 1946 to 1948 and then as the Triumph 2000 Roadster from 1948 to 1949. Remember that Standard had purchased Triumph in 1945. So, at this point, the parent company was Standard, but the brand was indeed Triumph.