Peter R. Wheeler, the former owner of the quirky sports-car maker TVR and a maverick of Britain’s car industry, died June 11 in England. He was 65. His death, after a struggle with cancer, was confirmed by Ben Samuelson, a friend of Wheeler’s family and a former TVR employee. In 1981, when Wheeler bought TVR, a maker of fast and relatively inexpensive sports cars with a passionate fan club, the only thing that linked him with TVR was that he drove one. Wheeler, a chemical engineer from Sheffield, England, with no experience in the car industry who had made his money supplying specialized equipment to the North Sea oil industry, started designing and overseeing the production of several car models, including the Tuscan and the Chimaera, which were known for their finely tuned engines and extra-light bodywork. The company then […]
MiniMania, the supplier of parts for both classic and new Minis, has launched a new social networking site for Mini owners. MiniOwners aims to be for Mini enthusiasts what FaceBook is to … well, to the rest of the world. According to the site, “MiniOwners.com connects you with other people who share a common love for the Mini! Keep in touch with your Mini friends, and make new ones! MiniOwners.com is an expansion of the Mini Mania’s already popular forum. We’ve added new features to take it to the next level of Social Networking. Amoung the many features of MiniOwners is the ability to create your own profile page, upload images to galleries you create as well as create profiles of your cars! Create a network of friends to share your latest projects with. Post status updates to let your […]
It was understandable that MG should want to mark its return to business in the UK last year by launching a comprehensively-equipped version of the TF sports car, in the form of the LE 500. But all the extra features included with the car ended up taking its price above £16,000 -and into the area occupied by its formidable roadster rival the Mazda MX-5.Now the entry-level version of the TF has arrived and, in retrospect, the Chinese-owned firm may have been better served by going with the standard car from the word go.The new MG TF 135 will retail for £13,511, which in itself is not bad value for a 1.8 litre, mid-engined soft-top sports car. Throw the government’s scrappage scheme into the equation, however, and you can get a new TF for £11,511, plus your old banger as a […]
I’ve always loved sports cars. I think I got the bug back when I was a young kid growing up in the Richmond district of San Francisco. This was in the 1950s when they would have sports car races through Golden Gate Park. My dad would take me to these sanctioned races, which were held on weekends. I especially remember the MG TDs, Porsches and Allards. But by far the most impressive to me were the Jaguar XK120s, which were the hottest cars out there. As I grew older and started driving, I was drawn to European sports cars. The first two that I owned were used Triumphs, which were all that I could afford at the time. What I really lusted after, though, was one of the Jaguar XK120s that I had fallen in love with at Golden Gate […]
MG 2009 is an event that all of you British car lovers aren’t going to want to miss. It starts June 24th and runs until June 28th. This is a North America MGB Register’s annual event that is hosted by a different chapter of The MG Car Club each time, so we are very lucky to have this national meet right in our own backyards. This year’s host is The MG Car Club Rocky Mountain Centre. Now most of the events had to be registered for as part of the club, but there is one that will surely draw attention: The Peak 9 Car Show and Concours. The event will be on Saturday, June 27th in Breckenridge. More details to follow as I get them, so check back soon or check out the MG2009 website here. Another event that might […]
As the new season of Top Gear starts, you can almost feel the excitement on the wires. Well, maybe I exaggerate a bit, but people really are eagerly awaiting the new season of their favorite car show. As proof, check out the new fansite dedicated to Top Gear at site www.topgearshow.com. With subject ranging from the recent Stig reveal controversy to the reviewed cars themselves, there is a ton of good information on the site. (Let’s just hope they devote a nice section to Oliver, my favorite car from the show.) They are trying to create the ultimate fan site that is dedicated to classic moments of May, Clarkson and Hammond, so stop by and take a look. And don’t forget to tune in to Top Gear!
There’s an official-looking horizontal line about 3ft off the ground as you enter the new exhibition at the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu. The notice alongside says: YOU MUST BE THIS TALL (to be bigger than Richard Hammond). And that sets the tone for the World Of Top Gear section that opened last week, coinciding with the start of a new series of Top Gear today (June 21st). The motoring programme has a huge following in 80 countries but this will be the only place in the world where you can see some of the vehicles that featured in Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May’s best-known stunts. Cars such as the Reliant Robin Space Shuttle, Suzuki Swift that played ice-hockey and Toyota Hilux driven to the North Pole are almost TV stars in their own right and are expected […]
Amidst all of the bickering, wrangling and hand-wringing consuming the Formula One teams when they aren’t on the track comes word that Lotus could return to the sport next year. Yes, that would be the same Lotus founded by Colin Chapman, one of the greatest innovators racing ever saw. The same Lotus that revolutionized F1 on more than one occasion. The retro-racing vibe goes deeper. Brabham, the outfit launched by “Black Jack” Brabham and once owned by F1 capo di tutti capi Bernie Ecclestone has its eyes on the grid. There’s also some mumbling about Lola and March fielding cars next year. All of this is fueled by the civil war between the Formula One Teams Association and the Federation Internationale d’Automobile, which are at odds over the FIA’s plan for a budget cap to rein in the stratospheric cost […]
In front of nearly 100,000 fans on a dark overcast day, Sebastian Vettel and his Red Bull RB5 stormed to an easy win at the historic Silverstone circuit for Formula One’s 2009 British Grand Prix. The race proved once and for all that mighty Brawn GP can be beaten, and that the F1 championship fight is likely to tighten before a winner is declared. The British victory was Vettel’s second of the season – he also won the rainy Chinese Grand Prix – and third of his F1 career. It was also the German’s first career win under dry conditions. All three of his wins have come from Pole position. Vettel also scored the hat-trick: Pole, fastest lap, and the win. For the Red Bull F1 team, it was their second win of the season, and their second in the […]
It is only three weeks away — the biggest celebration of the 50 years of the Mini/MINI — MINI East Meets West. The Phil Wicks Driving Academy will hold an event at Brainerd International Raceway on Saturday and Sunday, June 27-28. The days will consist of driving academy — all makes and models of cars — with instruction in classroom and on-track for Novice, Intermediate, and Expert; North American Can/Am Challenge races (classic Minis); Vintage car races — all makes and models; and North American MINI Cooper Challenge Time Trials. There will be a dutch treat banquet and awards presentation in the clubhouse at Brainerd on Saturday evening. All are invited to attend. Fees for the driving academy are $300 for one day, $500 for two days. And there will be lunch-time touring laps for non-participants for a fee of […]
One man… stripped of everything he owns and challenged to just buy British… Join award-winning television comedian Dom Joly on an epic road trip around Britain in an attempt to fill his house from top to bottom with British-made products in the brand new series Made In Britain. As part of this unique experiment, Dom will have his family home turned upside down and stripped of everything he owns that’s not made in the UK. He’s then challenged to go on a remarkable shopping trip, travelling the length and breadth of the country to try and replace all his foreign goods with British-made products. Before the inspectors arrive, Dom’s quaint country cottage in the Cotswolds is a safe haven for foreign merchandise: the Italian coffee machine, a television manufactured in Japan and pants made in Taiwan. In no time at […]
Admission tickets for MGLive!, the World’s largest MG event, which is being staged over the weekend of July 10, 11 and 12 at Silverstone circuit, are now available to purchase online from www.mglive.com – and those who book early will save £5 per ticket! MG enthusiasts can purchase their admission tickets securely through a familiar shopping cart system and select which events they’d like to participate in throughout the course of the weekend. Those who pre-book will benefit from a £5 saving when compared to the on-the-gate prices. With such a vast array of activities programmed, the online ticketing system separates each individual activity and allows enthusiasts to tailor a bespoke MGLive! weekend package. For those seeking an adrenaline laced experienced there is the autotest, sprint and Pirelli Pro Rally Rides but for a more sedate weekend the concours and […]
The launch of a new variant model by any car company is relatively common – but the first glimpse of the Longbridge-built MGTF 135 deserves closer scrutiny. This is not just any variant, this is the first standard car – as opposed to a limited edition two-seater – that the famous old Birmingham factory has produced since its closure with the loss of 6,500 jobs back in April 2005. The owners of Longbridge, SAIC/Nanjing, have often lived up to the Chinese reputation for inscrutability in the intervening four years, with a number of false dawns and missed deadlines for model launches. But since Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation took over Nanjing Automobile 16 months ago, Longbridge would appear to have a more secure future, with deeper pockets and a much more significant resource base.
This MG 6 liftback could herald the return of MG to North America, according to officials from Chinese parent company SAIC. Badged MG 6, the new four-door was the undisputed star of the Shanghai motor show. The MG 6 has been conceived to breathe new life back into the MG brand following its purchase by SAIC. The Chinese automaker also owns the former Rover, known as Roewe, which it bought from the Nanjing Automobile Group in 2007. Although billed as a concept, the MG 6 closely resembles the car SAIC plans to put into production later this year based on the same basic underpinnings the Roewe 550, itself built around a modified version of the Rover 75 platform originally engineered by BMW.
Last week at the 2009 Shanghai Auto Show, the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) revealed the MG division’s newest MG concept—the MG6. The MG6 concept is based on the Roewe 550 four-door sedan, which is said to use a modified version of the Rover 75’s front wheel drive platform from some years back. Of course this means the MG6 is set to come equipped with the K-series like 1.8-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine. The twist—the MG6 will be available with a 160 hp turbocharged 1.8-liter for those looking for a little more punch than 130 hp that will come with the base motor. All of this is wrapped in a Ford Mondeo-esque like body and is slated to arrive as a production car in the Chinese market for 2010
Just posted a quick video from The Mitty. More to come soon – and hopefully a steady camera. I took lots of videos and photos of the cars, I just need to get a chance to post them!
Yes, you can now have an Aston Martin on your computers! Aston Martin has produced a beautiful screensaver that will make you droll on the keyboard. The interactive screensaver contains a selection of current Aston Martin photography, current product information and the latest company news. A feature has been included to allow you to stay up to date with the latest news and content with a live feed. The screensaver is available for both Windows and Macintosh computers and is available at http://www.astonmartin.com/gallery/screensaver.
The Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, is excited to announce that their newest exhibit “50 Years of the MINI – Presented by MINI of Nashville” will open on Thursday, April 16. This exhibit will focus on the history and influence of the Mini brand over the last 50 years. They would also like to thank MINI of Nashville for partnering with them in the creation and promotion of this exhibit. In addition to the exhibit, their support will allow the museum to host a special celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Mini in late August. According to the museum, a specific date along with more details will be available soon. More information about the contents of the exhibit is available now online at the Lane Motor Museum’s Mini site.
Around a fifth of the workforce at the MG plant in Birmingham could lose their jobs, the car manufacturer has said. MG Motor UK Ltd said 30 employees were at risk of redundancy following a review and restructure of business operations at the Longbridge site. The company, previously Nanjing, said it could not make assurances of long-term employment stability for staff due to the current economic climate. Production of the MGTF sports car restarted at the factory last year. A statement from MG Motor UK said: “The unique trading conditions we are currently operating in make any assurances of long-term employment stability difficult to predict. Following a review and restructure of its business operations the company has abided by the statutory consultation process and placed a number of employees ‘at risk’ of redundancy. “MG UK has always maintained that its […]
According to PM Gordon Brown, electric cars are to be introduce en masse across Britain in plans for an environmentally friendly budget. The Prime Minister hopes to make Britain “a world leader” in producing and exporting electric cars and hybrid petrol-electric vehicles. Trials for electric cars in two or three cities could be up and running as soon as next year, he said. As part of the plan, the Government will also open talks with power companies to ensure vehicles can have their batteries recharged at power points at the roadside. Alistair Darling, the Chancellor, is also planning to create 400,000 jobs in the green sector over the next five years. Other measures will include the Government relaxing planning rules to allow the building of more wind farms to ensure Britain hits its target to generate 15 per cent of […]