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Aston Martin

Aston Martins On Your Computer

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.

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Classic Cars

New Exhibit “50 Years of the Mini – Lane Motor Museum

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.

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Corporate Business

Doubt over jobs at MG car plant

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 […]

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New Cars

Electric cars to be mass introduced to the UK

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 […]

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Classic Cars

Going To The Mitty

April 30th through May 3rd, 2009, marks the return of The Mitty to Road Atlanta in Georgia. I first attended the event about 25 years ago when it was still called The Walter Mitty Challenge. At that time the vintage racing group SVRA was still knows as teh Southern Vintage Racing Association. Times have changed. The event is now just called “The Mitty”, the SVRA is now the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association, and the event is now part of the HSR – Historic Sportscar Racing series. Oh, and I now am married, have kids, and am supposedly a responsible adult. But best of all I am actually going back to enjoy the festivities! With Classic Motorsports Magazine hosting the event, this year looks to be the best one ever. For 2009 Jaguar is the featured marque at The Mitty, dozens […]

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Racing and Competition

Girl power for Targa Tasmania

Twenty-year old student, Natalie Horn, will make her Targa Tasmania debut this year, driving a 1973 Ford Escort Mk1. Horn, from Cliftleigh in New South Wales, has been competing in motorsport events since she was just 12 years old. She is a former winner of the Junior and Ladies championships with the MG Car Club in Newcastle, and enters Targa Tasmania on the back of what is already a relatively long and illustrious motorsport career. She will be co-driven by her close friend, 27-year-old Melinda Saxby, and will drive a car that has been in her family for 25 years. “The car was originally built up for Group G rallying, then ran hillclimbs for a while and in 1987-89 won NSW State Hillclimb Series in Sports Sedans,” Natalie explains. “It then got put into a shed and forgotten about until […]

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Racing and Competition

British engineer pilots wind-powered vehicle to speed record

After 10 years of trying, a British engineer has broken the land-speed record for a wind-powered vehicle. Pushed by 30-mph winds over two miles, Richard Jenkins reached 126.1 mph yesterday in his Ecotricity Greenbird car on the dry lakebed of Ivanpah Lake, south of Las Vegas. That’s 10 mph faster than the previous record, set in 1999 by American Bob Schumacher. As the Daily Mail put it, that makes Jenkins the fastest naturally powered human on the planet. “It’s great. It’s one of those things that you spend so long trying to do and when it actually happens, it’s almost too easy,” Jenkins told the BBC. The Greenbird is made of carbon fiber composite and powered only by the wind. The only metal is in the wing bearings and the wheel units. For photos, video and audio of the car, […]

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Racing and Competition

MG TF LE500 set for its first race

MG’s new TF LE500 is set to take part in its first race, supported by MG Rover parts specialist, XPart. It will be one of the first MG’s to be raced since the launch of the redesigned roadster and is taking part in the MG Trophy Championship. The car has been prepared for racing by one of Xpart’s approved MG Rover specialists and will be run by technician and racing driver Paul Luti. “We’re delighted to be sponsoring one of our own MG Rover specialist technicians in what looks set to be an exciting season’s racing,” comments Don Lindsay, service marketing manager, XPart. “It will be wonderful to see a new MG car competing in a race series again and driver Paul Luti’s strong experience of servicing and racing MG cars should stand him in good stead as he prepares […]

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Racing and Competition

British Steam Car Hits 80 MPH

The British Steam Car team has rebounded from last week’s aborted test with two successful runs, the last shakedowns before the 25-foot car is shipped to the United States for its attempt to break a land speed record set 103 years ago. Team Steam hopes to achieve 170 mph when it challenges the land speed record for a steam-powered vehicle and says everything is on track. The car fired up like a Russell Hobbs teasmade and proved the water-filtration issue that stymied last week’s test have been solved. The car hit 60 mph on Wednesday, before test driver Don Wales pulled the chute to end the first run. The second test went even better: Wales achieved 80 mph. “The car is just so powerful, you can get to feel the immense force and power of it,” Wales said in a […]

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Corporate Business

British car sales still falling

British car sales for the month of March are expected to have fallen by about 28 per cent in stark contrast to other leading European markets that have recently bounced after government “scrapping” incentives. The predicted drop in the sales for last month will reignite calls for the UK to offer incentives for drivers to scrap old cars and buy new, or nearly new, ones. The move has been urged by the car industry and unions for several months amid plunging sales and lengthy factory shutdowns to cut production. The Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMIF), the UK car industry’s retail division, stepped up calls yesterday for a scrappage scheme to be introduced in Britain. Paul Williams, the chairman of the federation, said: “Measures to help to revive new-car sales in the UK, including the introduction of a vehicle scrappage scheme, […]

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Racing and Competition

British Steam Car Attempts Record

A bunch of U.K. enthusiasts are attempting to break the 102-year-old land speed record with a steam-powered car. The three-ton vehicle, described as a giant kettle on top of a camping stove, has almost two miles of tubes inside its carbon-fiber-composite/aluminum frame. The team is expecting the 25-foot-long car to reach 200 mph during its record attempt at Bonneville Speed Week in September. The car — can we call it that? — takes eight minutes to get going, but has only enough fuel, air and water for a three-minute run. The water boils at 482°F due to the fact that there’s 40 bar water pressure inside the boilers. It’s then super-heated to 750°F, or "dry" steam, which passes through heavily lagged pipes and two industrial steam valves before ending up in a two-stage turbine. Outsize Goodyear tires and brake pads […]

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Corporate Business

British Car Industry Hits The Skids

The number of cars built in Britain slumped 60% last month as manufacturers slammed the brakes on output. Just 65,647 cars and vans rolled off production lines compared with nearly 110,000 in February 2008, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). This is the biggest fall since 1970 and the fifth month in a row that output levels have been in reverse. The grim figures were released 24 hours after the industry scrapped the British International Motor Show due to take place in London next year. SMMT chief Paul Everitt said canceling the show was a tough decision but stressed it would be revived in future. “The global credit crunch has placed the industry under unique pressure and created a level of uncertainty that deters manufacturers from committing to large-scale international events.” In January, Business Secretary Lord […]

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Classic Cars

Bulldog Historic Rally

The opening round of the Dunlop/Gambia MSA British Historic Rally Championship has attracted a sensational 83-car field to the Bulldog Historic Rally (Saturday 28 March). Three former British champions and four former British historic champions are all in the entry for the event that tackles 50 miles of prime Welsh forest roads in just four special stages. It promises to be a fabulous start to the 2009 season. Category 1 Category one is for the oldest cars, from the pre ’68 era, and they run first on the road with a short gap before the rest of the historic field. Top of the tree is the Porsche 911 of former champions Dessie Nutt/Geraldine McBride, but they can expect a stern challenge from the similar car of team mates Stuart Rolt/Richard Pomfret, making a rare but welcome BHRC appearance. Lining up […]

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Corporate Business

Jaguar’s Quality Rating Cheered

Ford Motor Co.’s Bennie Fowler cheered last week when Jaguar finished in a tie for No. 1 on J.D. Power and Associates’ long-term vehicle dependability study. “I happen to know the guy who was the COO at Jaguar in 2003 when we started making improvements,” said Fowler, who was, indeed, COO of Jaguar in 2003. Today, Fowler is Ford’s group vice president of quality. Back then, Fowler and a team of executives put Ford processes in place at Jaguar to improve quality. Ford sold Jaguar and Land Rover to Tata Group in 2008, but J.D. Power’s dependability study evaluates three-year old, or 2006, models. From Freep.com

Corporate Business

British Bailout Buys a Land Rover LRX

In an attempt to turn Land Rover an environmentally friendly shade of British Racing Green, the U.K. government is giving the SUV-maker £27 million ($38 million) to defray the cost of developing a compact SUV based on their LRX concept. Land Rover says the new two-door (which they call a “cross coupe”) will be the “smallest, lightest, and most efficient” the company has ever produced. With the exception of the County Classic, we think it might be the most attractive as well. Whatever superlatives it claims, it could very well show up as a 2011 model after it gets an official go-ahead from management. “We welcome the Government’s support for this project, which would form a key part of our future product plans and which we very much want to put into production,” Land Rover Managing Director Phil Popham said […]

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Classic Cars

Vintage Cars Found in British Barnyard

They may not be multimillion-dollar Bugattis, but around 30 rusty vintage cars were found in a barnyard in Norfolk County in England. The cars were mostly British marques like Austins, Rileys and Singers. There were also a vintage Daimler, a Lea Francis and a Sunbeam. A rare Morris Minor convertible from the 1930s is said to be the highlight of the lot, reports The Telegraph. The cars were hidden in undergrowth and left in derelict sheds, some with trees growing around them. They had not been driven since the 1950s. It took a team of eight men two weeks to clear the site and dig out and remove the vehicles with the help of a forklift.

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Aston Martin

Aston Martin Expects 2009 Sales To Slow

British sports car maker Aston Martin expects to sell fewer cars this year compared to last year due to the economic crisis, the company’s chief executive told German newspaper Die Welt in an interview. Aston Martin sold 5,800 sports cars last year, which was the second-best year in the company’s 95-year history, Ulrich Bez told the paper in an article published on Saturday. “In light of the current weakening in consumer spending we expect 4,500 to 5,000 unit sales this year,” Bez said. Islamic investment firm Investment Dar (TIDK.KW) owns a controlling stake in Aston Martin. The fund was part of a consortium that bought the automaker for about $950 million from Ford Motor Co (F.N) in March 2007.

Aston Martin 4x4 at Geneva Autoshow
Corporate Business

British Motor Show Is Cancelled

The British International Motor Show planned for 2010 in London has been cancelled because of the global slump in demand for cars, according to the U.K. Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. “The economic downturn and the unprecedented challenges facing the industry, both in the U.K. and around the world, have made it impossible for exhibitors to commit to a 2010 event,” the trade group said today in a statement. The event has attracted an increasing number of visitors and the decision to cancel was “extremely difficult,” SMMT President Paul Everitt said in the statement. The move followed a thorough consultation with the industry, the group said. The SMMT is pressing the U.K. government to boost aid to automakers, including direct incentives to trade old cars for new ones. Carmakers across Britain have slowed production in response to declining demand. […]

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New Cars

Preview: 2010 Jaguar XKR

The 2010 Jaguar XKR would be considered, by most accounts, a mild revision of the outgoing model. Its state-of-the-art aluminum monocoque chassis carries over unchanged. The design, save for a few minor updates, is the same as the outgoing model’s. But few would count that against the silken Jag, whose curvaceous lines are almost universally admired in the industry. No, what separates the new XKR from its predecessor is the heart transplant it has undergone: in the place of the 420-horsepower AJ34S supercharged V8, the beating heart of the new XKR, is the next-generation 5-liter version, its supercharger supplemented by direct injection to twist out an astonishing 510 horsepower. That figure alone puts the Jag well ahead of Aston’s V8 Vantage, ahead of the V12-powered DB9 as a matter of fact, and on par with the flagship DBS supercar that […]