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Classic Cars

BMH Completes 100th E-Type Bonnet

As the 50th anniversary of the incomparable Jaguar E-Type draws to a close, British Motor Heritage (BMH) has been celebrating an E-Type milestone of its own – the production of its 100th replacement bonnet. Best known for the manufacture of replacement bodyshells and individual panels for the MGB, MGR V8, MG Midget, Austin Healey Sprite, Triumph TR6 and original Minis etc, BMH these days also produces bonnets for the Series 1, 2 and 3 Jaguar E-Types. Supplied exclusively to Unipart Jaguar Classic and distributed by Jaguar Classic Parts, the bonnets are manufactured using the original Jaguar tooling and the 100th one (that for a Series 1 model) was completed on September 11 by Stephen Fry, Martin Pollard, Alan Stacey and Dave Jeffs, who between can boast over 40 years’ service to BMH. The E-Type bonnet is just one of a […]

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Classic Cars

Celebration of Morris Minor

Morris Minor enthusiasts from Ireland and the Netherlands joined British motoring fans to celebrate the history of the icon. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the one millionth Morris Minor rolling off the production line. To celebrate the million mark, 350 bright lilac models were produced and 10 of the special cars took part in Sunday’s rally. Enthusiasts travelled from far and wide to be part of the event, which took the cars from Steeple Aston to Bourton-on-the-Water in Gloucestershire. Oxfordshire was chosen for the event because the car was produced at the Cowley car plant. It was 40 years ago the last Morris Minor was built in this country. Denis Lynch, 69, owns one of the limited edition Minors and travelled from West Limerick in Ireland to be part of the event. He said, “I am a Minor […]

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Corporate Business

MG Sales Centre Opens At UK’s Birmingham Plant

A new sales centre will open at MG Motor UK’s Birmingham plant, the event will be marked with a Macmillan Coffee Morning and a weekend of celebrations. The MG Sales Centre will open on 30th September 2011, coinciding with the final stages of ‘The Great British Charity Test Drive’, which has seen fleets of the latest MG cars tour the country to raise cash and support Macmillan cancer Support and Help for Heroes. The opening of the MG Sales Centre will see one of the biggest Macmillan coffee mornings ever held, with a number of VIPs and the press invited. MG employees and their families will be taking part in an afternoon of activities such as face painting, children’s entertainment, bouncy castles and a miniature farm will be available for children to pet a number of small animals. Employees will […]

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Aston Martin

Aston Martin Knocks Off Apple

Despite its unprecedented success and staggering popularity the world over, Apple’s iPhone is no longer Britain’s coolest brand, having been knocked off the top spot of the ‘Cool Brands index’ by Aston Martin. The influential survey is made up of 2,000 consumers and a panel of 35 designers, style magazine editors, and website executives, who have deemed Aston Martin vehicles as Britain’s most desirable product — pushing the iPhone into second place. The desire to own an Aston Martin vehicle is believed to have been fueled by James Bond, who can be seen driving a whole host of the company’s vehicles in the films. Despite being nearly 100 years old, the car manufacturer still maintains its appeal, according to the survey, while cutting edge technology — such as the iPhone — struggles to keep up. For the full story, read […]

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Highlights

Update: New Jensen Interceptor to be Built in Coventry

A new version of the Jensen Interceptor sports car is to be built in Coventry, the former home of British car manufacturing. CPP Global Holdings will be using Jaguar’s former Browns Lane site to engineer, develop and build the vehicle. The Interceptor was originally built between 1966 and 1976. A team of Coventry-based designers have completed the design of the new Interceptor for the Jensen brand owners, Healey Sports Cars Switzerland Ltd. CPP hope to start the delivery of the new car in 2014. The public unveiling of the Interceptor is planned for late 2012; however no prices or annual production numbers have been announced, though its rarity could push up car insurance rates for the vehicle. Brendan O’Toole, founder and co-owner of CPP, told the BBC: “I started my career by restoring bodies and components for classic British sports […]

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Classic Cars

New Jensen Interceptor

Another retro sports car is being revived. The Jensen Interceptor was a British V8-engined coupe built between 1966 and 1976, and these official pictures show how a modern interpretation of the elegant GT will look when it gets its public unveiling in late 2012, before going on sale in 2014. CPP, a Coventry-based coachbuilder and owner of Spyker sports cars, has won the contract to engineer, develop and build the new Jensen Interceptor from the brand’s Swiss owners, Healey Sports Cars. Based on an all-new aluminium platform with aluminium bodywork, the newcomer will be extremely light for its size. It will use the same four-seat layout as the original and features many of its forerunner’s design cues – including the wraparound rear screen, vents behind the front wheel and quad headlights. Annual production numbers and pricing are yet to be […]

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Highlights

British Sports Cars

The spirit of the British sports car tradition is reflected in the aesthetics of Schlegelmilch’s photography and in Lehbrink’s knowledgeable text in British Sports Cars. I am not sure whether to classify this book as a coffee table book because of the beautiful photography or a reference book due to the exhaustive cataloging of the cars and their features. Whichever way you go though, the works is both fascinating and of very hight quality. Without reading a word, I can sit and stare at the imagery for ages. Of the authors, this is said, “There is a persistent rumour that Rainer Schlegelmilch’s birth was initiated on the back seat of a Mercedes Benz 170V. Whether or not this is the source of his ongoing affinity to anything that has four wheels, his fascination with cars is vividly expressed in his […]

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Caterham

Michael Caine is Set to Live a Life Long Dream

Michael Caine is set to live a life long dream at Rockingham on Sunday after agreeing a deal which will see him compete in the final three rounds of this year’s British Touring Car Championship (BTCC). Having held talks with manager of the Airwaves Motorbase team Dave Bartrum last month, a package was agreed between the pair earlier this month to run a third car in the team for the 42 year old from Newmarket in the closing three rounds. It will not be the first time that car salesman Caine has taken to the track in one of the team’s Ford Focus cars having jumped into one at Snetterton last month, when competing against the world’s fastest ice cream van. “It is something that I have always wanted to do ever since I became involved in motor racing,” said […]

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Aston Martin

Aston Martin Still Contemplating IPO

The revival of the IPO market, when it comes, will give James Bond fans a chance to own a slice of British luxury car maker Aston Martin and could generate enough funds for the group to revive its famous Lagonda brand. “It’s clear that at some point investors holding equity in an independent company need to devise an exit, and this exit is an IPO that we will do when the time is right,” Chief Executive Ulrich Bez told Reuters on Tuesday. “Aston Martin is working on achieving a valuation comparable to a luxury goods maker.” Ford Motor Co (F.N) sold Aston Martin for 479 million pounds ($756 million) in March 2007, to a consortium led by David Richards — former Formula 1 Benetton and BAR racing boss — as well as two Kuwaiti funds. In an interview at the […]

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Corporate Business

MG Takes Center Stage in Nigeria

Renowned British automobile brand, MG has joined the growing number of automobile brands in the country courtesy of Coscharis Motors, a leading automobile marketing company which also represents BMW, Land Rover, Jaguar and Ford, in Nigeria. Presenting the MG models to members of the Nigerian Motoring Press over the weekend in their Victoria Island Lagos office, Mrs. Helen Alechenu, Deputy General Manager Coscharis Motors described the MG as typical British brand, through manufactured in China by SAIC Motors. According to her, “The MG, as the best representative of the United Kingdom automobile industry, has significant leverage in the United States Sports Car Market, hence MG brand history is the Chronicle of the world automobile industry.” The Deputy General Manager who ones had a stint in the BMW, Land Rover and Ford sections of the Coscharis Auto Group, explained that the […]

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Highlights

Details of Eterniti Hemera Emerge

The first pictures of the Eterniti Hemera have been released by the start-up British company before the ‘super SUV’ makes its debut at the Frankfurt motor show. The images are of a prototype, and appear to show that the car is based on a Porsche Cayenne, as the car shares many of the dimensions and details of the German 4×4. A statement from London-based Eterniti claims that the car will bring “new levels of luxury and performance to the SUV segment” and the company also claims it will have a top speed in excess of 180mph. This will come from a claimed power output of “over 620bhp”. The brand says the car will also offer “a limousine-like rear cabin, including twin electric reclining seats, iPads and a drinks chiller” for those that want to be driven rather than take the […]

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Corporate Business

Two Millionth MINI Rolls Off the Line

Mini has celebrated the two millionth car rolling off the production line with prime minister David Cameron driving the vehicle at the car’s Oxfordshire plant. The iconic British vehicle began production ten years ago following a successful relaunch and a large amount of public anticipation. Over 1.5 million cars have been exported by Mini, owned by BMW, while the company’s latest expansion plans to cater for the latest generation of the vehicles takes it total UK investment to £1.5 billion. “The two millionth Mini to be made here in Oxford is a fantastic symbol of the UK’s strength in the global automotive industry,” said the prime minister, adding that the car represents a great British manufacturing success story. Frank-Peter Arndt, BMW board member responsible for production, added: “The most essential factors in the success of Mini are the skills, passion […]

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Classic Cars

World’s Most Ridiculous Hybrid

UK auto site Autoblog.com has a great, and hilarious, story on what must me one of the oddest match-ups since Oscar and Felix in the Odd Couple. Actually, I guess this predates them, but you get the point! What we have then is a hybrid Jaguar Morris Minor Traveller. Well, to be precise, a Jaguar XK120 Morris Minor Traveller; that is also probably full of fur. The car was created to haul the owner’s dogs. To make matters even worse, they named the car the “Foxbat”. What? What the heck is a “foxbat”? Quoting from the original article, “it was stitched together by chemist and Jaguar enthusiast/butcher Geoffrey Stevens. To give him some credit, it’s claimed the XK was in pretty horrendous condition when he started, so he’s done a decent job making the front end look good, at least.” […]

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Highlights

MINI Family Growing. Again.

While it may receive a name change before taking a bow at dealerships, the Paceman will be the seventh MINI model in showrooms, following the debut of the MINI Roadster in 2012 and the MINI Cooper Coupe this October. The Paceman is based on the same underpinnings as the MINI Countryman crossover, and will be produced in the same assembly plant in Graz, Austria. The new concept was displayed at the 2011 Autoshow in Detroit. “If MINI keeps releasing cars at their current pace, we’re going to have to expand our showroom,” said Tim Parker, general manager of New Country MINI, a Hartford, Connecticut MINI dealer. “The Paceman packs the capability of the Countryman into a sportier package, which is the right recipe for a lot of Connecticut MINI fans that want a fun ride when the weather is cooperating […]

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Highlights

Team RLR and MG Head to Silverstone

Planet LeMans is reporting that boosted by a new driver and a major sponsor, Team RLR will enter the 6 Hours of Silverstone determined to impress in front of a home crowd at the penultimate round of the 2011 Le Mans Series next weekend (September 9-11). The mid-season break proved to be a productive one for the Lancashire-based squad as it added former Le Mans 24 Hours winner Warren Hughes to its line-up alongside regular drivers Barry Gates and Rob Garofall, and also confirmed famous British car brand MG Motor UK as an official sponsor. Read the complete story over at Planet LeMans.

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Auctions & Sales

Auction of British Vintage Racer Estate

As reported by Bring A Trailer, an auction will be held on September 24th in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania that will liquidate the 5-acre property and British car collection of the former owner. It is rare to find such a sale that includes restored cars and vintage racers in what looks like pristine condition. They are shown parked in a finished display area with hardwood floors! Find more info and photos here via AuctionZip.com. A brief (?!) inventory listing of the auction…. Cars – 1966 Austin Healey 3000, 1962 Triumph TR4 vintage race car w/race history, Land Rover Series IIA, Morris Minor 1000, 1979 CJ5 Jeep & P/A plow, off road ATV like new buggy, Areins 14 hp Hydrostatic garden tractor & cart; Lucas items; hundreds of  vintage oil cans & oil & gas station items; British car parts; grill badges & rally plates; […]

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Classic Cars

Frontline Drags MGB Into 21st Century

This in from the TopGear site…  To be honest, the presenters weren’t that impressed with the new MG6 during the show on Sunday. Or its recycled-racing-horse badge adhesive. However, this latest old-car-new-tech offering from Frontline Developments seems like a valiant use of the brand. And a rather more affordable alternative to the Eagle Speedster. Each car uses a new British Motor Heritage MGB shell, into which Frontline shoves a 2012 2-litre VVC MX-5 engine. It’s got billeted con-rods and crankshaft, forged fully-skirted and Teflon-coated pistons and it’s been hopped up with a 45mm direct injection throttle body and closed-loop Lamda set up. That equates to 215bhp and 170lb ft at 4000rpm. That means 240bhp per ton (it only weighs 900kg). 240bhp. IN AN MGB! But don’t worry, the sixties shell’s been uprated to cope with the 130bhp power boost (the B […]

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Highlights

Land Rover Considering Grande Evoque

While Mercedes calls its cars “uber” internally when they want to give them steroids, the British marketing teams at Land Rover are currently considering a “Grande Evoque”, which will fill the gap in the lineup between the compact Range Rover Evoque and the Range Rover Sport. Once again, this is a car that’s being analyzed from a marketing point of view first and then from an automotive perspective, but we’ll let it slide because we like the new design direction the British firm has. According to Autocar, inside sources say that a final conclusion on whether to give the go-ahead or not is close to being reached. Land Rover wants to bridge the gap in price between the range-topping Evoque and the entry-level Sport. The Grande Evoque could be a five-door machine that takes the recently introduced shape and blows […]

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Highlights

Robbie Williams Can’t Drive

Robbie Williams has admitted he still can’t drive a car at the age of 37. The British singer struggles to get around Los Angeles, where he lives with wife Ayda Field, because he has never passed his driving test. He said: “I don’t have a driver’s licence. In London you just don’t drive because the traffic is terrible, so you get cabs to go everywhere, which has left me being 37 and still without a driver’s licence in Los Angeles.” Although he can’t drive, the Take That star – who has teamed up with country music star Bob Paisley to record ‘Collision of Worlds’ for the forthcoming ‘Cars 2’ movie – is fascinated by cars and loves watching motor racing on television. In an interview organised by Disney and posted on Robbie’s official website, he said: “We have Formula 1 […]

Monterey Poster 2011 - Jaguar E-Type
Classic Cars

Artwork Pays Tribute to Jaguar E-Type 50th Anniversary

The speed and elegance of one of motoring’s iconic cars of all time — the sleek Jaguar E-Type — reveals itself as the inspiration for the official poster art of the 2011 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. Jaguar is this year’s featured marque and will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the E-Type at the annual gathering of historic race and sports cars to be held August 19-21 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca during the Monterey Classic Car Week. Renowned artist Bill Patterson, who is the official artist of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, says the E-Type is true art on wheels. “Having fallen in love with racing and fast cars in the ’60s, the E-Type represented the perfect blend of design, technology, performance and sex appeal. It still looks fantastic today, 50 years after it was first produced. And to have been […]