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New Cars

Phantom Coupe Revealed by Rolls Royce

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd. unveiled the Phantom Coupe at a press preview in California, its third model from a common platform since parent company BMW AG relaunched the brand in 2003. Under the skin, the Phantom Coupe is closely related to the softtop Phantom Drophead Coupe and the longer Phantom sedan. The Phantom Coupe is expected to have sportier handling than the convertible, thanks to stiffer springs and dampers, anti-roll bars, modified brakes and an automatic gearbox with an electronic “Sport” program. Besides the roof, other differences between the coupe and the convertible include a posh, fully carpeted interior for the Phantom Coupe. The convertible model has woven fiber floor mats that are rot-resistant if they get wet and an optional teak tonneau cover for the fabric top when it’s down.

Morgan Goes Back to the Future with Hydrogen Car
Corporate Business

Morgan Goes Back to the Future with Hydrogen Car

Morgan Motor Co., the tiny British automaker so old-fashioned it still uses wood frames, is stepping well into the future with LifeCar, a hydrogen fuel cell hybrid it says will prove “a zero-emission vehicle can be fun to drive.” Morgan will unveil the hand-built aluminum-bodied coupe next month at the Geneva Auto Show, and although there’s no word on whether LifeCar will ever be more than a one-off concept, the company hopes to show hydrogen is a viable – if distant – alternative to fossil fuels. Morgan has spent more than two years working with a British defense firm, two universities and a hydrogen supplier to develop a car it promises will “minimize the fuel cell cost and provide the fuel economy for a 200 mile range.” As impressive as the LifeCar is, what makes it truly remarkable is a […]

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People

Stirling Moss to Host TV Series

He won 66 grands prix and was runner-up for the world championship four times in his brief racing career. Sir Stirling Moss is a motor sport legend — so who better to narrate a British TV series on car racing? Roary the Racing Car may not be the type of story Moss is used to telling, but the 78-year-old says he has had a lot of fun being the voice-over man for the new children’s show. “My agent called me, about two years ago, I think it was, and asked if I wanted to narrate a kids’ show,” he says. “At first I thought they (the kids) won’t even know who I am, they don’t know my name as the show is aimed at kids who are two to six years old. But he said their grandparents would hear (my) […]

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Aston Martin

Aston Martin’s Most Affordable

It’s been twenty years since Aston Martin, deeply in debt and little more than an automotive anachronism, was swallowed up by Ford empire. Say what you will about Ford’s other British luxury marques, the past two decades have been good ones for Aston. When Ford acquired the brand, in 1987, Aston sales plunged to as little as 42 cars a year and at one point, keeping the assembly line rolling depended on the sale of a single car to a wealthy — and quite drunk — British aristocrat. These days, Aston’s aspirations are positively mass-market, with an array of new products promising to push volume up near 10,000 cars a year, and the company well in the black for the first time in its 93-year history. That’ll be good news for the new owners, David Richards, CEO of racing’s Prodrive […]

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Corporate Business

Bertone’s Future to be Decided Soon

Not strictly British car content, but of interest to most British car enthusiasts. Autoweek is reporting that three special commissioners appointed Monday by a Turin, Italy, bankruptcy court have 30 days to evaluate if struggling Italian contract manufacturer Carrozzeria Bertone will have a future. Bertone stopped volume production in December 2005 and since then has been desperately looking for new work. In the past two months, two attempts to sell Carrozzeria Bertone failed, pushing the Turin bankruptcy court to appoint the special commissioners. The three commissioners are: — Antonio Bene, an engineer and former head of manufacturing at Fiat Auto. — Stefano Ambrosini, a law professor at the University of Turin, a bankruptcy expert. — Vincenzo Nicastro, a lawyer from Milan and a financial contracts expert. After the three commissioners complete their findings for Carrozzeria Bertone in mid-March, the bankruptcy […]

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Events

New LBCar Newsletter

Just wanted to alert everyone that the new newsletter from The Little British Car Company is out. Items featured in the most current, February 10, 2008, issue are: LBCarCo Chatter – Mardi Gras…First Event of the Year in Boca Raton Last Week – Why Buy Your Parts Anywhere Else Drawing – All Web Orders Qualify – Last Week SPRING TUNE UP – Work Lights for your Garage and a Portable unit for your LBC SPRING TUNE UP – Need a Lead Substitute? Working on your Brakes? Use only the Best Fluids from LBCarCo SPRING TUNE UP – This is Style – MG and Triumph Bonnet Liner/Insulator SPRING TUNE UP – Dress up your MINI Cooper and Cooper S SPRING TUNE UP – HOT Coil! New Pertronix 60,000 Volt Coil – Great for the Racer SPRING TUNE UP – Halogen Bulbs […]

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Racing and Competition

Test the New Lola MG EX265

RML AD Group’s new MG Lola EX265 completed a faultless first shakedown test at the Silverstone circuit yesterday, Friday 8th February. The morning run left Brazilian driver Thomas Erdos thrilled by the responsiveness of the new XP-21 engine, and looking forward to the prospects of defending the LMP2 title in this season’s Le Mans Series. Thomas Erdos and co-driver Mike Newton took the series title last year with RML’s MG Lola EX264, having won the LMP2 class in the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2005 and 2006. Since then the EX264, itself a derivative of the EX257 that wowed the crowds at Le Mans as an MG works entry in 2001, has undergone significant further development. Arising from fresh links with Shanghai Automotive, MG’s new owners in China, the car has been re-homologated as the MG EX265. Most significant amongst […]

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Classic Cars

Jaguar Looking At New E-Type

Jaguar may resurrect its legendary E-Type sports car. The British motoring icon is tipped to revive the true two-seater sports car to take on the Italian and German sports cars. The most loved of the Jag family was built in the Swinging England period of 1961 to 1974. With its performance, handling and modern looks it was a huge sales success and is still a highly sought collector’s car. Even Enzo Ferrari said it was the most beautiful car ever made.

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New Cars

Autoweek Reviews the Lotus Exige

When you were a kid and you got a radio-controlled car, didn’t you imagine how cool it would be to be the size of GI Joe and able to climb inside and drive it? That feeling is what the new crop of Lotus sports cars is like. It’s just as cool as you imagined it would be, and it’s a good way for GI Joe to meet Barbie, too. We recently got to climb inside and drive the new 2008 Lotus Exige S 240 and the fabulous new 2-Eleven track car, which would make GI Joe leave Barbie far behind, pouting and wanting to drive it. It seemed only a few years ago that Lotus was about to drive off the edge of the map in the U.S. market, but the company now offers seven models to American customers. All […]

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Events

British International Motor Show 2008

The award-winning British International Motor Show returns to ExCeL London this summer, once again bringing glamour, excitement and innovation to the capital. Building on the runaway success of 2006, which saw the expo return to London for the first time in 30 years, the two week extravaganza expects to attract over half a million people, making it the biggest event in the UK. With over six hundred cars, 60 car marques, plenty of global premieres and interactive features, the Show promises something for everyone from car enthusiasts to families looking for an exciting day out. Better still, we can offer you the chance to purchase three tickets for the price of two* on General Day tickets when you book online at www.britishmotorshow.co.uk or call 0871 230 5588 and quote ‘Auto Express’

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Aston Martin

British Marques Top List of Dream Cars

Almost three quarters of UK consumers would buy British if given a £100,000 budget to spend on a new car, according to new research from online insurance company swiftcover.com. Sweeping aside their German and Italian rivals, British marques emerge as unanimous favorites amongst UK car buyers, with 69 per cent claiming they would opt for a British brand if they had the money to do so. Topping the ‘Dream Car’ list with almost a quarter of the votes is Aston Martin (24%), followed by Range Rover (19%), Bentley (16%) and Rolls Royce (10%). German and Italian luxury marques faired badly by comparison – with just one per cent opting for a Lamborghini, 9 per cent for a Ferrari, 9 per cent for a Porsche and 2 per cent for a Maserati. The top ten swiftcover.com “Dream Cars” for 2008 are: […]

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Aston Martin

Aston Martin To Build Luxury Brand

Aston Martin could co-operate with Daimler AG’s Mercedes on ventures ranging from engines to new models, the British luxury carmaker’s majority shareholder, Kuwait’s Investment Dar, said on Tuesday. Adham Charanoglu, business development manager for Investment Dar, which bought Aston Martin from Ford Motor Company last March, said it had held talks with Mercedes and with LVMH’s Louis Vuitton and PPR’s Gucci on branded merchandising. Charanoglu told the Reuters Islamic Finance Summit that plans to overhaul Aston Martin merchandising had yet to be finished but included opening new centers dedicated to the marquee — made famous by James Bond — in the UK, the Gulf and possibly the U.S. Any brand development would need to be at the top end of the luxury market, with opportunities stretching from apparel, owners’ events and track racing to real estate, Charanoglu said, adding Aston […]

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New Cars

MG Roadster Poised to Return

From today’s “Financial Times Limited” come another story about the hopeful return of MG to the market. China’s Shanghai Automotive (SAIC) hopes to begin producing the MG TF roadster in Nanjing in May and at its plant in Longbridge, UK, within three months of that date, a senior executive said yesterday. But SAIC admitted the car’s long-awaited relaunch could be delayed again as it grapples with quality issues and rebuilds tooling bought in 2005 from bankrupt MG Rover and shipped to China by Nanjing Automobile (NAC), with which SAIC merged in December. “We want to begin production of cars at Longbridge as soon as possible, but the first priority for us is the quality of the product,” Chen Hong, SAIC’s president, told the Financial Times yesterday. “If we launch the product on the UK market and don’t have sufficient quality […]

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Classic Cars

Proteus To Come To US?

Classical Drives has some great news for us super car fans: Proteus is coming to the US. For those of you that don’t know, Proteus is a British car manufacturer that makes exacting replicas of the legendary C and D type Jaguars. These cars are not fiberglass knock-offs, they have all aluminum bodywork that is hand formed much as the originals were. If you have a fetish for the great racers of the ’60s, you have got to check out these beautiful machines. Drool away.

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Articles

Roary, The Racing Car

What’s this, more British anthropomorphisation of mechanical objects, a la Thomas the Tank Engine and Tiny Robots? What’s with the fetish for talking metal? Must be a boarding school thing. Roary, the Racing Car focuses on Roary, a small, cheeky, zippy, red racing car, and all his friends at the race track. I suppose it was entertaining, in a Boy’s Own sort of way. There’s a lot of color and movement, competition, going fast and stuff but where are the princesses, the mermaids, the fairies? Entertaining? Yeah, if you’re a boy.

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Auctions & Sales

Bring A Trailer

I just happened upon this site that is shows off every car guy’s dream – finding that hidden gem stored away in a garage or barn. The site is Bring A Trailer. According to their site they put together Bring A Trailer to showcase the best of the US classic car marketplace to the enthusiast, investor, and racer. They’ve found that the prime ownership opportunities aren’t usually found in the glossy pages of the well known classic mags or at the fancy auctions, and are often sold far quicker than classifieds can get to print. A sample of the cars you will find on their front page? How about a V-6 Sunbeam Alpine, a TR4 vintage racer, a 1969 Bugeye Sprite, plus Alfas, BMWs and some great others. You can waste literally hours here.

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Classic Cars

Morris Minor Marks 60th Year

Morris Minor lovers from across the globe will descend on Oxford this year to mark the 60th anniversary of the Cowley-built car. The iconic vehicle, designed by Mini creator Alec Issigonis, first rolled off the production line in 1948. It became the first British car to sell a million units and went on to shift 1.6 million by the end of its 23-year lifespan. As part of the birthday celebrations, the Morris Minor Owners’ Club will drive a procession of members’ cars from each year of production through Oxford city center in November. Ray Newell, whose book Morris Minor: 60 years on the road was published this month, said the Cowley craftsmanship had helped keep so many examples running. He said: “At the time they were solid, dependable vehicles. In post-war Britain they were really economical to run. advertisement “Morris […]

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Classic Cars

Earls Court 1962 – London Motor Show

I was searching the web tonight and ended up on YouTube. Amazingly I found footage from the Earls Court motor show in 1962. Take a look at this and you will see some really amazing vintage metal. From the MG 1100 to the Ford Zephyr. Watching this is like a time machine. If only you could go back and grab a few of these to store away. But isn’t that always the dream? So tell me, which one of these would you drive off with? And most importantly, why?

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Corporate Business

Ford to Retain None of Jaguar and Land Rover

Ford Motor has no plans to keep a stake in its Jaguar and Land Rover luxury brands, an industry source told Automotive News Europe. Ford earlier this month picked Tata Motors as the front-runner to the purchase of the two brands. It had been thought that Ford would wish to keep a stake in Jaguar-Land Rover to protect its supply contracts for components such as engines. “There is no need for it,” the source said. “Ford really wants to concentrate on its North American operations, that is the whole reason why it is selling Jaguar and Land Rover.” Retaining a stake, however small, would only divert management time from the North American turnaround plan, the source said. By John Revill, Automotive News, Europe

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Corporate Business

This Old Site

I am totally redesigning the front page of JustBritish.  Hope you like how it looks, and please let me know what you think. Thanks! Michael