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 […]
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. […]
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 […]